A short article about our worlds altered reality.
|Are Those Real Or...
Societal America has become quite artificial over the last twenty years and the influence is spreading. When I was growing up, there was no such thing as Photoshopping. It was very difficult to alter an actual photo image and make it believable. I think it's great as an artist, but it leaves the door open to social and political con-artists who have agendas for wrongdoing. Altering images has been going on for a long time. When John Kerry decided to run for office, a Photoshop specialist created an image of Kerry, sitting next to Jane Fonda, for an anti-Kerry campaign advertisement. Fonda was controversial over her protests of the Vietnam war in the 70's. The image, created in 2004, merged two separate photos of Kerry and Fonda that were actually shot in the 70"s, in order to look like they were former associates.
Most of the Photoshopping done prior to 1990, was still pretty difficult to do with complete accuracy, but now, with sophisticated computer programs, true artists in the field have improved the odds of successful photo trickery. It's rare to see a magazine cover that hasn't been doctored in some way, using these techniques.
I started Photoshopping in the mid 90"s and became a good enough technician to be hired for my talents. My first photo job was to patch in the image of a great grandson, into a family photograph of a Polish grandmother, with all of her other twelve grand children. I went on to improve the images of several other people, removing the glare from eyeglass lenses, ages spots from skin, etc...
Phony websites are now commonplace ... drawing in unsuspecting web surfers to "click" their way into revealing private personal information. almost everyone who spends much time on the web has fallen into the "malware mistake", punishing the users with numerous forms of cyber terrorism that can be hard to remove. The worst can turn a PC into a pile of worthless rubble, infecting every circuit board with doom. It becomes frightening to think that our own credit rating, or even our government's security could fall prey to such tactics.
It's almost impossible, in many cases, to know what is real in our current age. Is a man really a man? Are those breasts and buttocks real? Is she wearing hair extensions? Plastic surgeons are currently able to change almost anything on a person's body ... cheekbones, chins, even feet. Some women are actually having their little toes removed, in order to wear sexier shoes, sporting "slimmer" lines. I'm not sure if I would want for my "pet name" to be "Four Toes".
Also changing our reality, is the science of genetic engineering. We eat hybrid foods without even knowing it, much of the time. Genetic engineering will eventually make it possible to decide everything you might want in your child's appearance ... including the color of their eyes and skin, even mutations in appearance that have never existed before, like naturally green hair. I'll have to leave the moral consequences of this science up to you, "the reader", but I find few arguments for genetic engineering to go away any time soon, since it will most probably be the science to end most sickness and diseases of all sorts. I think when I see the "HULK" walking into a Starbucks for coffee, I will have to say "enough already"!
Finally, I'm quite sure that some "artificial intelligence" will make it all clear someday. (Just kidding ... or not). I only hope that my face won't end up on a surveillance video, as "the mysterious, unknown bank robber" ... just because my dog pooped in someone's yard.