Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Truth

The nickname for Celtic star Paul Pierce is "the truth."

Today many people at work are far more concerned with "The Truth" than their own jobs. The Celtics play the Lakers tonight in a single game that will determine the NBA championship. The truth will be a key.

I am almost finished reading "A Bright Shining Lie"--a 790 page tome about the war in Vietnam. It is a troubling read. While I thought I had the gist of what had transpired, my understanding had been superficial. A Great Shining Lie does not present the opinion of War Protestors. Quite the contrary. It is presented from the perspective of military personnel who realized that fabrications were presented as truths. Nobody now--even those who allowed for the distortions--denies this. The boys--who in the name of patriotism went to be slaughtered--were lied to as were their parents and all of the citizens of the country. The book's title is excerpted from comments made by the main character--someone who had nothing but antipathy for war protestors. He was a dedicated military man who personified the courage of the boys and men we sent to this war and was frustrated by the counterproductive misrepresentations. "We had also, to all the visitors who came over there, been one of the bright shining lies."

The appeal of sport is that there are no bright shining lies. Tonight the NBA champion will be the team that scores more points than the opponent. Nobody will come out tomorrow and say that despite the score "our intelligence indicates" that another team has won and will continue to win. A player who commits a 6th personal foul will be disqualified and will not be able to appeal because of special circumstances. A ball shot within the arc will count for two points. A player will not be able to get three for the goal because he knows somebody important.

We were lied to in Vietnam. By Democrats and Republicans. Our contemporaries were sold a lie and were slaughtered. There was no reason. Even McNamara acknowledges this now. (The South Vietnamese were as dictatorial and corrupt as the North were alleged to be). There was no intelligent plan.

The championship game tonight has its allure, in large part, because we can count on the truth and truths that are foundational to it.

P.S. I am wearing my Celtic shirt. If The Truth scores more than 25 the Celtics will win. Watch out for Derek Fisher. Fisher, a Laker, is one of the more clutch players ever to play the game.

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