What You See is NOT Real . . .

I really hate living in circumstances where I have to wonder what is real and what is not … give me transparent truth, that is something I can deal with. Like most people, I despise lies, deceptions and situations that are fake. The political season tends to bring out the truth/lie controversies the most. That is when more and more people express their concerns and outrage with what they perceive as deception. We all hate feeling like we have been mislead or tricked. Mistrust is built around the “fake” … and “fake” seems to pop up more and more in this world we live in.

A few fake things in our world are harmless and entertaining. For example, the Chalk Guy, he paints 3-D pictures on city sidewalks (see pictures). Some “fake” things have become so ordinary that we ignore them. It is not that we accept them, exactly, it is just that they are actually common place, now. Take a look at the internet, we are not free to believe what we find there .. the number of faked photographs, faked video, and invented news/history/facts is growing. And, fake has become harder and harder to detect and is so good in some cases it has been taken as reality. (Life site to pick the real/fake pictures) When did all this start? With lip sync performers? Or, was it the movie “Wag the Dog” in 1997?

Not all the “fake” in our world is small, meaningless, entertaining … or easy to ignore (once discovered). During the past week, I have had several OMG (Oh My Gosh – you have got to be kidding) moments related to our fake world. Has it always been like this and I am just now noticing it (selective attention on my part this week)? Or, is “faking it” on a big scale, a new and growing trend?

My first OMG moment was the hearing about the fake North Korean soccer fans at the World Cup. According to several sources plus an NPR segment, the fans were actually paid actors from China. NPR interview (listen to entire World Cup story)

HANSEN: Hmm. You know, you talked about the mystery surrounding the team itself. But aren’t there some questions about the team’s fans in the stands?
Mr. STARK: There are. Anyone watching the Brazil game saw several camera shots of wildly cheering North Korean fans, all in identical shirts waving flags. And anyone watching it probably wondered what, how did they get visas to leave North Korea? They’re not actually North Koreans. They’re Chinese actors who have been hired by the North Korea government to go and support the team. A South African newspaper broke this story, and since, several Chinese media outlets have actually confirmed it.

Did you know there is actually a word for faking something like this?
“Astroturfing” (according to Wikipedia) is a form of propaganda whose techniques usually consist of a few people attempting to give the impression that mass numbers of enthusiasts advocate some specific cause (better known as “rent-a-crowd”).

Also related to the World Cup was an article on players faking injuries during the games – not as surprising. What was surprising was that the frequency of these pretend injuries was on the rise.

My second OMG moment happened yesterday when I heard an NPR radio segment about companies hiring fake employees. A Chinese company was hiring American looking men to pose as employees/inspectors (fake). The job description was: White male, nice suit, good pay .. requires no work. (To listen to NPR story)

It was also an “Oh yeah – that is not new” moment, as it reminded me of another bit of OMG news from earlier this Spring. It had to deal with companies that were in financial trouble. To hide the fact, they were hiring people (at a very low wages) to pretend they were employees (sit in cubicles and type on computers) so that on crucial days, the business looked like it was bustling with work to the public. (From “Wanted Fake Employees” CNBC)

These are just a few incidents that were uncovered and in the news recently .. there are probably a lot more. It makes you wonder …. How much of what we see and hear in our world is real? Is “pretending” becoming the standard method of dealing with problems and persuading people to believe propaganda? Are appearances becoming more important than the substance and the truth? Are we going to be come so complacent about “fake” that we no longer trust or no longer care?

I believe “fakeness” is a sneaky detriment to our world. There are a few people who prefer to live in a blindness to truth, but overall, living amid “fake” and hidden truths makes us ignorant and the ability to trust (even to what we see with our own eyes) becomes impossible … Trust is the foundation of all relationships, without that uninhibited ability, I think we are in big trouble.

OMG number three …. as I write, I listen to MPR (Memory Tricks) … “Fake Memories”? … post to be continued (I guess) …

Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.
~ Dalai Lama


~ by bearyweather on June 24, 2010.

2 Responses to “What You See is NOT Real . . .”

  1. The chalk drawings are amazing. The other side of this discussion is that all is an illusion and that the “fakes” are simply in your face illusions, however all of this is fake on some level.

    • I agree, they are amazing … it is hard to believe that the drawings are not 3D … just flat on the sidewalks. For more pictures visit the artist’s site: http://users.skynet.be/J.Beever/pave.htm
      There are even more if you do an image search for Julian Beever.

      “all is an illusion”? Oh my … I hope not .. it would seriously mess up my concrete, mathematical mind.

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