Friday, January 11, 2013

You are They; And so am I

Pretty sure that "putting your best foot forward" is - lamp shades and scented candles aside - really just colloquial PR speak for lying.

With make up, designer clothes, and a chin held high we leave the house. The face we show to the world? Happy and confident. "Fake it 'til you make it." That's what they say. And after all, when's the last time THEY were wrong about something?

I know I'm not the first to relate that it's all smoke and mirrors. All "Quick! Look over there!" and then hiding the evidence under the rug.

And our reasons for the charades are obvious. We dont' want our secrets known, underbellies exposed. If we're convincing enough, agile enough in our very own Real Me Disappearing Act, then the world - so full of better, more perfect people - won't know how defective we truly are.

My friends, we are lily-livered little cowards.

As capitalists, we are constantly seeking to self-improve. Be the best. Excel. And to do so, we must buy. Because the products of our society are products. And I'm beginning to think the inanimate noun form, "product," and the noun/verb forms, "production," have become the measure of man.


Where is our inherent worth?


In this "Eat, Pray, Love" world we pay lip service to the bullshit mantras of "love yourself," "pamper yourself," "take care of yourself." The self has become the epicenter of our collective mindspace.

But while Narcissus had a love affair with the self, the aforementioned capitalistic obsession with self has produced dual affects: specifically speaking, a self-love/self-loathe combo.

And it's delivering a self-inflicted one-two punch.

In America, narcissism may reign supreme, but beneath that mask of "Hey, ain't I awesome!" lies the leprous face of insecurity, doubt, and shame that somehow refuses to stay buried under mountains of market.

Seems that amid all the make-up, plastic surgery, sports cars, mountain homes, trophy wives and the traditional mid-life banging of the young, hot secretary, we're still miserably unhappy.

We have all we've ever wanted - or are avidly pursuing it like rabid manbearpigs - but we're still so fucking preoccupied with nit-picking ourselves that, left to our own devices, we poke and prod 'til the mirror reflects the very monsters and demons we see inside.

So we deflect.

Deflect the reflection.

And then we hide it.

We fake it.

We "fake it 'til we make it."


We "put our best foot forward."


Why are we so insecure about who we are?

Why do we feel the need to hide behind a false face?

Why have "vulnerability" and "fallibility" become synonymous with "liability"?

And why must we lie about it?


My father recently told me never to say anything negative on a job interview.

He related - with guilt still fresh despite the expiration date on the memory - that on his first interview after graduating from Georgia Tech, the man across the table asked how Daddy-O felt about the education he'd received at alma mater. My father responded honestly.

"I felt it stifled my creativity," he said.

Apparently, this? Was not the right answer.

To this day, padre knows - and laments - that he lost the lucrative position because his answer, though honest, wasn't upbeat.

And you know what?

He may be right.

Because people like positive people. Friendly people. Outgoing people.

People like pretty people.

And ain't none of us always all of these things.

So we fake it.

We fake it 'til we make it.

'Cause that's what THEY tell us to do.

And THEY? - though comprised of fallible, loathable, hideously imperfect "us"es - are never wrong.

That makes sense.


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