*Note: I am skipping Debate Tuesday this week. And I missed Sunday Dinner. Apologies. It’s the end of semester, and life and parental duties collided over the past week. The collateral damage is contained. I wrote this last week, and was at a loss as to where it fit in, so I thought I would share…Enjoy! 🙂

Weird Observation 2 – The Truth Brigade.     Copyright© T. Riggs 2016

I survived a decade from about the mid-nineties to the mid-2000’s where literally everything was being questioned.

Books came out that told us that we had been lied to in our school history books, et al.

We were told things like “George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree or told his mother he couldn’t tell a lie.” But, if you read the book and/or article, it said, “There is no recorded evidence of the event ever actually occurring. Therefore, it never happened.”

Yes. You read that right.

A logical fallacy led a whole truth brigade against the onslaught of what they deemed the establishment’s conspiracy to… to what?

To unite our country under a common belief system, grounded in a respect and admiration for our founding fathers? It was a harmless, cute, family story. Truth? Who cares?

I tell family stories all the time. About my brothers and sisters. I retell tales that my father told me about his family members. All of them are true, or as true as we are able to remember them. But, they are not written down. Not yet at least. How do we know that George Washington didn’t chop down the cherry tree, unless his mother saw fit, in a journal to say, “George never learned how to use an axe”?

I’ve noticed a trend lately. It’s not a new trend. It is still the truth brigade of old, but the focus is new.

I buy cage-free and/or free-range eggs, just as a lot of left-leaning liberal types do that want to change the world. But as a moderate, I do so for very practical and sane reasons.

It is really easy to raise chickens.

I have taken care of chickens, helped raise them, fed them, saw my father butcher them and my mother strip them of their feathers, cut them up and cook them. They are food with legs. And, from experience, they aren’t very smart.

From the time I was 3 until almost 5 years old, it was my job to go out and gather eggs in the morning.

I have a few vivid memories of sneaking into the chicken coop just before dawn, and reaching my little hand under the sleeping hens’ warm, soft, feathered bottoms to take eggs and place them carefully into my basket. I also remember, after giving my mother the eggs, running back to the chicken yard later to chase the hens around after they awoke. (Hey, I was a kid. Don’t judge.)

It is really easy to raise chickens. Even a 4 year old can do it.

You don’t have to put them in cages and leave them their entire life to get what you need from them. Even though it never really ends well for the chickens, I say, why not let them live and breathe the air, and enjoy some sunshine? It’s a win, win.

Lately though, I have been seeing articles pass through my newsfeeds that say, “Is cage-free really humane?” and “What is cage-free? Does it mean, ‘free’?” Basically, these stories attempt to question the practice of cage-free, and free-range.

On the one hand, I can appreciate that the writers may be informing consumers that some companies are barely meeting the minimum USDA requirements. On the other hand, the rogue neuron in my brain that loves a good conspiracy theory think it’s the large chicken producers that are feeding the information to the public to help justify their atrocious practices. (The ‘I know you are, but what am I?’ argument, just more subtle… and calculated.)

What were those statistics of people who only read the headlines? Eighty-something percent?

Really though, it’s probably just human nature.

We question, we ponder, we think… especially when we are bored. And if I could describe the current society today, it is through boredom. How else could you explain trawling through hours of twitter feed and Facebook updates on a daily basis? (Or blogging, lol.)

But this tendency to think when we are at a stop is not always productive.

And I think we, as a society, know that now… but in a more subtle sense.

The new word of the year was “post-truth” to be added to the dictionary. We are sick of ‘truths’, of ‘facts’, and now prefer emotionally charged messages that are neither truthful nor factual.

What a strange world.

I guess we can start telling the cherry tree story again? And I can just stop reading news articles. All I need to know will be in the headlines, right?