“…Bugs are only lobsters that have learned to fly”

The quote in the title of this post is from The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s probably not the most meaningful, nor the most memorable quote in the novel, but it is the one I just read five minutes ago. I like it. There is, of course, truth to this statement. let me break it down for you:

Science Magazine You can read what this picture says here: www.geek.com/news/lobsters-really-are-cockroaches-of-the-sea-1614260/

There are even tree lobsters http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/11/465781993/love-giant-insects-meet-the-tree-lobster-back-from-the-brink, like the famed Hawk Lobster that the B-52’s immortalized in song –

hawk-lobster I like the truth of the quote, but I also like the meta-truth, which is different than the post truth. It’s definitely different from the truth I usually post. Actually, I’m sure meta truth is probably a real thing, but I don’t want to look it up; I just want to use the word the way I feel it should be used, regardless of its actual definition or accepted meaning. In other words, I want to divorce the word from its significance or intent and remarry it to whatever I believe it should mean. This process, is, roughly, post truth. I’ll get back to that in just a second. Meta truth, according to me, is going beyond the surface truth to myriad alternate truths that exist simultaneously or codependently with the original premise. As such, meta truth can encompass shades of meaning – for example, a lobster that learned to fly would no longer be a lobster; or that a lobster – or anything, really- is not just one thing, or doesn’t have to be the thing that it once had been.


In fact, when one looks at the possibilities of truth, we see that each truth contains its opposite, as in”To be, or not to be”, yin and yang, or ebony and ivory. And just to drive an obvious point even deeper into your squishy brain pan, since I alluded to Shakespeare, consider this, from Friar Laurence’s soliloquy from Romeo and Juliet:

The earth, that’s nature’s mother, is her tomb.
What is her burying, grave that is her womb.
And from her womb children of divers kind
We sucking on her natural bosom find,
Many for many virtues excellent,
None but for some and yet all different.
Oh, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities.
For naught so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give.
Nor aught so good but, strained from that fair use
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse.
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,

And vice sometime by action dignified.

Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence and medicine power.
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
Being tasted, stays all senses with the heart.
Two such opposèd kings encamp them still,
In man as well as herbs—grace and rude will.
Post truth is, according to the Oxford dictionary, “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” It’s a combination of almost all of the logical fallacies you learned in high school. Post truth is a bunch of fat ass lies that are justified  merely by wanting them to be true, and by letting the ego – one’s will or desire-  supplant reality. It’s selfish, stinkin’ thinkin’. Ian McEwan speaks of this through the protagonist in his brilliant 2016 novel, Nutshell. His main character is a fetus- a super smart fetus with a vocabulary that puts mine to shame, even though he? she? is kind of a lush. Anyhoo, this is what the fetus thinks about the world it will enter,after having been informed of the “strange mood [that] has seized the almost-educated” by what it has heard on podcasts and the BBC:
I’ll feel, therefore I’ll be. Let poverty go begging and climate change braise in hell. Social justice can drown in ink. I’ll be an activist of the emotions, a loud, campaigning spirit fighting with tears and sighs to shape institutions around my vulnerable self. My identity will be my precious, my only true possession, my access to the only truth. If my college does not bless me, validate me and give me what I clearly need, I’ll press my face into the vice chancellor’s lapels and weep. Then demand his resignation.
This brings us to the meta-truth about post truth. It is not enough for one’s reality to consist of one’s own perceptions. Humans have a need to acknowledge only one truth, and to make that truth the ‘right’ truth. It’s not enough that I accept that my reality is my truth – you have to agree that this truth is the truth. You have to agree that America was great when it was great for me, so that we can make it great again. Black lives matter to me, so they should matter to you. If we cannot agree on one truth rather than the other, one of us has to go. You’re fired. Meta-truth and post truth render a single definition of what truth is moot. What is truth? I don’t know. I read this article to figure it out:
 http://www.philosophynews.com/post/2015/01/29/What-is-Truth.aspx It was a very informative article, but I still don’t know what truth is. I do now know what ‘noumena’ is, though, and my Spellcheck does not, so I can truthfully say that I am smarter than a computer.
So, basically, I know about as much about truth as reality star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, knows about logic or grammar, as evidenced by this quote: “I don’t eat friggin’ lobster or anything like that. Because they’re alive when you kill it.” I do know this: truth is elusive. Lobsters can be caught, and so they are not elusive, except for the two-toned hermaphroditic ones, that you have a one in 50 million chance of finding. Lobsters are delicious. That is a fact. They have no vocal chords, so they don’t scream when you cook them, but I bet they would if they could. They don’t mind mercilessly killing for a meal, on account of they are cannibals. Their favorite time to eat one another is when they shed their shells, which they do when they are growing, which they do for their entire lifespans. Of course, when they are molting, they are particularly vulnerable. Female lobsters that shed their shells send out a pheromone to attract males who, when given the choice between a shag or a snack, usually opt for mating over murder. The ladies pay the price though, because they can have 8-12,000 eggs, and they can be from multiple fathers. The males might be monogamous, but the ladies are cheating crustaceans. I wonder if they get embarrassed when some Ross lobster looks at a Rachel lobster with puppy dog eyes, all hurt and shocked. Would she feel shrimpy and ashamed? Does a shamed lobster blush?
red_lobster_is_sin_by_jawshoewhah-d3g6jft Or, is her truth just that she is who she feels like being? Maybe she just is a sassy, sexy sea slut.
Truth is tricky like that.