This morning, very early, Florence and I sat huddled in my car waiting for the bus to arrive.
Heater, doing its best, radio, leaking a dirge of bleak news.
Suddenly we both began to laugh in a ‘I can’t believe what I’m seeing’ sort of wheeze. We wait at the same spot every morning, a familiar street in a town that loves itself. And every morning, at about the same time a long silver Mercedes lurches to a halt and double parks next to us. Out pops a boy with a bag over his shoulder and off he jogs down the drive of a Victorian villa to deliver the morning paper. Then, he pops back into the long silver Mercedes and is driven 50 yards to the next delivery point.
That’s service for you.
That’s Hale for you says Flo with a flounce as she heads off to a day at the coal face. Deep level mining with her blue stocking friends. She hates it. But pretends not to. Her first words this morning, still droopy from sleep – it’s just a rat race. I bombard her with platitudes to persuade her otherwise, pointless, she sees through me.
She gets on the bus and I wave and smile, and sigh all at once.
I have parked close to where I once lived. In fact outside the house of my neighbours. But that should read neighbour, because today is the funeral of one of them. Kay died last week. She was a stunning woman, always dressed for the day, glamorous and kind. She had cancer of the throat, and when we spoke about it she thought it might be related to asbestos exposure. I thought it might be related to her smoking. But then deny, deny, deny is our latest zeitgeist.
We are all frauds. From phony paperboys, to simulated motherhood. Bogus banking and artificial lives. We live in denial, playing the part, walking the walk, talking the gibberish. Goffman says actors, Giddens says narrators. I say fakes.
Yesterday Bruce Hood clipped this blog. He is interested in the psychology of objects. The rationale of fakery.
It intrigues me that we live a life of smoke and mirrors, yet when it comes to objects as fakes, there is a sharp intake of breath. A copy? Me thinks not, only the original will do.
Mark Jones, in The Art of Deception (1990) claims;
“Fakes… are keys to understanding the changing nature of our vision of the past… as subverters of aesthetic certainties, they deserve our closer attention, while as the most entertaining monuments to the wayward talents of generations of gifted rogues they claim our reluctant admiration.”
Keep it real?
What’s the point.