Saturday, September 24, 2016

What Is Real And What Is Not?

Hello, again.

Some time ago, I read a blog post that used the phrase "fake food, fake people, fake reality". I wish I could remember who wrote it, because the post was well written.  The phrase now runs through my head on a regular basis whenever I see, hear, or read about something that strikes me either as truly genuine or completely not.

Let's cover food, first, shall we? I have had the pleasure of training under a master chef. This person has decades of experience and can, in his kitchen at home, turn out food that's better than what you get at many restaurants. I learned a lot from him, about many things. Food is such a key part of life, but in our modern society (and here, I'm referring to the United States), we now have more fake food than real. Tomatoes that look perfect and have almost no flavor. Products ranging from ice cream to baby food that are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Frozen foods that have been processed to the point of losing most of their nutritional value.

I reject all of it. I buy heirloom variety tomatoes that are often downright ugly that just pop with flavor. I do not ever, and I mean ever, buy anything that's sweetened with anything other than sugar. And I cook my meals from scratch. It really doesn't take that much more time than reheating something from a can does. A few weeks ago, I made hamburgers and coleslaw for three people. The dressing for the coleslaw took ten minutes to make and then I mixed it with carrots and cabbage, popped it into the refrigerator and let it sit for twelve hours. Seasoning, steaming and putting the burgers on buns took all of ten minutes.

Fake people. Imagine someone who talks a good game but never actually does what is needed to back things up. Or imagine someone who always chases the latest trend in fashion, or music, or something else while slowly abandoning the things that made them a good and interesting person in the first place. Is this making any sense?

Fake reality. Online reality. Whatever you call it, it's not real and it never will be. I was one of the first people I know who moved a good portion of their life online, and I'm one of the few that's moved most of it back offline. Put down the damn cell phone, people! Turn to the person next to you and talk to him or her.

We all crave human contact, it's hard wired into us as a result of thousands of years worth of evolution. Don't fight it. Embrace it, revel in it, treasure it.

Yes, I use a cell phone. Yes, I use it to text friends. But I use it as a tool, and only as a tool. It's an obsolete model. It can't download apps, or send live video, or play games. I send a text, and respond to ones sent to me. I call my mother, my cousin, and a few other people who prefer actual talking to texting. That's all I do with it.

Tomorrow, I will post about how over the last year, I've embraced and gone ever deeper into a retro 1970s/early 1980s life style.

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