The Russ Show (and the Mind Splinter)

You are the ‘Truman’ from the Truman Show film.  I’m getting paid to write this by those running the show, in order for you to think that you are not the star of the movie that you are unaware of.  Let me put this another, easier to comprehend, way.  You are aware of the movie entitled the Truman Show, right?  Well, that let the cat out of the bag.  Now you should know that you are in fact that person the movie is based after.  But you don’t understand that fact.  You think it’s just a ‘movie’.  And right there is the trickery.  We showed you how it all works, but you didn’t believe it could happen to anyone, much less you yourself.  The more the truth is revealed to you in this way, the more you chalk it up to just a load of crap.  Honestly, you were getting too close to seeing the game we’re playing on you, so we had to show you a movie that describes how your reality is constructed…and you in turn would comprehend this truth about your life as being only in the possible realm of fiction…just like we’d wanted you to.  So here it is as simple as I can say it.  You are ‘Truman’.  Your life is constantly monitored and the people you think you know aren’t who they appear to be.  And wait…here’s the beautiful part in the whole charade: You think I’m full of crap!…and the wizard disappears behind the curtain once again.

Well, if you haven’t guessed yet, I’m feeding you a big plate of b.s. (no really I am).  Unless I also have my head completely buried in sand, you are NOT the star of some television show to which you are unaware.  But I guess the logical question here is: how do you know if what I’ve told you is the truth?  I’ve given you two choices: either you are ‘Truman’ or you are not.  I’ve told you at one point that you are ‘Truman’ and at a later time that you are not.  Which is true then?  Even if I’d only told you that one side is true and the other is completely impossible, how can you trust what I say?  (See Matrix Reloaded for Neo’s question to the Oracle)

The Truman Show contains many themes that could be discussed at length and I’m sure that there is plenty of room to write countless college papers that deal with surveillance, power structures within society, the mystique of fame for the ‘average joe’, media, morality, egocentrism, etc.  To quicken to the point, a large part at what I’m getting at in this post coincides with a question that philosophers have been asking for centuries: How do you know what you know?  Epistemology, in other words.  I think this question is woven into the Truman Show quite well.  Truman grows up thinking his world is one way, but in reality the truth of his situation is completely different.  So I ask you, is the world as you see it really the way it truly is? 

I think before you start to wonder about the truth of your reality, you need first of all to feel the desire to even begin the process of contemplation.  You have to feel that there is something not quite right with your world.  The Matrix film put it well when the character of Morpheus spoke of the splinter in Neo’s mind.  Neo knew that there was something strange going on in his reality, although he couldn’t figure out exactly what it was.  It was the same with Truman, if my memory serves me correctly.  Truman began noticing inconsistencies in his world and things that weren’t adding up.  Both Neo and Truman then travelled down the road to discovery of truth.  Do you have a splinter in your mind?  How do you know?  Let’s assume for a moment that you have at least a certain amount of power to create the path of your life.  I don’t mean to bring up God or religion here; I just want you to consider the fact that you make decisions and take actions in life which lead you to various areas depending on those actions.  For instance, you decide to go to college, so you apply for school.  Your application process is one of the first steps you’d make in order to create within your life story the reality of you going to college.  Follow me?  You have creative power in other words.  Therefore ask yourself this: is your life at this point all that you’d want it to be if you were the author of your story?  I assume at this point you may be thinking of excuses as to why you don’t have that dream job or why you’re not a famous actor or why you don’t have a trophy wife/husband or why you still get angry about stupid things or why you’re worried all the time or why you’re not having any luck at the bar with the ladies/fellas or whatever.  You believe your options are limited due to your situation.  In other words, you think: I wish my life could be like this, but… 

Now I want you to shift your perception from you as an individual to human beings on a collective level.  Ask yourself this question: do you think we as humans are living life to the fullest and most worthwhile extent?  Picture every person on earth to be one small part of yourself.  In this visualization, you are and represent every human being.  Assuming that you’d want the best for your collective self and you’d have the power to write the story of your humanity, is the reality/story we have now the one you’d create?  What I’m trying to get at is this: we as individuals and as a collective population have virtually infinite possibilities available to create our existence.  IS THIS ALL THERE IS TO LIFE?  You are going to die.  There’s no getting around it.  Is this the collective and personal reality you’d like to look back on from the grave?  It doesn’t matter if you believe in an afterlife or not.  You could strive to create a rewarding reality for yourself to please God to get into heaven or just because you want the best life for yourself before you cease to exist.  And I guess if you believe you’re here as a punishment from God (or karma) and you deserve your fate and you have no power or reason to create a better life for yourself, then I guess I’m probably speaking gibberish.  Elderly people and terminally ill patients have a decisive advantage in this whole mortality thing, although not every old or dying person comes to grips with death….it’s just that oblivion is much more in their face, so it gives them a better opportunity to ponder the choices they make.

So are you starting to feel that splinter?  Or have you already had a planck in your eye already?  And how would you go about removing it?…


Post script:  So your life most likely isn’t as the Truman Show portrays, but I must say there’s a reason why the film connects with people.  First of all, and least important, the movie feeds into a person’s desire to feel special and important.  The idea of the whole world being enthralled with your everyday life seems appealing.  This is why the reality tv thing is big these days, other than the fact it’s shoved down the viewer’s throat.  Let me tell you something though, everybody poops and your isn’t any more exciting than mine…and I’m sure yours stinks.  Moving on, the film correlates to our ever-growing surveillance society.  If you were important enough for those behind the surveillance to care about, your entire life could be on candid camera and you’d have no idea.  Just make sure you stay in line and don’t say anything or do anything ‘they’ don’t like and you’ll be fine.

Basically, we’re all a bunch of Trumans.  It’s just that we’re not being watched for entertainment purposes.  We’re being monitored to be controlled.  The guy up in the sky who is calling all the shots (the producer of Truman’s television show) is an apt metaphor for how our society is structured.  It’s not that there’s one guy in a control room, but there is an extreme few in power who are attempting to dominate the mass population.  It’s the pyramid structure.  The higher up you go, the more power you have and the more knowledge you have as to what’s really going on in the world.  And this small secret group doesn’t have to hire a bunch of actors to get you to believe in the reality that they dictate, like the producer does in the Truman Show.  They rely on social conventions and conformity of thought.  Put simply, we’re mostly all a bunch of Trumans running around convincing each other to believe in the television show masquerading as life.  Get it?  In a sense I’m Truman, but in your life I’m one of the actors who deceive you into believing your ‘reality’ is the truth.  It’s a dual role.  It’s just that usually the ‘actors’ in your life don’t realize they are in fact playing that role.  In other words, Truman’s best friend in the movie who brings him a case of beer at opportune moments is really an actor pretending to be his friend.  I know it gets confusing because it’s really an actor playing an actor in the Truman Show film who is pretending to be the character Truman’s friend.  So in your life, your best friend really is just that: your best friend.  But don’t be fooled by the fact that she/he is helping to construct your perception of reality without him/her even being aware.  You are Truman amongst many Trumans convincing each other to believe in the reality given to you by those in control.  It’s not as glamorous as you being the focus of an entire television show where millions watch you and everyone in your life is really there to exclusively create YOUR reality, but it’s the reason you relate to the film.  On some level you know that you’re being tricked.  It’s the splinter in your mind…

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