Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Real vs. Surreal
I want to pose an idea.
We should live a life based in the real, not the surreal. The surreal supposes unrealistic grandeur, which is posed in many forms as reality, but is in fact scripted, and fantasy. Reality is tangible, gritty, and effective. Surreality is not - it is blinding and lacks truth.
Let me toss you a few ideas of how culture succumbs to the surreal versus the real... (these examples may frustrate you, but that's kind of the point)
-Reality Television: there's no reality in 24 hour cameras, scripted scenarios, larger-than-life characters; and yet many try and emulate our reality tv stars.
-Planned Obsolescence: this is the manufacturing model that produces products with a planned life-span, which forces the consumer to re-buy "new and better" products. It makes sense on paper, but eventually the consumer will no longer tolerate it, and the companies that produce products that last and endure, will win. The pendulum is finally swinging in the right direction here!
-Ethanol: over 40% of our corn production is being used for an alternative fuel that burns faster and worse than gasoline. We simply cannot sustain an economy that burns its food, while people are starving.
-War: the idea that, "if we just kill enough of the enemy," we will win over the hearts and minds of those we are in conflict with, and peace will reign is a lie. History shows that redemptive violence will never bring peace.
-Ending Poverty: It's estimated that $150 Billion dollars could end global poverty (bringing food, clean water, shelter, medicine, and education to the impoverished world). The surreal says that "we'll never end poverty." In fact, it would be a drop in the bucket. The US alone spent $14 Billion bailing out our auto manufacturers, $700 Billion on the bank bailout, and over $2.4 Trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Money is not the issue!
-Consumption: this is the lie that if we just have more, we'll be happy.
I believe that the cure is more creativity! When our leaders stop expecting new results while employing failed methods, we will start to resemble reality, and true, tangible change will occur.
Please feel free to chime in. I want your thoughts!