S is for...Simulation
First of all. This was a really difficult entry to write. Because it’s sooooooooooo confusing. It’s taken me ages.
But anyway, yesterday I watched a video, that I’m a little bit sceptical about. Shock, shock, horror, horror. Really Chris? In this day and age? There’s something you‘ve seen on the internet that you can’t quite believe?
Yeah there is, but the point is, it’s a nice vessel to use to talk about simulation.
There is some guy, apparently homeless, sat in the street, and this kid sits a few meters down from him on the street. They are each holding a piece of cardboard with messages on requesting support. In the video, the kid has loads of people stop and give him money. The homeless guy basically has nobody stop to give him money. In fact, people either just ignore him, or give him shit.
A ‘police officer’ stops by, tells the homeless guy to get a job, and then flicks the cap on his head. The cop’s face is blurred out. Then another guy comes over, gives him some shit, and then chucks food all over him. Eventually, the homeless guy wanders off, but asks the kid to look after his stuff. He goes off to buy some pizza and then returns to give it to the kid. Then at that point, some boys come over to speak to the homeless guy. They explain the kid is their brother and they were basically conducting a social experiment. To see if people would stop to help the homeless guy or rather the kid. They eventually give the homeless guy all the money that was given to their little brother.
These kind of videos do my fucking head in. I think a lot of them are there to get ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ on social media. To pull on the heartstrings. To get people engaging with content, to ‘drive traffic‘ to places and to then make money off all of that. Or just feed the vanity ego of the individuals that made them. Now why is any of this a problem? Well I don’t have a complete problem with it, feed the ego, get people to check out your shit and make some money from it. But don’t fake the struggle some people are genuinely going through to just improve your situation. That’s the bit that pisses me off. It’s a form of exploitation, and it’s not cool. Yeah, they gave the homeless guy the money...but I’m saying I think he’s an actor. So he’s in on it.
But, maybe it is a genuine video. If it is then kudos to the young guys, sort of. But I’m always sceptical. Because it genuinely looks fake as shit. It looks staged and it looks simulated. Well in a way it is exactly that; because those kids conducted ‘a social experiment’. But I mean, some of the people giving the kid money, and not the guy, must have been actors. That said, I know some people just ‘act weird’ but it’s just their normal manner.
“They‘re just weird to yoI Chris.”
No. They are weird to the average person. Their overall demeanour is weird. It doesn’t fit them. It doesn’t sit ’right’.
Either way, I think the social experiment is fucking stupid and flawed, and not a particularly great experiment. There are elements to it that discredit the validity of the experiment. For starters it’s staged.
For it to be fairer you’d have to do some weird voyeuristic stalking and find a young and old homeless person and then observe how people treat the two of them differently. But anyone that does that is a fucking weirdo.
How would I know it‘s staged? Well, truth is I don’t. But, yadda yadda yadda, I did study film, and, in some respect, people. Yeah, because I’m a freak. But you get a knack overtime for knowing if someone is bullshitting or not. The way they talk, the way they hold themselves, the decisions they make. Things just come across as ‘unnatural’. Out of the norm. Synthetic and staged. They don’t make sense. Obviously you can be wrong, but when you tap into all of that you get a good sense for if someone is being genuine or not; even if you are watching them on a video. After all, that is one of the ways we have learnt how to better study each other over the years; not just by watching each other
in person overtime, but by specifically watching video of ourselves or each other. That’s why so many people are addicted to their phones; watching videos, trying to figure ‘it‘ all out.
Oh yeah, and then there’s the fact that we all know we have the opportunity and ability to ‘act’ if we really wanted to, so you know, the whole ‘it takes one to know one‘ side of things is pretty apparent when it comes to bullshitting and spotting a bullshitter. Because we are all actors. So, we all know what it takes. Just some of us do it more regularly than others. We have different levels of experienc. It pretty much all just depends on whether or not you are a comfortable and confident actor or not. Do you actively want to be an actor? Are you comfortable in the head space of being an actor? Because you are one, in S is for...Some shape or form. Fact. So, you’ve probably spotted bullshit in your life, buuuuuut you’ve maybe not been confident of it and then not acted on it.
I think the impact of these videos is lame too. Because if you genuinely wanted to help that guy, don’t make this stupid fucking video. This ‘social experiment’. Just raise some cash, give it to him, or give him some food. OR help him get a job, or a place to stay. Or you know, *yawn*, push for a better political and social system. Making these videos has such a small impact. Yeah, they tell a story and have a hard hitting message. But how about a video where you do some of that stuff I just mentioned? Oh yeah, chances are we wouldn’t do it, because it’s some kind of weird vanity insanity thing. Look at me and how great I am! It’s something that a lot of people struggle with. Being proud is something you have to do in a particular way to some people.
Like, you could just do the act of kindness. I think a lot of us think that way. I don’t need to make the video and document it and stick it all over the internet. I can just go around being a nice person. Not every act of kindness needs to be captured on film or typed about in some form
of media. You can just do it. Because otherwise I’m operating at an outrageously pathological level. I’m spending ALL my time planning how wonderful I’m going to be rather than just going around being wonderful.
Don’t get me wrong, it‘s important to plan what you do. To be pathological to a certain degree, but don’t be a snake and creep about it. I guess it’s a case of, be pathological with the focus on things being mutually beneficial. And genuinely mutually beneficial. Not, oh look, I did a nice thing now look how great I am. Now you can help me because I did that great thing. It’s way better to be, oh look I did a nice thing now look how great WE are...now the most important part...
”Don’t you agree we are great?”
”No? What do you mean you don’t agree? Oh fuck it then, I’ll just be a fake bastard and look after myself!”
Something someone supposedly said
“Music is the simulation of something. But language is the greatest thing we possess.” - John Lydon
Complicated - Avril Lavigne
Everybody’s Fool - Evanescence
Fool’s Gold - The Stone Rose
Hypocrisy - Skepta
Liar - Rollins Band
You Lie - The Band Perry