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Piggy-Backing on “Higher Eclectica” (August 16) Post — Authenticity and the Pseudo–Intellectual

August 18, 2008

Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.
Strawberry Fields forever.
Strawberry Fields forever.
Strawberry Fields forever.

I don’t want to sound like I’m condemning our lifestyle as a whole, but I am often wishing we as a population had a better sense of how to choose between the “theme park” experiences and those experiences that are more real or more fundamental to an authentic reality. I’m listening to the radio program “On Point,” and discussion with author Richard Todd is enlivening. The topic is always timely, and never more than now, when so much of our Identity is pre-packaged, awaiting our purchase…; the documentary “The Ad and the Ego” comes to mind: “your happiness is at the end of the next transaction…” and the Gap ad: “YOU”VE GOTTA GET THIS LOOK!” …ughghgh! heaven help us.

What’s real, what matters? how can we tell when we are getting close to what really counts for us?

On Point: “Even the opening ceremony of the Chinese Olympics, with lip syncing and fabricated video…” were we surprised? and how does this relate to our own search for the genuine, for the aesthetically comforting; for what helps us as individuals and as a culture.

We’ve lived under various edicts of how to live for a long time. “The good life” and what that means has been sought after since at least classical times– for Socrates, Plato, Aristotle et al, the subject infused their every thought. One caller refers to Longinus’s “On the Sublime” –suggests we try to find basic values inside ourselves. Are there any? or are we peeling away layers of the self to find it’s only layers all the way down?

MORE WILL BE REVEALED

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