It is noticeable that in the last few years most politicians have ceased bothering to argue with points of view they don’t like. In the past their technique was to blather in a way that meant that by the time the speaker got to the end of their sentence the listener had not only got no idea what the start of the sentence was about, but had probably also lost the will to live.
But now it seems, in the spirit of enhanced humanity, politicians are moving away from this destructive model of boring their listeners into submission, and instead simply dismiss anything they don’t like as fake news.
Of course this can have unfortunate consequences, as when whole communities refuse to pay their tax bills on the grounds that the demands were simply “fake news” from a source they didn’t recognise. But by and large it seems to work.
And indeed this propensity for fake news now seems to have gone further with websites that proclaim that Australia doesn’t exist, and that the kangeroo is such a ludicrously impossible animal that it has to be a hoax.
More worrying (at least for those of us in Europe) is that this trend is extending outwards (presumably via a flat earth), and it is now being announced that Finland doesn’t exist either. And although it is not clear what the rationale behind the disappearance of Australia is, with Finland it appears to be the notion that the country was invented in order to create additional fishing quotas for Swedish fishermen.
(Although there is also a view that it was also to aid the export of sushi to Japan from Russia. However I lost the will to live halfway through that part of the tale so I may have missed something en route.)
Brazilians have a story like this as well, although with a twist. They don’t deny the remote state of Acre exists, but do insist that it is populated by dinosaurs. And (rather perversely I feel) Starbucks cafes.
Of course such tales are not new. In Germany they have for years had the story that the city of Bielefeld does not exist, but has been created for nefarious reasons by the state authorities – reasons that will not become clear any time soon.
To prove their point the theorists ask three questions:
- Do you know anybody from Bielefeld?
- Have you ever been to Bielefeld?
- Do you know anybody who has ever been to Bielefeld?
Anybody claiming to answer yes to any of these questions is considered to be in on the conspiracy. Personally I am awaiting an English version of the theory in relation to Rutland.
But such theories can go either way of course. In the above cases places don’t exist, but equally non-existent places or things can crop up. For example I am sure that any time soon President Trump will declare that the wall along the Mexican border has been built, and anyone posting a picture showing it hasn’t will be said to have been posting a picture of somewhere that was not on the border.
However there is another way around this – and it has been with us for a long time. It came about with Tennessee Williams’ play El Camino Real in which he invented a dead end town surrounded by desert with only occasional ways of reaching the outside world – ways that often vanish.
Camino Real has a storyline that is generally described by theatre goers as illogical and impossible, and focuses on the point that there is no plot, because ultimately all these people and all their situations are irrelevant to anything else (which in itself is ironic because the play closed on Broadway after just 60 shows). The NY Times called it “a strange and disturbing drama.” Surreal pop and rock songs such as “Hotel California” and “Desolation Row” make reference to it.
Now there are people who apparently spend a lot of their lives driving around the desert trying to find Camino Real – another irony since in the story it is the people who are there who want to leave but can’t.
Of course creating or dismissing actual places involves playing with reality on a huge scale. But for modern day fake newsers there is another approach. TC Energy Design has created a new form of glass vases that use the structural physic of geometry to restructure any water put in the vase in order to reshape the liquid and enhance the taste. Also the newly shaped water does you good.
This is necessary because “sending water through straight pipes and sharp right angle bends robs water of its natural life force.”
Since cryptosporidium is one of the natural life forces within water I’m all for robbing water of its natural life force, so I don’t think I will be buying this new case. And I shall continue to visit friends in Australia from time to time. I am also happy to believe Acre exists but does not contain any living dinosaurs.
But… there is always a but. Having tried to negotiate my way around a part of London via the South Circular Road recently I am willing to consider that Camino Real is a real place after all. It is just north of Surrey.
Storage on the other hand is never a problem. You place things in Admiral’s facility, leave them there, return and find they are still there. Reality rules. It’s rather re-assuring.