Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong (shadesong) wrote,
Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong

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On Drama Wars, as Viewed through the Lens of a Mediocre Teen Movie

I'll preface this by referencing a conversation I had with a friend recently, in which he discussed his longago issue with someone who seemed to view lying as an art form. Said liar was actually offended that my friend "lied badly", when said friend was telling the truth.

Point here: People expect what we give. My friend and I don't lie. It doesn't occur to us to do so. So we tend to subconsciously expect the truth from others, and find it difficult to realize that we're being lied to.

Conversely, people who lie by default expect others to lie by default... and have difficulty understanding the truth. They tend to assume that, since they're not catching us in a lie, it's not that we're telling the truth - it must just be that we're really good liars.

So. There you have that.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is a thoroughly mediocre movie.

I think it actually would have made a decent limited-run TV series; it suffered from compression. One gets the feeling that big chunks of plot were yanked out. Essentially, the movie is about a highly dramatic teenage girl yanked from her semi-glam NYC life to live in a Jersey suburb; she adjusts, and she exaggerates stuff, etc.

There's one particular scene that caught me.

Lola and her friend are obsessed with a particular band. So are the school's Rich Bitch and her friends. Rich Bitch brags that she has an invite to the band's party, Lola lies and says she has one too - as she's determined to get one, and has great faith in her mad skillz.

Long story short, wacky hijinks ensue, Lola and her friend do end up getting in - and hanging out with the lead singer. Rich Bitch sees that they're actually hanging with the band, and is jealous, etc.

So Lola and her friend strut into school the next day, feeling inordinately cool - to find that Rich Bitch has already told everyone that Lola wasn't there, that she was lying, and as Lola desperately tries to counter the lie, Rich Bitch basically gets the school mocking her.

(The lead singer later shows up at a school function just to see Lola, and Rich Bitch becomes a laughingstock. In case you were concerned.)

So that one scene, Rich Bitch loftily declaring that Lola hadn't been where she damnwell had, struck a chord.

In any kind of Drama War, the public victory goes to the liar.

Because it's the liar who strikes first, and therefore makes that first impression.

And in a lot of cases, unless it's something as blatant as what happened to resolve the situation in the movie, there's not a damn thing the honest person can do.

Because we don't build up a position in advance - because we didn't think we had to, because it didn't occur to us that someone was going to seize something and lie egregiously about it.

The liar will build up and reinforce a position, gather tons of "proof". And the honest person won't have proof to counter the lie, because who thought that that lie was going to happen!

Liar: "I never said that."
Honest person: "Yes you did."

But there's no way to prove it.

Honest person. "I didn't do that."
Liar: "Yes you did."

Well, no. But there's no way to prove that. Unless the honest person has a camera crew around 24/7, there's no way to prove this stuff.

The liar "wins" because they strike first and put the honest person on the defensive - but the honest person has no defense, because they never realized that they needed one.

Of course, outside of the public eye, it's the liar who loses... because they have to live with that poison inside them. And the honest person doesn't.

But in public... well. You see?
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