Perception is NOT Reality

My expectations for 2020 were not high. There were a few things to look forward to, like my Grandson’s birthday, some camping trips with my pals, biking, hiking, golfing, and my wife’s 60th birthday. The chaos in Washington and the political dissent that has spread across the nation over the last 4 years had dropped a giant shit plume across all things social. You had to watch your words so as not to cause an argument. Worse yet, loud mouthed nitwits on all sides had no problem in loudly expressing their views, with the expectation that you naturally agreed with the bullshit spewing out of their pie hole.

And then it happened. The pandemic. You’d think that we’d all toss our respective soap boxes into the creek and unite around a common cause. Instead, our dimwitted leader decided to politicize even that and make it into a conflict of apocalyptic proportions. You were either a pandemic believer or a pandemic denier. According to the dimwit in chief, wearing a protective mask was now a signal that you were a left wing nut, whilst not wearing a mask proved that you were a true patriot that believed in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

In truth, it was a little fuzzy, mainly because a parade of experts were marching across the TV screen saying that masks were good or bad. Our president didn’t make it any better when he gave us conflicting directives about various treatments, medications, vaccine progress, and questionable statistics about who had it and how dangerous it was. While all of this shit was going on, our country continued to devolve into chaos as the death toll mounted and the rhetoric got louder.

Then it happened. In November the election occurred. The president lost the election, and you’d think that things would get maybe more focused on solving the real problem e.g. the pandemic. But noooooooo, instead the focus now was on the fake and corrupt election that we all thought had toppled “Dear Leader”. The pandemic was back burnered and overturning the fake election was moved to the front burner. I don’t know where this whole mess will end up but I do have a few thoughts and pithy commentary on the state of affairs that we now find ourselves in.

You’ve heard it before, “perception is everything” or “perception is reality”. Well, I am here to tell you that perception is not reality. Just check out the dictionary and it’ll all be made clear.

Perception – a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.

Reality – the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.

Oxford Languages

Everyone has a perception. Mine is clouded by my feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. I suspect that most people’s perception is likewise clouded by same. But reality is, well, it’s reality. Unfortunately our reality is being interpreted for us by the powers that be, and then force fed to us via TV and internet. We never get the actual facts, the actual reality, because it is all filtered through the perception of the guy with the feeding tube and the handful of goose food. “That’s the way it has always been”, you say. And while that is true, since we are never there to actually witness the reality, what is not true is that the guy with the feeding tube has nothing but altruistic motives. Today, the guy with the feeding tube does not have altruistic motives, has our complete attention, and we cannot look away. Instead of seeking out the truth, we look for the people that most agree with our “feelings. thoughts, and beliefs” and we hold those people up as the arbiter of truth and reality. When in fact, we are just getting their perception of reality second hand, via the force feeder tube.

“What the fuck you talkin bout, Willis”, you say. Well I ask you, what do you watch on TV for news, and what do you gravitate towards in your internet habits? No matter your answer, I am sure that I can find someone that will tell you that those sources are completely made up bullshit and that you are being brain washed into believing that bullshit by mind control agents of chaos. All I need to do is say I watch CNN to a Fox News watcher, and you can only imagine the result. I can say this with some authority, based on my last and final discussion with my cuckoo barber.

How the fuck did what news show you watch become the definition of what you believe? Or better yet, how did the news become controversial? When I was a wee lad, whether you watched Walter Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley, or Peter Jennings made not a wit of difference. Nobody questioned whether what they were saying was true or not. It was all accepted as facts and truth, albeit through the lens of journalistic nuance. In this not-so-humble bloggers opinion, the current state of the news and politics are a symptom and not a cause. “Opinion news” and internet have allowed anyone to say anything under the blanket of The First Amendment, and the loudest bullhorn wins. The news with the most watchers and the web page with the largest audience wins the argument every time. Whether that source is really bullshit or not, does not matter. If you get enough people to believe the bullshit, it becomes reality for them. If that bullshit happens to agree with their already inherent perceptions, so much the better. We have just reinforced that perception and driven it further into the already compromised gray matter that was their mind.

The final question is, who has the biggest bullhorn? I think that the answer there is obvious as well. When the biggest bullhorn is shouting complete bullshit into an echo chamber of eager pseudo journalist that interpret and regurgitate, the result is quite predictable. For me, it is like watching a super slo motion NASCAR crash. I cannot take my eyes off it long enough to wipe my ass.