Nothing Is Real

June 18, 2015

Yet that is how stupid you must pretend to be if you want to hold socially acceptable opinions! There is no such thing as race!

It is a short step from that level of willful self-enstupidation to the bizarre “transracial” delusions of Rachel Dolezal, the NAACP leader and Africana-studies teacher who has two white parents but believes herself to be black.

Flickering screens: A hundred years ago, when we first began to watch flickering screens for amusement, representations of reality predominated. There were cartoon films almost from the beginning (Felix the Cat, 1919), but nobody mistook their moving blobs and stick figures for real live objects.


William Friedkin, the Oscar-winning director of The French Connection and The Exorcist, has dismissed the modern craze for superhero and sci-fi movies…. “Films used to be rooted in gravity. They were about real people doing real things. Today cinema in America is all about Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Avengers, Hunger Games: all kinds of stuff that I have no interest in seeing at all.”

Religion as a lens: When people stop believing in God, the old quip goes, they don’t believe in nothing; they believe in anything.

Very serious, practical people—statesmen, generals, industrialists, engineers—often used to be deeply religious, holding the unreal—the transcendent, if you want to be polite—corralled in one part of their mind while the rest grappled with reality. Religion focused wishful thinking—kindly Sky Fathers listening to our prayers, wisps of immortal spirit-stuff in our heads—into a coherent set of ideas and habits.

With that focusing lens gone, wishful thinking runs amok. “I feel female/black, so I am female/black!” “Race creates tensions we don’t know how to manage, so let’s pretend it doesn’t exist!”

Nothing is real

And nothing to get hung about.

Strawberry Fields forever

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