The Corner

Truth Serum

Jonah:

I have a dim and not-very-reliable recollection of reading something about truth serum.  The gist was, that it is no such thing.  It’s just a guard-dropping serum, a tongue loosener.  Depending on the circumstances, and on your own training and personality, what you babble under “truth serum” may be a pack of lies, or just… babble.  Getting anything worthwhile out of it is, for your interrogator, quite an art,  and definitely not a science.

And you, of all people, might appreciate this reader response to my own comments about Mel:

—-

> [Me, in my July Diary] Isn’t the courteous, civilized, thoughtful Mel just a mask he wears to

> deceive us? Well, duh, of course it is!

[Reader response]  From a very early Simpsons episode:

Moe: Hey, you can level with me. You got a domestic situation?

Homer: You might say that. My wife’s gonna leave me ‘cause she thinks I’m a pig.

Moe: Homer.

Homer: What?

Moe: Marge is right. You are a pig. You can ask anyone in this bar.

Homer: What?

Homer: Hey, Barney, am I a pig?

Barney: You’re no more of a pig than I am. (belches loudly)

Homer: Oh, no!

Moe: See? You’re a pig. Barney’s a pig. Larry’s a pig. We’re all pigs.

Except for one difference: Once in a while, we can crawl out of the

slop, hose ourselves off, and act like human beings.

[Reader continues] I’ve long considered this a core concept of conservatism, usually with

the Simpsons line as its standard expression.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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