The truth, the whole....well, some of it

One year-ending, in that brief period when I tried such things, I resolved to try and be completely honest. I guess the real point was to see how feasible it was, and how long it could last.

This is not something new. Camus' The Outsider revolves around the concept of somebody who is direct to the point of alienating others. As was Rand's Fountainhead (the only redeemable facet of that entire book). Heck, you could even go all the way back to Yudhistir.

The experiment lasted three days.

Not just because people cannot handle unadorned honesty, but because I realised I hadn't defined - or understood - what I was really aiming for. The whole thing came unstuck when I tried to decide if the point was to be completely honest, to be Truthful, or to just not lie. A rough summation of how I ended up seeing them is thus:

Not lying is, by far, the easiest of the three - even though it's possibly the most difficult one can ever do. Not lying is not just refusing to say untruths, but also not evading a direct question, or not qualifying any answer. With all the attendant backlash it may bring. A reactive process, if you will.

Honesty is a more active process. It's not just about not lying to others, it's also about having no secrets at all. It's about going up to them and telling them how things really are. And more importantly, extending the same to you. Acknowledging your faults and limitations, your prejudices, your passions, your patterns, your self. Almost-attaining-nirvana-difficult.

After that, you have being Truthful. Which is picking-an-angry-porcupine-with-your-buttcheeks painful. This is looking at every little aspect of every thing around you, and meeting them on the terms that they deserve. It means not being able to promise anything, because you know that you can never guarantee something, only that you will try to make it happen. It means not being able to use definite terms such as always and never and totally and absolutely*.

Defining this, and determining what all I could be honest and truthful about, proved to be a more fruitful usage of time than trying to be completely honest and truthful. It was also a defining period for me, because once you really begin to look at - and accept - who and what you are, life becomes that much easier to deal with. It's a continuous process, and you go on discovering and accepting new things. I've learn to live with and feed off anger, I've accepted and learnt to live with Existential Schizophrenia, and I've seen how easy it is to write and publicly display verse once I accepted I wasn't a Poet.

The point of this? A relevant example of the difference between not lying and being honest. The former would be letting you continue to believe something that sprung up here, and has been perpetuated through a process of assumption, new people reading classificatory* statements made by people who've made those assumptions, and - eventually - by the lack of confirmation or denial by the one person who could clear the matter (that would be me).

The latter would be me telling you not to continue to labour under that misapprehension***.

To wit, this blogger is of the male persuasion.

The comment space is yours to vent vitriol.

PS. Why now? Why not when Flaffy cast me as KSA's sister in her epic? Why not when Pri classified me under the 'Girls' section? Why not when people addressed comments to me as 'Missy'? Because, well...umm...hey look! See the pretty birdie there (scampers off)
PPS. Remember the bit about Perceptions? See what I mean?

* And no, that's not ambivalence, it's just about realising that what you think you can or aim to do is influenced by and can be derailed by various factors.
** If that's not a word in the dictionary, it bloody well should be.
*** Which doesn't mean you need to know everything else. I gave up on the complete bit, remember?


Space Bar said...

now that should teach us all a lesson, huh? :D

so what about that prosthetic leg?

DefinitelyMale said...

You are a female.Or Gay .

Things which make you one of the above two :

1) Writing style and usage of endearments not usually associated with males

2) Your "probable" crush on Falstaff and addressing him as "Falsie". Show me one other straight male blogger who does that and I will eat my words.

3) Some of the posts which are female centric. Either they were a red herring or you are a cross dresser. But that is a stretch.

4) There is nothing in this for you really if you are a male.Even Falstaff hopes there is a chance that some single,reasonably hot and intelligent girl would fall for him and get over her inhibitions to get him out of his singlehood. Though the possibility of anyone matching his intellect is bleak. But what is there in this for you if you are a straight male? Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Anyway what is the point of "coming out" now unless it is a deliberate red herring just to see what people is likely to say? Like this post.

