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Selma Cook

Modern life has combined labour saving devices, expansive leisure opportunities, and the information explosion, with deadly diseases, pollution, death and injustice. Dare we call ourselves civilized!?

Illusions built on life

The air feels a little stuffy in the living-room, so we reach for fresh air in a can, 'Nature's best - floral fragrance'. Why don't we just open the window? Good reason! The air is full of fumes, chemicals and all kinds of pollutants. So to avoid that, we spray a different kind of chemical around the house, ignoring the fact that it contains elements which destroy the ozone layer and us! People, who know this but still use it, would say, 'but it smells real nice'.

Then we go shopping, keeping in mind that our children need a percentage of their dietary intake to be as healthy as possible. We buy orange flavored vitamin drink.

"Look! This brand has all this big long list of vitamins! I'll have some of that."

But where are all the oranges? Why do we have to buy something that's orange flavored? It's likely that the oranges are more expensive than the flavored vitamin drink!

Time to buy some milk. That's good for the kids. A nice label with two strong, healthy children, playing happily, just grabs your attention. You pick up the plastic coated carton and read in big bright letters, 'contains calcium, vitamin d and so on'. You're surprised!

"Well that's good. We need more vitamins."

Hang on a minute! Milk has all those vitamins and more naturally, so why do they bother to write it? Have we become so 'out of touch'?

They ultra heat the milk to kill the bacteria, so that it could have a longer shelf life and along this process, many vitamins are destroyed, so they add chemical vitamins to balance it up, and we pay more because we think we're getting more.

It seems like there's not much that's real anymore. We've destroyed the clean air that used to surround this earth, building bigger and bigger cities that tred on what's left of nature. Yet haughtily we still expect an element of nature, when it's convenient. Things like 'jasmine' toilet flush, or artificial logs on gas heaters, to give a 'country' atmosphere. How desperate have we become?

People dress up to look like others, hankering after heroes that were 'made' by media hype but , who in reality are very different to their public profile.

Life itself is taking on an illusionary aspect. So many people spend the majority of their leisure time in front of television sets, videos or computers, watching other people 'live life', or do the things they'd like to do but can't because they don't have enough time!

Actors become 'real' to viewers but if we look to the word 'actor', we'll find someone who is pretending to be like someone else. We grow more and more passive as we sit and watch others pretending to live life, while we sit and waste our precious moments of existence.

How many of us have opinions of our own which have not been painted for us, slowly over time, through media outlets? How many of us could live our lives independent of modern technology, even for a week?

Advertisements tell us that '-oke' is , the 'real' thing. Are people yearning for something 'real' to the extent , that they will gulp down a can of chemicals believing it is actually something 'good'?

How many people around this 'global village' of ours, are lost in illusion??

Throwing Culture to the Wind

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