There’s a whole lotta fake living going on.
And we’re be deprived of real living.
But maybe it’s always been this way.
I mean, obviously people have been putting on airs and pretending to be better than they are and putting up facades to cover vulnerability for as long as we humans have been comparing ourselves to one another.
But now we have plastic.
We cover our houses in plastic that’s supposed to look like wood. We erect fences that are supposed to look like wood. Our cars have fake wood features and fake metal details that’s all just plastic. Our vehicle’s bumpers are plastic and not even metal!
We busy ourselves quite a lot replacing original materials that are what they actually look like with plastic versions that are meant to fake us out.
It’s pretend. It’s make-believe.
And lort, I’ll get started another day on what the absolute hell is going on in the world of “replacement” windows. Not enough people are talking about the environmental impact of what I call Barbie Dreamhouse windows (because that’s what they actually are—sorry, Barbie.)
It’s criminal what we’re doing to our planet via the replacement cycle being peddled to us by the plastic window pimps.
The plastic and the fake are in our system
But it’s not just fake, make-believe versions of real things.
We also wrap the majority of our goods in plastic, including our food, as we well know. We even wrap cars and boats in giant swaths of plastic, and clothe our children in plastic upon plastic diapers for years of their life. We have plastics in our skincare and body products, too.
Plastic is in our system at this point.
Figuratively and literally.
Plastic is literally in our water and soil and inside our bodies now.
It’s safe to say that we have embraced the plastic.
Now look, I’m not going to act like I never use plastic and don’t like plastic. I like plastic a’plenty and am happy to use it where it’s used best.
My beef is that, like pharmaceuticals, we had a good thing, but now we’re out of control.
It was a good idea at first
Because as with pharmaceuticals, I’m ever grateful for the thyroid medication that keeps me from croaking earlier than not. Seriously, that stuff keeps me alive. I’m really happy that human brains have come up with this.
And to let you in on something cool, my own grandfather was a chemist who was highly instrumental in doing whatever it is that has to be done to combine many vital minerals (“vitamins”) into one pill. This is fabulous! (But that’s all the ‘splaining on that I’m going to do—the chemistry gene passed me by.)
So dayum, I love that we have all this inventiveness. Our brains are miraculous tools!
But also dayum, when watching television means we’re peddled drugs like they’re snacks, we’re out of control.
Obviously greed and profit are driving the fact that we see at least 50% pharmaceutical ads on TV (and in magazines, have you noticed?), but that’s another story for another day.
Except that it’s not.
Because plastic’s now the same way.
It used to be that we used phrases like “cheap plastic crap from China.”
But now we use plastic a helluva lot more than ever simply because we’ve made it cheaper than the alternatives: glass, metal, wood, cloth, etc.
I appreciate like crazy what we can do with plastic and its ilk.
And today’s not the first day I’ll say that I can’t possibly appreciate more than I already do the teeny-tiny little discs of what appears to be saran wrap (but is some kind of polymer, of course) that are my contact lenses. This technology is a modern-day miracle! I flipping love my contact lenses!
But dayum again when I say, we don’t need so damned much of our life to be plastic.
We don’t need so damned much of our life to be fake.
Fake, plastic, and out of control
A little fake in our collective life is fun and even purposeful (see: Dolly Parton).
And full disclosure, I love me some vinyl go-go boots—and that is truly some fake shit right there. I also love my 7″ and 8″ “Pleasers,” which is a stripper-shoe company where the shoes are pretty much all plastic and vinyl. But this mess is fun, and fun serves a legit purpose that’s not all about replacing real life with a cheaper, more profitable version of real life.
(You can see a picture of me wearing my silver and my red Pleasers HERE—photos are at the bottom.)
What I’m saying is that when we lack foresight, discipline, and just plain common sense to the point that our clever brains become overgrown with greed a la pharmaceuticals and plastics, we end up living fake lives.
In the case of our myriad drugs, with more being developed even while we sleep, we don’t learn a thing about the source of our ailments—we just know we can slap something on them.
We all know about the cascade, though, where one drug’s side-effects lead to another drug, which leads to more side effects and another drug, ad nauseum. We’re all aware of this.
The trouble is, looking to our bodies for the source of the ailment isn’t part of our paradigm. We’ve trained ourselves to stay on the surface and look no further.
In the case of plastic living, we end up replacing so many things that are real with a plastic version that we’re not only encased in plastics that are constantly off-gassing, we’re also removing ourselves further and further from the actual versions of things and what they were originally intended for, used as, and made of.
(Yes, English sticklers, I did just use all those floppy, dangling prepositions.)
So we end up living these clouded-over faked-out lives where we’ve removed ourselves from the sources of things and the actual, real things themselves.
Fake living deprives us of real living—
as in, wood-like plastic is not wood
But most importantly, when we use our clever brains to figure out ways to fake out reality, we stop ourself short of more discovery.
Instead of patching and patching and patching up our bodies some more, we could be learning to understand our bodies and what they’re telling us.
Instead of living a life where we replace real things with fake versions of real things, we could be using our endless supply of creativity to discover new ways of using raw materials. And I’m talking about materials that don’t destroy and deplete our planet or require slave (and child) labor to obtain.
What I’m saying is that fake living deprives of us real living.
Real life is messier than the fake version.
But not that messy is a bad thing. Messy means that we’re not afraid to proceed. Messy means that we’re okay with things that aren’t airbrushed or things that are nice on the surface but plastic when you look up close.
Messy gets us closer to who we really are rather than further from what’s really, truly, actually real.
And what’s really, truly, actually real is so, so much more beautiful than imitation and fake-outs.
But then there’s reality at its best
Real living puts us so much more in touch with our beautiful planet, with each other, and with life itself.
When we experience life in these bodies on this planet from a real place, then we have all our senses about us.
We can smell real smells rather than the produced-in-a-lab version that we plug into an outlet.
We can touch a stone wall that’s not a plastic version of a stone wall.
We can taste (and smell) a real tomato rather than a pithy, hybridized-but-travels-well version.
We can treat our health as a work in progress that we’re intimately involved with and can learn from rather than a series of problems to be eradicated and band-aid-ed.
You get my drift.
We can get up close to real life rather than creating distance from reality with our plastic replacements of so much that is real and doesn’t need to be otherwise.
We’ve got all these amazing inventions, but we’re grabbing it all up like a bunch of freebies in a tote bag, as if this is the best we can do.
We don’t have to do that, though. We can be selective about what we really do want and need.
We can start asking how removed we want to be from what’s real.
Simply put, we gotta back off of all this plastic, because we’re making the essence of our lives plastic… in more ways than literally.
We’re faking ourselves out of real life.
And I’m pretty sure that’s not our aim.
How about something real, starting today?
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