The Pretender

22 August 2021

He grew up with ancestors all around him, framing the world in the rear view. Mom, dad, uncles, cousins, rock stars, movie stars, elementary school historic figures–all presented pictures of success by example. Somewhere early he started to notice the differences, when these stories of helping people that had Christ as the main character were shot down by the actions of everyone he knew.

Why would he help someone he's competing with?

Why give credit to the weak link on the other team instead of snuffing them out on the way to the hoop?

These primitive raw tropes spread out in front of him as he started to fill out his self-image. The more esoteric heroes had their own frame they saw the world through. The more he learned about them, he'd see they could not be who they wanted to be without that frame.

That frame put around anything to make it art sounded romantic and stimulated your creativity, like Cage forcing you to shut up and listen by calling the next 4 minutes and 33 seconds a piece called 4'33". The further outside the mainstream one traveled, one saw lists of viewpoints congeal into a completely different lens–from UFO conspiracies to monologues on a composer's process to textbooks on economics. Approaches to changing human behavior by changing the carrot and the stick, considered objectively. One part potential truth, one part entertaining myth or allegory for the truth.

Enough sorting of what he took in resulted in a world building that was subjective at first, but inter-subjective as it gained observers. It was a world shared by an increasing number of conscious minds until it became a covenant.

The 'he' here could be me, Dr. King, Afrika Bambaataa, Trump, Jimmy Page, Humphrey Bogart, Alice Cooper, Shep Gordon. Every creative mind (so, every mind) does it, but this move from inter-subjective to covenant is what concerns and flummoxes me today (August 22, 2021) about our mediated world. You start by pretending and playing with the rules in your mind, and relatively quickly they become rules.

Look up the video of Seth Meyers roasting Trump at the press corp dinner during that last Obama administration–look at Trump’s face. It's already covenant in his mind, but to the rest of the world at that point he was playing the same role he did on TV. It still looked subjective.

There's a repeating pattern here we should need household terms for quickly, so we can at least see this pattern of bullshit adoption in some consistent light.

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