Chasing Illusions, Are We?

  That online social life, though! Money, toys, fame, happiness … illusion. Now more than ever, we have the ability to portray ourselves as anything but who we really are. Through apps, we can change our age, body type, weight, gender, we can pretend to be whomever we want. LITERALLY, I have a good friend who has been dating a woman for YEARS that he found online. They haven’t met face-to-face ONCE! They talk on the phone, they send pictures to each other, but they’ve never met. His online gf could be a man and he wouldn’t know it… makes me think of the Pixar WALL-E movie.

  Fake news outlets? How about we start with INSTAGRAM! When you scroll through your socials from day to day, all you’re seeing is a portrayal of the purveyor’s idea of what success looks like. I recently did a photoshoot where I’m sitting inside of a 1964 Lincoln, wearing gold pants and a cigarette in full burn. 4 things to note: 1) I don’t own a ’64 Lincoln, 2) I only wear gold pants at shows or for music themed events, 3) I don’t smoke tobacco, 4) I only posted good pics from the shoot - nothing that would make me look unpleasant. Why? 3 reasons: 1) I think I look so goooood in the photos, 2) I’m promoting a product, 3) Shiny, expensive STUFF makes you look cool in our culture. Everyone knows, if you have a lot of stuff you have a lot of (fake?) friends. We all want to associate ourselves with what is “cool”. If you’re not “cool”, you’re not a part of the “in-crowd”. It’s Social Apartheid. Not only is the “cool” rule a real problem in high school, it’s even more intense as you rise through the ranks of whatever industry you’re in. You play the game to get a seat at the table. Even though we have many of the same tools at our fingertips as everyone else, the general public tend to forget, what they’re seeing online is fake.

  Take artist The Weeknd. I love the “STARBOY” song he did with Daft Punk. Great beat. The song is about high-end cars. A Roadster SV, a blue Mulsanne, a P1, he mentions all that stuff. Why? Image. He’s portraying his ability to earn those things. Since he has luxury cars NOT on lease (hehe), that means he’s got $$$ and lots of it. If he’s got money, he’s got security. If he’s got security, he’s got women. If he gots women, all the boys want to be him. If all the boys want to be him, he’s the most popular… aaaaaand we’re back in high school.

  The portrayal has become the lie and the lie has become what everyone is chasing. “If I only had those things!”, “If I could only have a sliver of that recognition.” We all want to sit in the seat of honor - we don’t want to drink the cup of sacrifice. We see cool guy in the music video with all this stuff. What we don’t see is the cup of pain the man had to drink to get there. Holed up in the studio until 4am, in dance classes for hours on end, vocal lessons, traversing the globe to perform this show and another interview, back to the studio, sleepless nights, family members in hospital, homesickness, trolls on the internet, jet lag, losing friends. So keep that in mind when you see someone’s life in an Instagram post. Most likey… it’s an ILLUSION!


Ben UnionComment