Saturday, August 20, 2011

Unreal People

I don’t care that people are fake, because I think they are unreal. There is a difference between the two you see.

‘Fake’ implies imitation of some sort; a fake plant may be made of plastic and fake fruit from wax. Where one or more of the fundamental characteristics are altered in such a way as to have a significant impact on the interactions one would have, or expect to have with such an object. For example, you wouldn’t need to water a fake plant and find a sunny spot to place it, and you’d be wise not to consume a wax banana. Artificial flavours and smells are known to originate from sources entirely different from the things which they are intended to imitate. A fake chair made from a thin layer of paper would be unsuitable for sitting on, whereas the primary purpose of a ‘real chair’ is generally to allow someone to sit in relative comfort.

‘Unreal’, while similar, does not imply the exact same things as ‘fake’ does. The qualities that make something unreal seem to be even less tangible and more abstract. It might be said to be beyond our comprehension what it is at the core of something that makes us label it ‘unreal’.

The general substance that makes up something ‘fake’ is always real, but something ‘unreal’ appears fundamentally so.

People are traditionally labelled ‘fake’ when their beliefs do not correspond to their actions, or vice versa, and when their behaviour acts as a thin veneer to conceal their thoughts. Instead of being an accurate reflection of their thoughts and emotions, their behaviour is an imitation of what may be expected of them, or what they believe is necessary given the situation. They are ‘two-faced’.

This much is obvious. However, I have recently discovered that humans are unreal in addition to being ‘fake’ in the traditional sense.

I can read words, hear voices, see faces, and even occasionally make physical contact with them, yet they remain unreal and elusively distant from me.

It’s not that I consciously believe people to be just realistic projections of some kind, but sometimes my reactions to them imply that I do think them to be.

Humans are unreal because they appear to be fake – imitations of some unknown standard or blueprint, yet all currently available methods appear to verify that they are indeed genuinely genuine. A fake moustache is obviously fake because it’s made from plastic, attached to a fake nose and fake glasses, but it is not unreal. A human on the other hand, warrants its ‘unreal’ title by virtue of its apparent and unexplainable, unidentifiable ‘fakeness’. The source of its fake quality is not readily available upon inspection, whereas the moustache can be easily removed in the name of science.

I must admit, that the closer I am to a human, the more their unrealness diminishes. But it is more than a hint of suspicion that remains, even in a cell-to-cell state of proximity. It’ll take far more than intercourse to convince me.

The gap between myself and empathy is unspeakably large on average. Quite naturally and understandably, it is difficult to empathise with something whose very existence you hold in question. The demands of deities fail to inspire me, and I feel no love for dying unicorns.

Maybe I’m just inhuman. It would go a long way to explaining many things, especially when invoking Occam’s razor.

Perhaps once you strip away all the fuzzy labelling and unfit generalisations it becomes impossible to feel anything poetic for a fleshy bag of bones and impulses, let alone any variation of ‘love’. Skin is only ‘loveable’ in a very visceral sense, what people really love is ideas and concepts - fluid things that cannot be pinned down long enough to be sufficiently scrutinized.

So, where a crack appears we paper over it with engrossing and exciting-seeming stories that actually lead nowhere, and certainly no closer to bridging what is beginning to look more and more like a gaping gulf.

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