Real Lies, Fake Truth, and Nakedness
I’ve been working on this book about relationships lately that I know you’re all eagerly anticipating. As they say, you can’t rush genius so you’ll have to go on waiting for a bit. I was originally going to call it, “Just Stop Having Stupid Relationships.” But now I think I’m going with the title: “When It Comes To Relationships, You’ve Been An Idiot.” I think either title expresses my point.
I was talking about the book with Midgie one day, because I was stuck in a part of the book on intimacy. I’m not sure what that’s all about, because if there’s anyone who knows how to be intimate it’s this guy. I mean, I show my true self to everyone I meet, never hiding behind a facade or “character” if you will. I’m comfortable with how I feel about things, so I let people know it, in as loud a voice as possible. If you want to know how real I am, just look at my moustache. It’s 100% all-natural grown from the pores of Dr. Matt. That takes dedication and a willingness to be visible, two of the staples of intimacy.
Speaking of being visible, the other day, I was having dinner with some lesbians and straight folk, and I got in a conversation with a lady about public figures. She claimed that all actors and performers were insecure, and put on a persona in order to say and be something they normally would not. It sounded somewhat plausible, although the idea that someone would be outwardly flamboyant as a way to hide, is, at first blush, counter-intuitive. We were discussing it in terms of news personalities, and she seemed to be lumping in all news personalities who affect a character as participating in something of a deception, so that any misinformation that any of them deliver is simply par for the course. In other words, Bill O’Reilly, she said, could be viewed as no different from Stephen Colbert, as both were creating characters loosely tied to the news.
Her idea was that one could equate “real” with “Truth.” Therefore, anyone who is not “real” cannot be considered truthful or trustworthy. But, if we equate these, then must we accept the opposite? That “real” people are inherently more truthful and trustworthy? Folks, in downtown Vancouver, I often pass people by on the street who are as real as it gets. I saw a man once who was walking around aimlessly, shouting insane things, expelling anything that came to his mind. He didn’t seem to be concerned with the perception of others, or presenting himself in a manner that would alter that perception. Does that mean he speaks the truth? That he’s trustworthy?
“Oh, Dr. Matt,” you’re saying. “That’s not a fair example. That’s a man with mental illness, and your friend meant people who are sane and straightforward.” Fair enough. It’s possible that using Glenn Beck in an example like that is unfair, and why I was watching him on a TV in downtown Vancouver I’m not sure.
In the book of Genesis, there’s the story of Adam and Eve, and that when they learned the Truth, they became ashamed of how exposed they were to each other. Their temptation was to hide from each other, but they found a compromise, which was to put on clothes. Being human beings, sometimes we need an alteration in our reality in order to see reality for what it is. There is a reason that Avatar was so moving for some. (It should be moving for all, but I forgive you.) In fact, not surprisingly, a movie like that which depicts displaced cultures is often more moving than a current news story about “real” displaced cultures. A reality that we are disconnected from cannot effectively deliver truth, no matter how grounded it is in actual fact. But a “fake” reality that we connect to can hold much truth for us.
Ah, you’re getting the idea now, aren’t you? It’s not about the “realness” of those people out there at all, it’s entirely about you and your ability to connect to truth. Maybe that woman I was talking to over dinner had a point after all. She said that we can’t entirely fault a TV personality who misleads others, if the people who are mislead participate in their own deception.
Folks, I could be here giving you nuggets of truth and realness all day long, but you still might not hear any of it. We think that being real and truthful and intimate is something that we can allow with the right people (and only the right people), but none of that is going to exist until you stop dilly-dallying and be and do that with yourself.
Anyway, I’m not sure why I even started talking about intimacy when I just ended up talking about public personas. It’s weird that it’s something I would get stuck on, because Dr. Matt can usually go on and on about any topic. Anyway, if I think of something, I’ll let you know.
Just My Thoughts,