Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Images of Reality

I heard a reference to mirror breaking and bad luck associated with it. And, it got me thinking. The reason behind the bad luck and broken mirrors is related to the sacredness of the reflection or the self-image. Breaking the mirror meant the self-image was destroyed. It brought to mind how some cultures forbade photography because the self-image was sacred and the duplication of it was sinful.

So where are we now as an American society? We’ve released the sanctity of the self-image and allowed it to be controlled.

Flipping channels this Sunday afternoon, I had a selection of reality shows to choose: chefs, models, slackers, owners of condos that can’t sell, owners of 1980’s clothes. Not only have we unveiled the sacred image, once it’s manipulated by editors, it is ready for public consumption.

In a way, the mirror is shattered. People look at their image and think it is flattering.

Another important symbol is a person's name. By revealing one's name, we bestow a sense of power, a familiarity to the another person. Names represent us, our families, our cultures, who we are. When we introduce ourselves, we break the first wall of anonymity and allow another person into our lives.

Now, we have the internet. We hide behind handles, not revealing our names. Yet, we freely post our lives, our families, our bodies. We let our handles and nicknames speak for us - do they reveal who we really are or how we truly see ourselves?

So, the name is still powerful, even if the image is not.

"And it’s true we are immune
When fact is fiction and tv reality"
- U2 "Sunday Bloody Sunday"

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