Sunday, December 14, 2014

Real and Not-Real

Movie technology and special effects are able these days to produce very real-looking sights.  I was impressed with the movie "Underdog" and its abilities to make definitely impossible feats look fairly realistic.  Sometimes, these days, as youngsters age, they have to ask about what is real and what isn't, from traditional sources of energy and image associated with Christmas, Easter and missing teeth that have come out of the mouth by the process of maturing to animated and non-animated figures.

Do you know Prof. Don Tillman, PhD?  You might, since he is the central character in the popular and funny novel, The Rosie Project.  You might, since although Don is a fictional character, you can receive messages from him on Twitter, where Don has his own account.  I am a very light user of Facebook, but I imagine there are similar "character" accounts on that social medium, too. Of course, there are corporate departments of public relations and publicity that are listed as the source of messages, too.

When I receive a letter from the "White House" with a signature that says "Barack Obama", it seems very likely that the busy man did not himself ever touch that piece of paper, although he might have had time to approve the wording.  I suspect that he trusts others enough to have them compose the text, have the letter printed and stamped with a facsimile of his signature, without ever seeing the document.  Back when I was in high school, I heard of business letters bearing the note "Dictated but not read", meaning "I told my secretary what I wanted this letter to say but I didn't check the result of her typing."  

Suppose I take up a new activity such as rosemaling or photographing wildlife.  If I do the activity well and others are impressed, I might be told that I am a natural rosemaler or wildlife photographer.  I might wonder if I have "really" been a rosemaler all my life and just never known my real self.

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