Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

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

This article was originally published by The Jerusalem Post.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Arts and Culture Features Opinion Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Late Friday night, on November 13, I was headed for bed when an ominous news bulletin flashed across my computer screen – something about a shooting in Paris. It wasn’t long before the “small number” of shootings and casualties began to double and triple and quadruple. The locations of attacks seemed crazily disorganized, and the tweets and videos became more and more horrifying. It was a long night for many stunned observers. We tried to understand what was happening, and […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Theater BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    In an interview with the Israeli site nrg on Wednesday, Belgian-Jewish stage actress Noemi Schlosser recounted immigrating to Israel after her career in Europe was destroyed by BDS. Schlosser said she had enjoyed success in Belgium and international acclaim until she was targeted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for her pro-Israel stance during Operation Protective Edge — last summer’s war against Hamas in Gaza. She described watching the theaters where she performed go from packed to nearly empty over a short period of […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    The manager of the Chelsea Football Club said on Monday that he is looking forward to playing in Israel this week against Maccabi Tel Aviv, in spite of the security situation, Israeli news site nrg reported. Jose Murinho, who is already in Israel with his team to compete against Maccabi in the Champions League soccer match, was  asked whether he was worried about the current wave of Palestinian violence sweeping the country. “I have no worries at all regarding the security situation, and neither do […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    Blaming the West has become the most pervasive method of teaching for many Middle East studies departments, which are becoming the heart of pop-culture academia. Efraim Karsh, a distinguished professor of Middle Eastern studies at Bar-Ilan University and professor emeritus at King’s College London, in his latest book The Tail Wags the Dog: International Politics and the Middle East, dispels this myth. “Britain’s ‘original sin,’ if such was indeed committed, lay not in the breaking up of Middle Eastern unity but […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About

    With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About – The Mensch on a Bench is so much happier now than he was a year ago. Look carefully and you will notice that, whereas the previous Mensch had a decidedly worried look, this latest version of the popular Hanukkah toy is flashing an exuberant grin. Is the erstwhile Mensch smiling because he expects to be in some 100,000 homes by year’s end? In truth, the change in visage was suggested last year by the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Actor Adam Sandler unveiled a new version of his famous “Chanukah Song” on Saturday, adding a slew of Jewish celebrities to the ditty’s updated lyrics. The comedian — who released the original song about being Jewish during Christmas in 1996 — performed the latest version of the comedic track during the New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall. Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, actor Jake Gyllenhaal and “the two guys who founded Google” are among the famous Jewish celebrities now in the line up. Sandler also included lyrics about Star Wars‘ Princess […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom – Famed Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman will be among the 17 recipients of America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom next week. He is the fourth Israeli to receive the highest civilian honor in the US. “A native of Israel, he came to the United States at a young age and was introduced to Americans broadly when he appeared on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1958. Mr. Perlman made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1963 when he was 18,” a White House […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots

    Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots – While Israel is a common destination for cultural and religious pilgrimages, travelers seeking the best hotels, fine dining, and upscale relaxation less often find themselves in the Holy Land. Yet in recent years, the country’s burgeoning tech scene has attracted a business crowd accustomed to ritzy accommodation. Besides, the permanent summer of Tel Aviv and Eilat makes them prime destinations for European vacationers. Israel’s populace managed to tame the swamps and irrigate the desert — so going luxury should […]

    Read more →