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What’s REAL-LY Happening?


I have a real problem.  It is really, really bothering me and for real it’s getting worse!

It all came boiling up in me today!  I saw one of those “Buy on TV” commercials and couldn’t believe what I was seeing!  It was a commercial for what is called the “Perfect Polly,” what it is is a fake parakeet that looks something like a real one, but “without the mess, cost and care” that real ones require. Huh? Yes! And it showed a family of all ages “playing with it” on their fingers, and kissing it as if it was a real bird.  It chirps and turns its head and can even “sit in a cage like the real thing!”  Hang on a minute, that’s pushing reality just a bit far, isn’t it? I may have thought this was just a funny gadget that could make a fun toy, but then I got to thinking….

Our society is becoming less and less real if we look around.

For example, what the heck is happening to books?  Big, bold, books that smell good, get stains on them, accompany us on the train, the beach, to bed and just about anywhere else we take them!. No batteries required! They are becoming *gasp* electronic. Just like cigarettes, classrooms, AA meetings, seminars, colleges, albums, pictures, checks, court-appearances, sex and even Weight Watchers!  Can you even imagine…Weight Watchers?

I want to feel real again! I enjoyed going to school, college, purchasing BIG RECORD ALBUMS, geeze, even adapted to CD’s when they came around!

Now all of these “things” can be done or listened to in a “virtual world.”  What IS a “virtual world” anyway?  It’s a world that is not real although we have come to accept it as if it was.  Real vacuums  don’t clean floors by themselves, and fake parakeets don’t show love and affection. I just don’t get it. I guess I can kind of understand the fake cigarette, but not the plastic goldfish on a string in a bowl of water.

I don’t even think “Real TV” is real anymore!

There are lamps to put on our desks that produce fake UV rays for those of us who can’t get out into the real sunshine enough. There are silicone filled packets that “become” larger breasts in women, Botox injections for fake lips, eyes, chins and cheeks for goodness sake. Did you there is even a square box of dirt and grass (both real) that you can put in your house to provide your dog a “place” to go potty?! Why in the world would one not take their dog outside? And exactly where does that “box” go when its “full?”

I believe we have taken this unreal thing far enough. (Let’s get real here!)

We need some form of grass, dirt, sunshine, animals, books, music and aging that does not pretend to be something it is not. I’m getting really upset again, so before I continue to carry-on my rant, let me wish you all a REALLY great day!  Thanks for reading. Now, I’m really done.

Read more posts by Leo Battenhausen, MSW, addiction and mental health counselor.


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