Bitch on the Blog

October 4, 2016


Filed under: Communication,Ethics,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 08:46
Tags: , , , ,

Despite the years marching on I have not grown into a cynic. Thank dog for one of his smaller mercies.

Which is why, yesterday morning, I was chilled to the bone. And wished I were five again to run to either my mother or grandmother to make it all better, nay, take it all away.

I quote “Ask me what you want to know, but I won’t tell you the truth, of that you can be sure,” saying she liked the passage [of another author].

“Of that you can be sure” … Breathe in, breathe out.

Let’s leave aside who “she” who “liked the passage” is. Doesn’t matter. What matters is the content of the quote (incidentally by an author I have on my shelf for good reason, namely, Italo Calvino). Who knows in what context Calvino said those words. But HER liking not telling the truth? And this on publishing her AUTObiography?

The pole of my esteem I hold others in I don’t grease that much. One needs to make allowances, and that way most stay up there high. Those hell bent on getting down can always jump or use their own spit. But, by golly, when someone’s spouting chills me (see above) to the bone I am on red alert. Whoever “she” is I’d not trust her with my frying pan.

Which reminds me: Why, when in court, are even atheists, agnostics, expected to swear on the bible to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? One would hope so. But why on the Bible? Being made to swear on your grandmother’s grave possibly more effective in making you think twice before bending that “truth” to your advantage.





  1. I’m pretty sure that it was not necessary to swear on the Bible when i was called for jury duty. I think the alternative was an oath.

    And yes, if she is going to say that we can be sure not to get the truth, well it is chilling and why would anyone bother to interact at all?

    Comment by Kylie — October 4, 2016 @ 09:26 | Reply

    • Yes, Kylie, maybe I am stuck in a time warp of old films and in real life they don’t do the Bible any more.

      As to that person; it’s a conundrum. On one hand she freely admits that she won’t tell the truth. Which, one might say, is honest of her. On the other hand, if she claims not to tell the truth then I can’t help wondering whether she is telling the truth. This is the moment a kitten starts chasing its own tail.

      And on the third hand, to create a monster in our imagination, who would ever want a person like that as a friend? You’d basically be perpetually looking over your shoulder. Trust being mothballed. Doesn’t bear thinking about.

      On yet another hand, someone being upfront about not telling the truth is better than people who lie. One of the more hilarious examples when, some years ago, I gave someone fairly close to me some rather confidential insights (in writing); next day he passed my notes back to me, saying “I never showed them to …. [his wife]”. At the time I was in the clutches of a near breakdown (otherwise I’d never sown anyone what I had written there – and never will again, because (some) people really do abuse information in an attempt to control you). Of course, the moment someone (and unsolicited by you) proclaims their innocence {“I never showed them to her”} my alarm bells start ringing. “Oh”, I said, “but I told you you could [show them to her]”. Her being a friend of mine. And what do you know, Kylie, and it’s rather breathtaking, he said: ” Oh, did you? Yes, I did show them to her.” Come again? You just told me you hadn’t.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — October 4, 2016 @ 10:30 | Reply

      • some people are breathtakingly stupid.
        Like the time my mum phoned an acquaintance, his daughter answered the phone and said she would get him then came back and said he said he’s not here

        Comment by Kylie — October 4, 2016 @ 12:27 | Reply

  2. In courts in the UK (at least in England) you can swear an oath on the Bible or the Qu’ran or Affirm:Witness affirmation: I do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    Juror affirmation:I solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will faithfully try the defendant and give a true verdict according to the evidence. Having served asa Juror I affirmed….

    Religious oathes are according to the religion of the witmess/juror..

    We had a teacher who posed this problem to us : If someone tells you that they are a lawyer and then they tell you that all lawyers are habitual liars are they telling the truth?
    Still trying to worlk out the answer.

    Comment by magpie11 — October 4, 2016 @ 12:05 | Reply

    • Yes, good old truth. And the law. A piece of lace has fewer holes than the small print. I do have a high opinion of lawyers. I do not believe that lawyers “lie”. They twist the truth – within the confines of the law and to their best ability – in order to achieve their client’s desired outcome.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — October 4, 2016 @ 14:27 | Reply

  3. The Elena Ferrante story is quite hot here just now.

    Comment by rummuser — October 4, 2016 @ 12:32 | Reply

    • Thanks for the link, Ramana. I won’t ask how you knew who the “she” I was referring to is. And for all we know, she might be a he.

      You know what’s so funny considering the subject of her “privacy”? I had never heard of her before. Why am I laughing as I type the last sentence?

      I am not convinced of the privacy issue. Here is part of a comment I left elsewhere: “Curiosity may kill the cat. Nine times over. Curiosity is also part of the human condition. And may the first one to deny it have their Pinocchio nose grow twice over.”


      Comment by bitchontheblog — October 4, 2016 @ 14:19 | Reply

      • I’ve just read the article…… Pseudonyms are not new…… who really cares?

        As for the quotation….. it was probably to be expected from an author of fiction……. after all novelists are in the business of telling tales and many in the past have probably invented, or had invented for them, “background” stories…

        I’ll certainly be keeping an eye open for second hand copies of Ferrante’s novels in the Temple of Doom and other outlets just to find out what the fuss is about.

        Hey ho.

        Comment by magpie11 — October 4, 2016 @ 20:03 | Reply

  4. On the other hand, there’s Ashley Brilliant’s, “I’ve given up my search for truth. Now I’m looking for a good fantasy.”

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — October 4, 2016 @ 19:02 | Reply

  5. “Why, when in court, are even atheists, agnostics, expected to swear on the bible to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”

    The judge is just checking to make sure that you are a good atheist or agnostic:

    “Do not take an oath at all … Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” – Matthew 5:34-37

    Christians are the only ones not allowed to swear on a Bible. Or anything else.

    Comment by Looney — October 5, 2016 @ 02:52 | Reply

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