A Few Good Men, Argumentation, Deceit, Dishonesty, Honesty, Jack Nicholson, Lying, Quotes, Rhetoric
“You can’t handle the truth!”
It’s a popular response in political debate, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a powerful denunciation (delivered in the midst of an amazing performance), a line that serves both to deny someone the right to an honest answer and to place responsibility for that denial on those to whom the truth is denied. It’s the sort of response one could follow with a mic drop. Really it is.
What people seem to forget is that this is a line issued by a character who really is lying in defense of a crime he really did commit. When you keep that in mind, it puts efforts to use the line in real life in a whole new perspective.
N. E. White said:
The truth is: lying bastards will say anything to save their butts. But also: some of those lying bastards really do believe their own bullshit. (Great clip.)
Does this make lying ok? 👌 or does it this make it okay to tell the truth?? Which one is it? I’m confused.
Heh, they do tend to forget that little detail, don’t they? 😀
cindy knoke said:
We have fallen down the rabbit hole, and up is now down, which is not a lie it is an alternative truth, and our president is a twit who tweets.
What they are really saying is, “I can’t handle you knowing the truth.” It is, I suppose, the justification for ‘alternative facts’, yes?
A succinct and clear summary of the line’s subtext. Well put.
Mmm… Okay, I saw the play literally 28 years ago. It was pretty memorable. I was working a god-awful barely above minimum wage job the only redeeming feature of which was free tickets to Broadway shows. Sorkin was an unknown. I had a front row center mezzanine ticket (sure, I’m bragging, but I lived in a basement apartment at the time, so….) and I went with an old Broadway gypsy and a recent grad from Hunter. Now, the three of us were collectively blown away, but one of the great things about the play was its moral ambiguity. Now, I didn’t see the movie, but I feel like you’re missing that.