People are so varied that sometimes, just when you least expect it, an individual will emerge from an unlikely and obscure place and their story will take on a life of its’ own. There are the bona-fide experts on subjects who make ridiculous statements with all the seriousness they can muster, and some – Edward De Bono – are even taken seriously by people who should know better. There are the bored code-monkeys who discovered how to make money from thin air, kids who fool the world with balloon-related pranks, and actors jumping up and down on Oprah’s sofa.
Great way to prove you ain’t gay, Tom…
Oh the joys of seeing the things that go on. If I tried to write a novel which encompassed the absurdities of life, and kept strictly to things which have actually occurred, it would be laughed out of town as unbelievable. Life is complicated, and sexy, and hilarious, and ridiculous, and disgusting, and horrifying… Simplifications of what our existence amounts to in fiction makes reality even more ridiculous when viewed through sober eyes and a clear mind.
It’s hard to put down on paper (or type, as I do) fiction that contains just enough absurdity to reflect reality, but doesn’t fall into unbelievability. I still haven’t worked out if I should try to explain why people are so wrong when they claim that some fiction is like life ripped from reality and pasted on the page. Does it matter that such a feat is impossible? The ailments, observations, minutia, boring bits, slapstick and bowel movements of the average person (though such an individual arguably does not exist) cannot be captured on paper without some degree of editing.
“Literary” still has some growing up to do before I take it seriously.
Any ‘reality’ is a skewed one when put on paper. The digital superhighway – such a stupid term, but a useful way of comparing the internet to a neverending traffic jam – is filled with supposedly ‘real’ moments in private lives. I’ve got no time for moronic “Lookit me, I’m setting my head on fire” videos, and even less time for ten-minute-long videos of people bemoaning their pathetic existence. It isn’t real, because the artifice of display gets in-between the truth and the viewer. Big Brother, whilst listed as a ‘reality show’ is merely the end result of focus groups and sadistic producers. No reality involved.
I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and websites this past week which seem inclined to accept stories in newspapers at face value. The habit certain individuals have gotten into, of merely saying whatever in the news interests them, is a bad one. I’m tempted to start linking to these blogs and taking apart the news they hold dear, but I really don’t want to re-read their take on the news. Which is, as any intelligent person can see from the cover of a newspaper, nearly always skewed and distorted by reporters and editors.
One of the funniest things about British news is the insistence that half-naked women are of urgent importance and news worthiness. No. Sorry, but I’m not impressed. It’s trifling and irrelevant scum journalism which borders on the stalker-ish. Two-page spreads on forthcoming television shows? Hackery of the worst kind. Giveaways? That’s a sure way to increase readership, especially when a national tabloid decides that cartoon DVDs will boost readership. Can I say “The Sun / Daily Star / Daily Record was grooming children” without a lawsuit? Fuck yeah. Try and stop me.
Only when all barriers between subject and audience has been removed will reality be represented in anything other than a superficial and meaningless way, and we ought to start taking what we see, hear and read with a pinch of salt. It is especially important that people come to realize that Hollywood – that legendary vile den of iniquity – shoulders a fair proportion of the blame for ills which are now, sadly, all too common. Anorexia? Thank the airbrushed posters of skeletal good-for-nothings celebrities.
The rise in breast implants? Posters of Keira Knightley with massive tits ain’t fooling anyone. I’m shocked that people believe the ‘perfect people’ are free of cellulite, blemishes and zits; elevated individuals who have never experienced the delights of either diarrhea nor broken noses… It’s dangerous portrayals of ‘the body beautiful’ which infect minds and begin the slow descent into self-awareness in teenagers. And younger. Can’t we, as a species, accept that we’re fed so much bullshit from the media?
Yeesh, that’s a rant and a half… I’m stopping before I upset anyone else. If I’ve missed any targets, please let me know who to lay into next.