Lies, bull, confidence trickery, verbal jujitsu, paramoralisms, being jesuitical, mendacity, twisting the truth, false apologies, truthity, evasiveness, telling porkies, phoniness, quibbling…these are just some of the ways people have of interacting in bad faith.
I have started a spin-off blog Daily Con where exemplars of mendacity can be exhibited. In order to become anything the contents of this site need to be provided by readers.
It could be thought of as a kind of community art project something like the wonderful secret postcards project. Has someone tried (succeeded in) duping/manipulating you? Perhaps you’ve perpetrated it yourself? Have you come across examples in the media, literature, etc. Overheard something? Submit it to Daily Con.
The point? We learn about people’s trickiness. We can be chastened and improve our own behaviour. We can have a laugh or shake our heads.
All identifying details – unless figures are in the public eye – will be omitted. See here for submission guidelines.
Here is a list of the entries I have made to get things rolling (notice that the ‘daily’ promise has already been broken). Be more creative than I have been!
Dec, 24 Who did what, now?
Here is Governer Eliot Spitzer’s non-apology, ‘An Apology From Albany’:
Dec, 26 What do you expect, he said?
In ‘Brideshead revisited’ Julia Flight is engaged to Rex Mottram, MP. Brenda Champion is his old flame. Julia learns that Rex had been staying the week-end with a stockbroker in Sunningdale, when he said he was at his constituency, and that Mrs Champion had been there too:
Dec, 27 We wish you a Merry Xmas
Overheard in a queue:
Dec, 29 Gibberish
William George Heirens was convicted in 1948 of the murder of three women. He remains in prison:
Dec, 30 Two’s company
Homer Simpson is caught out lying:
Dec, 31 Copping a Vick
I quote from Michael Vick’s letter to Judge Henry E. Hudson asking for clemency before his sentencing for dog fighting (let’s not omit dog torture and dog slaughter by his own hand):
Jan, 1 Are paramoralisms catching?
A primary purpose of a paramoralism is to corrode the moral thinking of the other. In the Vick case one strategy would be to distract attention away from Vick’s acts and onto a more culpable (imaginary)person. (Another way would be to pooh-pooh the offence: Oh, everyone does it where he comes from, according to Whoopi Goldberg.) Consider the tack taken by Deion Sanders, former star football and baseball player and current commentator for CBS Sports:
Jan, 2 Don’t de-spam this
My spam-catcher asks me whether I want to delete the following message or de-spam it: