I am going to admit that I loved the Cure in college. You know the band with the guy with the weird eye makeup. Robert Smith. He was so moody and so catchy. Probably not a real catch in real life. But who am I to even say that? He is probably perfectly nice and funny. I don’t even know how it is that I got stuck on Robert Smith’s characteristics. Let me move on rapidly. They had this great song (well, they had many. But I digress again. Oh my!). This one song of theirs that has been running in my head repeatedly these days is called Pictures of You; with the lyrics of:
I’ve been looking so long at these pictures of you
That I almost believe that they’re real
That song came out in 1989. A lifetime ago. Yet, it could have been released yesterday as it is so appropriate for society as a whole right now. I was looking at In Touch Magazine photo spread that had a collage photos of Brad and Jen. There is one photo in particular that gets me every time. It is the one on which they are walking on the beach with their arms around each other, leaning onto one another. Who would have thought that same week (a few days later) a divorce announcement was coming? Jennifer Aniston probably stared at that photo wondering how did it all turn out to not be real?
So many photos that are posted on social media these days are just meant to convey a story and an image and may not be real in any way. But so often we want them to be real. We stare at the photos and we hope and even believe, against all odds. We fool ourselves into thinking those images are real. And, then are flabbergasted when they turn out to be fake. The fact that every new phone has a new and improved camera that allows for more and more image manipulation should tell us something. We don’t want the full effect of reality.
I came across a photo of someone I don’t really talk to anymore. They are holding a glass of wine in the photo. Yet, they never drink. Or at least the person I knew that person to be didn’t drink. I racked my brain as to what this person was trying to convey with said photo. I had seen this photograph before we stopped talking and thought it odd but didn’t think it through any further. I do have better things to do with my life than trying to decode a false image. Yet, it re-entered my consciousness recently as proof of how that person was never real. They were always trying to cultivate and stage a persona. They were always on. I just hadn’t bothered to care. I still don’t other than it does remind me that every once in a while, I do have to listen to those signals. When people broadcast these fake images of themselves, believe them for what they are. It is akin to the idea and method of conceptual photography (artists have explored it as a means to stage a false reality, or capture an idea). Except that this is possibly a bit more nefarious and your spidey sense should perk up.
That’s my bit of advice today.