I've been alternating between reading The Secret and The Truth About Bullshit. Funny how complementary these two disparate books can be, which has led me to the concept of Secret Bullshit, based on a psychological notion that in order to deceive others you need to deceive yourself.
So, take the CBS lawyers who agreed to the stipulation in Don Imus' contract that he be given a warning before being fired for doing what they hired him to do in the first place, known as the "dog has one bite" clause. Well, their secret bullshit--bound to become their defense in court--is that although Imus wasn't warned after referring to Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz as a "boner-nosed, beanie-wearing Jewboy," they still had the right to fire him for saying "nappy-headed hos."
Now there's Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the D.C. Madam, who wants her all those former clients to follow the lead of ex-Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias and testify that they also hired those gals only for a massage, never for sex. OK, everybody say, "Yeah, right." Ironically, once they're outed, won't they gladly reinforce Palfrey's secret bullshit with their own in order to correspond with what they must now tell their wives?
And finally, the spectacle of ten white male Republican presidential candidates all vying to become the leader of the western world by competing to see which one most disbelieves in evolution, has itself become the Dinosaur Follies. Their utter disdain for stem cell research and their unquestioning support of the invasion-turned-occupation of Iraq are two sides of that same secret bullshit.
You can watch secret bullshit becoming public bullshit as the language becomes increasingly perverted, ranging from the Bush doctrine that the new winning is not winning, to the cavalier morphing of the word "debate" to mean that candidates are not permitted to ask each other any questions--the very antithesis of what a debate originally meant.
"They should call it an AA meeting," my wife Nancy observed. "No cross-talk allowed." She is an instinctive detector of secret bullshit when expressed publicly that transcends political correctness. As the pundits discuss the merits of stiffer sentences for hate crimes, Nancy wonders aloud, "And what are the others--love crimes?"