Monday, March 12, 2007

What is Real?


Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between that which is real and that which is made to look real. Those things that are made to look real are clever imitations that are actually designed to sell things.

When entering a grocery store you are often shown departments that mimic their counterparts in the real world where the flower shop and the bakery look like they are sitting in a bizarre replica of a main street scene. They have fake wooden barrels. They have divided glass windows in the back ground like a prop on a stage. The lighting is different in these fake shops as well.

Marketers will call this value added shopping, but I think of it as unnecessary value or value reversal, or even misguided value. It inspires me to take a little extra time and visit that stand alone bakery, florist, card shop.

It’s like visiting Disney Land. They make it look real, and you want it to be real, but in the end they have your money and you have some plastic crap that will one day end up in a land fill.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if Disney or someone created a theme park based on the suburbs where the rides would all look like commuter and school buses and the shops were in strip malls? There would be a 7-Eleven at every other intersection. Let’s not forget the graffiti and the smell of fried fast food. The actors would all wear their hats backwards and cruise the park on skate boards. There would be homeless actors. There would be things out there that are no longer hidden in the urban landscape. Our “present” is the nostalgia of the future.

Isn’t it sad to think that the children today will look fondly and romantically at the town in the paragraph above.

10 Comments:

Blogger Beth said...

Marketers/grocery stores do play on that nostalgia theme. And they do it because it works for the majority of people.
Your scenario of our present suburban settings one day being a source of nostaglia for our children makes me cringe. It could only happen if things got even worse in "our present."

7:55 AM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

A little dash of Zen flavoring today, I see.
Or was it Rod Serling?

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Auntie L said...

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day.

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt." "Does it happen all at once?" he asked.
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

There's your bit of Zen for today Moosehead and Guy and everyone else. Mom's know best!

11:05 AM  
Blogger Amaya said...

I'm hoping that Disney Land will eventually revert back to the days before computers and televisions and show what life was like during a happier time. Why would anyone be nostalgic about THIS?

12:50 PM  
Anonymous walter richards said...

"Things were better in the past." Older generations have been saying that to younger generations since the beginning of time.

Well, maybe the first generation didn't say it to the second. Although ...

"We had it much better before we crawled out of the ooze."

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Moosehead said...

Auntie I...Wow..I feel much better now...I think??

My Rabbit story involves a bear asking the rabbit if shit stuck to his fur. The Rabbit, thinking that the bear admired his unique (and may I add coveted) talent of shitting perfect little round pellets, replied no. The bear then promptly picked up the rabbit and wiped his ass with it.



Guy...drum roll...now the Zen lesson in this is......

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Auntie L said...

Thanks Moosehead!!!! I needed that bad today :)

I take back every 'tuque' and 'great white north' joke I have ever told at your expense to the Guy.

3:57 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I'm too sick to barb with any of you. See you rat bastards in the morning...

Love
Guy

9:02 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

Y'all are so cranky today! I'm usually the bitchy one!

1. Every time my dad starts talking about how great things were in the 50s, I like to point out: "Oh, you mean when there was segregation and concrete female roles?" Doesn't sound so bucolic to me.
2. We LOVE Disneyland. LOVEITLOVEITLOVEIT. Loved it as kids, as young adults, now with kids. Love it even if the lines are too long, even if it costs $49 for an adult just to pass through the gates, love it even though the front train station reminds me of the way Michael Jackson copied the design for Neverland. And they never sell cheap, plastic shit. It' always expensive plastic shit, thanks. But you can't dampen our love for it, in spite of what it really is (a money pit), or a child's undying desire to go there once before he/she dies, like Mecca.

8:42 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Yep Mo3, go figure. Mecca it is, but what is to prevent them from having in the future a ride that is based on the Crack Head School Bus Driver. These are the good old days.

5:41 AM  

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