If one or two of the above were applicable to you then it could be argued that you "may" belong to the male species but I very very much doubt it.


Pri said...

my bad. you will henceforth appear on the boy section of my blogroll.

fun story - i got fan mail yesterday from this person [i can't tell if they were male or female from their name] who basically said that my taste in music made me a hermaphrodite and that they looked forward to meeting me whenever. so rude!

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...


i don't comment here to take such name-calling liberties, but i read, and i assumed, and i made mental picture, and and and

Mo said...

You're kidding me, right?

Puppy Manohar said...

Dear ??!,

LOL! Well-played.


Puppy Manohar

Bikerdude said...

Androgyneshwari devi/a, namaste. Yenjoy ma/pa, you.

the saint said...

there, now you wont get one of those pink badges which proclaim you to be a rocking girl blogger - or whatever it is..

your blogging life is wasted

??! said...

It really wasn't about a lesson, or a game. It's just one of those things that snowballs before you realise it, and there's never a good enough time to try and stop it. Till you finally decide you just should.

That said, it certainly was interesting to see how assumptions can be taken for the truth so easily.

Nope. Not this time.

Helloooo. Sorry about the mind-messing about. But at least now you know.

Ahh, welcome saar. Much obliged and humbled with your presence.

??! said...

the saint/Space:
Ahh, but I did. Space gave me one, and now she knows why I had to decline it.

Space Bar said...

oh i guessed back then, you know. when you politely declined.

that said, i think androgyneshwari is a rockin' name. someone should take it quick.

Space Bar said...

oh, and did you say male persuasion??!

??! said...

Your comment needed a whole comment back to reply.

You're again making assumptions.

1) The key word there is "usually". Which equates to normal? Dood, are you calling me ...gasp...normal??!

2) Seriously, what's this "crush" business. I began calling Revealed 'Flaffy' because it was easier. Does that mean I have a crush on her too? And Falsie is just a more-personal, customized way of referring to the blogger called Falstaff. And now others use it too (go check Veena's latest post). Does that mean they have crushes on him too?

3) Caring about female rights has nothing to do with being female. If you don't have a problem with the way women are treated, and the problems they face....well, dooood, you better be happy we don't sic the Punkster on you.

4) The point of "coming out" now, is that there's no point. This should have been done a long time ago, but since it wasn't, it's being done now.

Ok? Ok.

??! said...

I did wonder if you had. But since you were too polite to bring it up, I was happy to let it lie.

Also, yes. Problem hain?

km said...

And hilarity ensues.

In my book of metaphysics, gender identity is also a form of conditioning. Who were we before the world made us boys and girls?

That singer from Bee Gees, that's who.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

This reminded me of this

Falstaff said...

You give me truth, I give you Nietzsche

One learns something new every day, doesn't one? Apparently I hope there is a chance that some single, reasonably hot and intelligent girl will fall for me and get over her inhibitions to get me out of my singlehood. Who knew?

??! said...

Not Boy George? Dem! There goes that theory.

Well, I was going to talk about how I'm really Elvis' son, but nobody would believe me.

Falsie (oi male, you reading this?):
Not only that - you watch football. I'm still struggling with that image.

Space Bar said...

Donna non si nasce, si diventa and all that.

Also, I didn't know there was some rule about only females calling Falstaff Falsie.

??!: of course no problem. If anything, it puts an interesting spin on the famous quotation above.

??! said...

Ah, like that. I was wondering what you were getting at. It's just that I rather like that phrasing.

km said...

Boy George is obviously female. Isn't the word "Boy" in his name a sure giveaway? (Just like Marilyn Manson is a male.)

??! said...

Demmit! You mean the Cheeky Girls and Pointer Sisters are all pretty boys in reality?

scout said...

i'm not surprised. i know i should be. but i'm not. i don't know why. but you ASKED me to call you kim, i made no assumptions there. :D

Space Bar said...

oh, the real misleader was arkady. heroine of the foundation etc etc.

