The Age of Fakery

December 16, 2013 12:45 am 0 comments

President Obama greets Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's Memorial Service. Photo: Reuters.

In an age of utter fakery, when the line distinguishing what’s authentic from what’s a sham gets narrower by the nanosecond, it’s hard to know, having read it on the Internet, if we’re in the matrix or not.

Just this week the virtual news world was filled with a report about “a team of physicists who’ve provided some of the clearest evidence (evidence mind you) that our Universe could just be one big projection or hologram.”

While that earth shattering theory has been talked about by philosophers and scientists since Plato, it’s taken greater hold lately due to the fact that, on an everyday level, we seem to be living — racing towards — a made up world via simulations at every turn. So surely, because of this, the thinking goes, the entire Universe must all be virtual as well.

Given that at every turn we’re met by a glass screen beckoning us to enter a hypothetical hall of mirrors on a “smart device”, allowing our minds to travel untethered anywhere, we begin to believe that we are, in reality, actually transcending space time.

And because we live in a world where media cannot not be found, and we are so accustomed to it always there, always on, we reference it before we even look to the reality it’s supposed to be displaying.

Racing towards this brave new world, just this week, the startup Oculus VR raised $75 million to market its virtual-reality headset, called Oculus Rift, which users mount on their heads. Usually used just for gaming, Mark Andreessen of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz said, “We believe Oculus will not only alter the gaming landscape, but will redefine fundamental human experiences in areas like film, education, architecture, and design.”

If you currently get sidewalk rage trailing behind a person who’s slowly sauntering along in front of you glued to their iPhone, just imagine what’s in store!

Clairvoyantly, the postmodern philosopher Jean Baudrillard saw this phenomenon in his own crystal ball back in the early 1980s as hyperreality, using the metaphor of a map so detailed that it ends up taking the place of that which it is referencing.

Now understandably, for many who are just too busy in the “real” world, working and slaving at their jobs, all of this is nothing but post-modern, self-indulgent, self-important bunk. Which leads me to President Obama.

At the same time news was traveling at warp speed that our Universe was a fake, our world witnessed Obama’s speech in South Africa at former SA President Nelson Mandela’s funeral, which was transmitted for viewers over satellite. Obama, the ultimate post-modern President, known for his celebrity and on camera persona, where every element is staged neatly for the camera, who was whisked into office via a faux stage in a giant outdoor arena and projected onto a jumbotron at his first DNC convention at Mile High Stadium, was simulated (dangerously so) by a deranged schizophrenic who, not only faked sign language, but had a violent history to boot.

The man doing the signing, Thamsanqu Jantijie, had previously been charged with murder, attempted murder and kidnapping in 2003. He also faced rape and theft charges in 1994, housebreaking charges in 1997, and malicious damage to property charges in 1998. Like having his own virtual reality helmet on and projecting his show for the rest of us, he claimed he was in the midst of a schizophrenic episode during the ceremony, causing him to hallucinate and hear voices.

Ironically, the best (well, most entertaining) account of this Truman Show was from “The Colbert Report”, a fake news show on Comedy Central that turned the warped circus mirror of hard to believe real news back at us, depicting the absurdity in its typical mocking style.

That the actual event in South Africa really happened, that it was not some trick, and not some Saturday Night Live sketch, was for many in the Twittersphere, just too hard to believe.

Indeed we’ve become so accustomed to fake everything, that we don’t believe it when it is real. I recently taught a group of seventh graders about Nazi propaganda and they truly thought the photos and images of the crowds at Nuremberg, because they were so vast, had to be doctored in Photoshop. They didn’t just think it. They were adamant they were fake.

Years ago, before there was a movie, “The Matrix”, back when tape recorders were the it thing, Memorex ran a commercial with the line, “Is it live or is it Memorex?” The clarity of the tape was so sharp, the sound so identical to Ella Fitzgerald’s voice that it was hard to tell them apart. If the commercial ran today, it’d be the reverse. We’d first look to the tape and then judge if reality matched up with what we perceive it to be.

Abe Novick is a writer and communications consultant and can be reached at abebuzz.com.

This article was originally published by The Jerusalem Post.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot is in negotiations to take on the female lead role in the remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the deal is finalized Gadot will play Esther, a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. Actor Jack Huston will star as the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his childhood friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur fights for his freedom and vengeance with the help of Morgan Freeman’s character, who trains Ben-Hur how to win at chariot-racing. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    JNS.org – Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie are the American dream. So why do two young men who have built their lives in Israel have a GoFundMe crowd-funding webpage with the urgent message that they need $3,000 to travel to the U.S. to watch the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles square off for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League championship? Brothers Naftali and Yoni Schwartz, 27 and 25, respectively, are Kansas City natives. Even though they made aliyah with their [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Some 3,000 years ago, King David probably never imagined cars racing at 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour) through the ancient capital of the Jewish people. But on Monday and Tuesday, October 6-7, thousands of Israelis lined the streets to watch Porsche, Audi, and Ferrari race cars fly through the capital against the backdrop of the Tower of David, the Old City Walls, and other city landmarks. The second annual non-competitive Jerusalem Formula One Road Show had been [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James expressed interest in visiting Israel someday, local news site Cleveland.com reported on Sunday. Speaking to Israeli reporters before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason debut against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the NBA star said he had never visited the Jewish state but “I want to look forward to going there if I get an opportunity to.” When asked by an Israeli reporter if there was “any chance that LeBron James and Cleveland comes to Tel Aviv,” the athlete said [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    A Florida-based Chabad rabbi put former basketball star, U.S. Congressman Curt Clawson to shame on the court when the two faced off one-on-one recently. A YouTube video, posted online on Tuesday, shows Rabbi Fishel Zaklos of Chabad of Naples shooting hoops with the Florida politician, who played basketball in high school and at Purdue University in Indiana. The game took place in the parking lot of the Chabad Jewish center run by Zaklos. During the 1-minute clip, Zaklos scores two impressive [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Rout Maccabi Tel Aviv, 107-80

    David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Rout Maccabi Tel Aviv, 107-80

    JNS.org – Less than five months after leading Maccabi Tel Aviv to its sixth European basketball title, David Blatt, now the head coach of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, routed his former team in an exhibition game on Sunday, with the Cavaliers dominating Maccabi 107-80 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The 20,562 fans in attendance witnessed Lebron James’s first appearance in a Cavaliers uniform since he left the club in free agency for the Miami Heat four years ago. [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Jewish New York Giants Guard Plans to Fast on Yom Kippur

    Jewish New York Giants Guard Plans to Fast on Yom Kippur

    New York Giants offensive guard Geoff Schwartz said on Wednesday that he will not eat anything between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday in observation of Yom Kippur, ESPN reported. “If I was playing, I wouldn’t fast, because I’ve got to be able to fuel myself to play,” said the Jewish athlete, who is on short-term leave due to a toe injury. “But it’s not that tough, really. I’ll eat dinner at 5:00 Friday, then I’ll go to services and I’ll just [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    JNS.org – What would you do if you found out that you had only three more months to live? Gordon Zacks was a successful businessman, a leader of Jewish life, and a confidante and adviser to President George H.W. Bush. He knew that he had prostate cancer, but doctors advised him that it was very slow-growing and nothing to worry about. Then came the day when the doctors told him his cancer metastasized to his liver, and that he had [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.