A society constructed on artifice. If we collectively elevate the superficial and champion those people valued solely in terms of vanity and social standing, what remains tangible or real?

The clones are carefully constructed personas, self-assured of their uniqueness. We learn to individualize the blank slate of an online presence, refining and buffing our narcissism, our own Mona Lisa self-portrait. Among a sea of petrified mannequins which are frozen in subservience, we fail to recognize a lack of depth and confuse artifice with authenticity.

Masses gather to witness the herald of a new self-aggrandizing era, the coronation of Narcissus himself, who banishes ingenuity and trumpets this new message of ’empowerment’. The crowd is seized in a frenzy of sudden self-confidence, masking an obnoxious and painfully unaware fragility. The subliminal message behind the newest social media fad is rudely shoved into our faces: an urgency of self-fulfillment. Shoveling gratuitous commodities into the gaping, aching, empty hole inside of us. The sloppy polyester stuffing is nothing but pure artifice; teddy bears are simultaneously stuffed and barren, devoid.

We are sold the notion that bigger is better — the more outlandish and outrageous a concept, the more authentic it is — until the farce becomes a blatant parody of itself, soberly accepted into the realm of the real. Coasting along, claws sinking deep into the present. The days are warped, stuck in a never-ending loop of repetitive futility. The clock’s mechanisms are fundamentally broken. The sunset is merely an automatized display for the dreary eyes. Dialogue does not signal chronology or progress but remains static.

There is a faint, distant acknowledgement of worldly affairs, of dying, innocent children. “Well”, a stranger scoffs, “I feel as if am dying on the inside.” They skip off into the sunset, mimicking the ending of a Pixar film in this carefully curated Disneyland of faux happiness.

Apathy is the order of the day. Somehow, connectivity is burnt into the fibre of our society. But it merely hovers, skimming the surface of the pixelated screen in front of us. A safety net, a wall, divides us from them. It is too scary to commit to reality, so I take the liberty of sauntering away from what I deem, the un-realities. Make no mistake, this saunter flaunts status, wealth, and beauty. Yet it remains starved of meaning, and the stranger craves the truth like a rat unsatisfied with its last morsel. Pitiful.


(Featured Artwork: Al Margen)

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Creative editorial writer