??! said...

Oi. Kim cannot be short for Kimberly?

What, what? Arkady in the Foundation series? When was this?

km said...

Since when is Kimberly exclusively a male name?

//Who the hell are Cheeky Girls?

Mo said...

I finally figured how you managed to confuse me in the first place -- 'twas the reference to Mascarapone cheese.

Ah, well.

??! said...


//Pseudo-pop tabloid band, most notable because one of their numbers is dating an MP here.

Ummm - men cannot like mascarapone?

km said...

??!: This.

The Bride said...

OMG! It's a boy!

I knew there was going to be some dramatic revelation at the end on the long spiel on honesty-whatever. Ooh I love revelations, such drama.

It's interesting how now that I know (though still not utterly convinced because you're a sylph of a man) that you're of the erm male persuasion, I am beginning to think that you write like a boy. Until such time could have sworn you were a girl.

Mo said...

Men totally like mascarapone. They just usually don't know the name.

??! said...

Ok I think cross-connection happened again. What exactly are we debating?

the bride:
It is indeed!

And your reaction just goes to prove my point - that knowing more about the author changes how you perceive and interpret what you're reading.

Oh, some of us can name quite a few cheeses. And some of us know just what to do with mascarapone as well.

....that sounded suspiciously flirty. Ahem.

Phantasmagoria said...


Chronicus Skepticus said...

Y'know, somehow I never thought of you as a girl. In fact, I always thought you were a boy I know (or knew. or thought I knew, at any rate).

We're smart, we are.

*buffs nails on collar*

??! said...

Blushes back.

Haan, now everybody knew I was a guy. Everybody was sooo smart. Toh pehle kyun nahin kaha?

For all we know, we do know each other.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Did too! Remember when I asked you if you were from Jodhpur? Did I NOT include a statement which implied you were male??

(I'm actually sounding a lot more confident than I am.It is entirely possible that there was no such implication, but I remember thinking, 'OMG, this sounds just like him*!!'

*The 'him' in this case being The Boy from Jodhpur)

So there.

??! said...

Ahh, this is true. I just went back and saw that, and you did say the same. So, clever billy. Must be all the fish ;)

And no, I'm not from Jodhpur.

Espèra said...

Well then.

When I first read your posts, for some reason, I thought you were definitely male. Until, I read the 'About' part where the Kim/Amelie/Arkady features.

Right you are.
My perception changed. I tutted myself for assuming you were male and clicked my tongue because I so shouldn't believe in stereotypes.

Of course, saying this now doesn't prove a thing. Shoulda said something earlier. Except, you'd probably have given me the stuff on why we must not go by stereotypes.

??! said...

Always go with your instincts, dontcha know?

And you're right - I would've twisted it around if you'd tried to say I was not female. We don't do things easy over here.

Tabula Rasa said...

dang, i missed this whole deal.

my only question is was it you who started calling falsie falsie? i thought it was n!

??! said...

I rather suspect it was me - possibly in conjunction with n! (where is she anyway?)

Tabula Rasa said...

lurking, as always.

Veena said...

How did I miss this? Travel ka side effects, I guess. Well.

??!: As much as I'd like to comply with BM's request and let the number of comments be at well, 42, as a founding member of the n! fan club I am obliged to answer TR's question on the christening of Falsie.

TR is right. Unless you called Falsie "Falsie" sometime before the fall of 2005, I am afraid the distinction of naming Falsie goes to n!. For obvious reasons, I shall not post links but I am sure you can plough through 244 comments in 2005 to get to it. I remember because:
a) I have total psycho memory
b) "Falsie" was the trigger when we decided to start a n! fan club back in the good ole' days and
c) MR and I have fond memories of watching Amadeus back in early '06 and everytime we heard "Wolfie" we would have images of n! screeching "Falsie" in the corridors of Penn in our heads.

(I know. My memory scares me sometimes)