Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

Are We the Show?

Do you remember the 1998 film THE TRUMAN SHOW? Truman Burbank grows up in a universe that’s entirely fake. From his birth, he’s unwittingly the star of a TV reality show in which he’s the only real person in a world that’s secretly a set. All the others are actors in manufactured situations. His life is broadcast to the world with the aid of thousands of cameras that track his every move. I deliberately caught the end of the film on TV the other day, and Truman’s dilemma felt sadly more familiar to me than it did in 1998. Today the liberation offered by truth feels as appealing as it is obscured.

How much do we live in a world in which our reality is a construction that has been fed to us to keep us agreeable to secret agendas? Surely some recall the famed WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION scenario that took us into a misguided war…after the spin that took us into Vietnam. Currently, the threat of the international spyware (Pegasus) that allows governments to track dissidents or anyone they don’t like through cell phones (both iOS and Android)—able to listen to private encoded conversations, record past exchanges, and even videotape using the cell’s camera—is chilling. For many, BIG BROTHER has arrived. The USA isn’t the only country in which actions have previously been taken to forbid protest or dissension, including research by honest news reporters. The raw truth is colored as unattractive and subversive and those who tell it as troublemakers. Uncovering the details of the massive invasion of privacy facilitated by the international spyware required dangerous investigative work by journalists from around the world. The spyware company denies their findings.

Although the present US government has taken steps to dial back restraints on democracy, free speech, and peaceful protest, calling back the devastating effects of propaganda, spin, and outright lies is proving to be extremely difficult. Right wing extremists have declared their loyalty publicly, and they’re loathe to admit they’re being conned because for many the con supplies their power. Sadly, others embrace the noble underdog sensation they manufacture by believing fascist acts are really acts of patriotism and religion—what they’ve been indoctrinated to believe. Some look forward with naïve enthusiasm to a shoot-‘em-up revolution. Even proof that Trump began his campaign paying actors to make him look popular in spite of his long-term reputation as a womanizing and notoriously unethical businessman doesn’t faze them. They are as easily manipulated as poor fictitious Truman Burbank, following a shiny object, thinking it’s the sun.

Modern citizens from industrialized countries have suffered so much self-destructive manipulation over the years by corporations interested solely in profit that some can no longer discern the difference between opinions and facts. They reject real arguments from experts in science, health, and politics in favor of the opinions of people they like and understand easily. Imagine ideal consumers—they who’ve been convinced they needs dozens of costly personal care products to be enough, they who must have the latest technological advances to avoid looking doltish, they who will work themselves to death buying products that don’t serve their greater good without asking too many questions.  Once you have a clear image in your mind of the perfect consumer, measure yourself against your yardstick. You may not have sent a billionaire into space, but how many indulgences have you bought for people you worked for when you needed a vacation with your loved ones or healthcare so very badly?

How much of the world we think we see around us—our history, our health, our foods, etc.—isn’t what it appears to be? How many of us want to keep pretending rather than open our eyes, stretch, and create a better life? Would you dare to punch through the dome of pretty but fake imposed reality with Truman Burbank? Are we “noble in reason” or simply players strutting and fretting our hour upon the stage (my apologies to Shakespeare)—players being played?

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