Transparent Reality

It's hard for me to watch television anymore. I know that it's all about overpaid actors, million-dollar sets and carefully crafted storylines. I know that no matter how real the show may look or how true to life it might claim to be, that just off-camera there is three men holding a microphone and two men checking the lighting.

It's hard for me to read a newspaper anymore. I know that no matter how accurate and reliable the paper claims to be that it's just another business, a business with a million opportunities for bias to sneak in. I know that journalism, my own profession, is used an manipulated like a whore for the soul purpose of making money. I've watched as some stories are pushed up and others a nudged down based solely upon which will sell the most papers or hurt the advertisers the least.

It's hard for me to do much of anything these days. Everything is manufactured like an automobile, processed like meat and packaged like a Christmas present. Gone are the days in which one man with a video camera and some talent could make a television show. Gone are the days in which a person with a press could start his own paper. Gone are the days in which things were put out in the open and the rough edges visible to the world.

Everything is so fake now, fake because it sells. We've been taught we don't need the rough edges, we don't need the truth. We want everything sugar-coated and tied together with a smiling anchor. We want to believe that perfection is possible, even if it is through computer effects and stripped-down stories.

What's worse, the last bastion of hope, the Internet, is falling from grace. The corporate world has discovered it to. Now every detail of layout is planned meticulously, every color picked to be non-offensive and word chosen by some expert who claims to know best. What of the little man who isn't perfect? The little man with drive and talent but not a lot of money? Well, sadly, he's going the way of the basement printers and the original TV hosts. The way of the dodo.

So I hope we are happy in our society without edges, in our world without imperfection. I hope we can be happy in our transparent reality. Because while perfection can be divine, it's no less fake than them smile on your anchors face and no less sinister than a smile on my own…

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