A few days ago Leone in the office was telling us how horrified she was when ordering her primary aged kids school photos online (as you do nowadays) you had the option to tick if you would like the pictures photoshopped.  Yep, photoshopped!   Why would you want to look at photos in the future and have your memories warped by having that stray hair, skin blemishes, wonky smile or the like fixed up?  More importantly, how can you do the 21st wall if all your kids’ photos are glamour shots?  No fun in that.

I am sure there is some ‘expert’ who has decided that it is better for a child’s self-esteem if they look better when they look back, right up there with the no red pens or god forbid the dreaded black cross on a kids work.  My daughter is doing senior at the moment and I look at some of the kids in her year and really wonder how they are going to cope when they get out in the real world.

Then again, if you look at the papers, not a hell of a lot of that is reality either.  If you believed all the headlines, the most important thing in this country at the moment is the terribly dangerous few hundred desperate people trying to seek asylum here, or, the terribly stupid politician who may or may not have misused funds in a previous lifetime.  Really?   Reality is we have much bigger problems, homelessness, businesses going bust, families losing livelihoods & homes…

Leisure time, movies, dinners with friends, books or sport should be our distractions from the dire or drudge of reality, not newspapers, politics or the 6 O’clock news?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think all we should hear should be boring facts & figures (though a bit of the hype being replaced by truth might be nice).  The odd article that pops up out of the blue that gets people talking and thinking is good.  The kid with the sign in Townsville had people all over the country debating parenting techniques and parental responsibility, which is a good thing.  Even the Footy Fight at Brookvale on Friday night had people debating what is acceptable in a contact sport and for some, maybe even looking at the darker side of human nature which actually gets a thrill from viewing that sort of brawl, again, a good thing to be debating and reflecting on.

We seem to always be told by ‘experts’, the media, or politicians what we should be thinking and what is important, in fact, that is just not true, the problem is that we are bombarded with so much of it including advertising that we actually miss what is important as we are distracted by all the messages we see.  You know what would be nice.  I would love to see all of our politicians just going back to their electorates, doing an old fashioned door knock, having a chat and a cup of tea or beer with people who actually live & work in their electorates, I think they would find that they have much bigger and different concerns then what is being debated in Parliament?  News Editors could benefit from that as well?

If you have 5 minutes today, please, just have a think, totally disregard the news you heard on the radio this morning, or the paper you read, just sit back & reflect on what is important to you and your life?, the future of your family or your business?   I reckon what we all come up with will be very diverse and quite different from what we are ‘told’ is reality?


PS pull out some of those old photo’s, have a giggle, don’t be offended when hit with a situation like mine with the daughter looking at me going to a dance in high-school and asking what ‘Fancy Dress’ character I was trying to be.  Ummm no Fancy Dress, that was ‘reality’ and I was trendy LOL!.  Hello, it was the 80’s!  I am sure many of you have had a similar situation????  Sorry couldn't find that photo this morning...

Original Issue #134: "What's so wrong with reality?" The MSC Editors Desk 01 September 2011

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