As any teenager will tell you, everything is fake. News events, music, your parents’ love, X-Ray Specs: it’s all one big, cynical manipulation, and the only way to fight it is by not believing anything—in other words, with more cynicism. The cynic never looks stupid. The person who once believed and has been proven wrong is an idiot, but the skeptic who is eventually convinced is circumspect. Cynicism is skepticism diligently applied, and so it follows that you should assume everyone is lying all the time. Fortunately, we have the internet to train us. Today is Friday, and the news is full of lies, hoaxes and fakery. Even the accusations of faking are lies. It’s a bold new world, and we do not have to accept any of it as actual. Won’t you issue a blanket denial with me?
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the Tea Party is its members’ claims about who they are. Tea Party groups continue to identify as grassroots, non-partisan coalitions of citizens from every walk of life, when we all know that they’re white racist Republicans or, sometimes, white racist libertarians. By “know,” here, I mean “assume in a way that makes us feel guilty about our own closemindedness.” There is no quantitative proof that Tea Partiers are more bigoted, GOP-affiliated and prone to sunburn than the average American, after all. For that you’d need some kind of comprehensive, long-term survey, and such a thing would be too good to—oh, you shouldn’t have, David Campbell and Robert Putnam of Notre Dame. And just in time for my birthday, too.