When Pretending Beats "Getting Real"
There's a "real" epidemic sweeping the country, and it's frightening indeed.
It's not the terrifying airborne illness depicted in the Matt Damon-helmed fright fest, Contagion,which threatens to wipe out half the planet. (I will not be seeing this movie as I'm neurotic enough about germs, crowds and illnesses. I'd never leave the house again.)
Nor am I referring to the glut of "reality" television programs, which purport to show the real lives of the Bimbos...er, Housewives of New Jersey, New York, California, etc. There's nothing real about any of that, unless you count how "really" horrible are the individuals who populate the shows.
No, this beast is far more frightening, espoused as it is by the likes of Oprah, Anderson Cooper, Hillary Clinton and others whom the masses follow like sheep to the slaughter.
This is about "getting real," or, the call to be..."authentic."
In a New York Times article appearing last week, Stephanie Rosenbloom chronicles the use of the latest buzzword bandied about by media types, politicians and anyone else desperate to be taken seriously.
There are only two problems. First, everyone jumping on the bandwagon touting their authenticity is either on television, trying to get on television, holding political office, running for political office or filling in a profile on a dating site and trying mightily to convince potential mates that he/she is the "real" deal. Not one of the above scenarios encourages the transparency genuine authenticity demands.
Which brings us to problem number two. I'm not sure I want to see anyone's "real" self.
My real self is, by turns, frazzled, grumpy, frustrated, impatient, sloppy and occasionally, rude. I can't imagine why anyone would want to see that. Frankly, I don't think a little pretense is such a bad thing. To that end, I try and hide my real self behind a carefully constructed veneer of politeness, slapping a smile on my face and partaking in the civility required to live in a law-abiding society.Continued on the next page