Monday, June 10, 2013

Ich Bin Ein...Truman Burbank?

Trey Smith

As the revelations (actually, confirmations) of NSA domestic and foreign spying continue to pile up, it has got me to thinking of the movie, The Truman Show.
Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) has lived his entire life, since before birth, in front of cameras for The Truman Show, although he is unaware of this fact.

Truman's life is filmed through thousands of hidden cameras, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and broadcast live around the world, allowing executive producer Christof (Ed Harris) to capture Truman's real emotion and human behavior when put in certain situations. Truman's hometown of Seahaven, is a complete set built under a giant arcological dome, populated by the show's actors and crew, allowing Christof to control every aspect of Truman's life, even the weather. To prevent Truman from discovering his false reality, Christof has invented means of dissuading his sense of exploration...
There are differences, of course, in some of the plot lines. Instead of being broadcast live to TV viewers around the world, our lives are being broadcast 24/7 to the NSA and its contractors. Our world isn't an artificial dome -- or is it? -- but many aspects of it are born of hidden directors manipulating a wide variety of variables that impact our individual lives. But one thing that is eerily similar is that we too are dissuaded from discovering our false realities by governmental and corporate assurances that everything is a-ok and is how it should be.

The meat of the movie is Burbanks' slow realization that something just isn't right about his "world". He begins to piece together inconsistencies and makes the fateful decision to embark on a journey to find the truth. In the end, convinced that the world around him is fake and contrived, he finds a door marked exit on the edge of his giant sound stage and walks through it.

We Americans are now at the point in our story in which we have received several confirmations that we have been misled and outright lied to. The directors of our passion play -- the POTUS, members of Congress, high up civil servants and their corporate cronies -- have created a world which is more of a "dog and pony show" than even most of the skeptics realized. Unlike Burbank, however, we don't have to go looking for an exit door; it has always been staring us in the face. In fact, there are several exit doors available to us. We can vote the crooks out of office. We can march en masse in the streets. We can refuse to do the bidding of our corporate overlords. We can utilize a variety of strategies to break the stranglehold of Wall Street dominance.

It all comes down to a question of courage. Truman Burbank wrestled with this issue, but, in time, realized that it is truth that sets a person free. Have we reached that point of realization and, if so, what are WE going to do about it?

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