Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Your Presence Is Requested

There was recently an advert on the TV, in which the voice-over said something like: "You can't fake presence...you've either got it or you haven't.", as a handsome male walks down a sepia-tinted street towards his latest edition German car.  Wearing elegant clothes with just the right air of insouciant casualness, a faint smile playing around his mouth - a right cocky bastard!

"You can't fake presence".... no shit, Sherlock.

You can't fake presence, because you can ONLY be present. 

It's like there's this idea that people can be 'more' present, but how can you possibly be MORE present than you presently are!?

What the advert really means is "Buy this expensive pile of tin and plastic for shitloads of money and you will turn into some uber-goodlooking bloke with the cool of James Dean and the charisma of Jonny Depp."

Errrr, no, actually, you won't.  You'll just be someone walking around with a massive overdraft, loan or H.P agreement, who THINKS they  now have some kind of kudos due to the car they drive.  Which actually makes you a dickhead.   Once for believing the advert and twice for acting on it. But ultimately, because you don't realise that presence isn't something that can be bought, got, learnt, attained or given.  

And it's a shame.  Because we spend so much time trying to assert our existence.  Believing that we can be something more than what we already are.  You can never be more than what you already are.  You can't ever get away from it.  Even as you're trying to move towards something that you wish you could be, you're only ever being you.

And it always comes back to looking at reality.

To seeing the stories AS stories.  Seeing the reality for what it is.

There's nothing wrong with daydreaming, as such, it can be a lovely way to pass some time.  Providing it's recognised as just that... a dream.  I'm not saying that dreams can't come true, but it's interesting that more often than not.... they don't.  

And when they do come true, do they ever match up to what we thought they would be like?  Isn't it true that the reality is never like the thought of what it would be?  Think of something that you wanted, that you then got..... was it ever how you imagined it?

And maybe that's because reality is only ever that.... real.  A dream isn't.  It can't conjure up all the possibilities of the real situation/experience.  All the dream gives you is some idealised, cartoon version.  

Just like the car advert really.  It doesn't tell you about the debt that the cool bloke is in, or the fact that he's got a corn on his big toe, or has a really silly, high-pitched voice, or his piles itch, or that he actually works as a regional manager for an insurance company (no offence intended if you're reading this and that's what you do for a living, but it doesn't have the image of being the most exciting job around, now does it?).

I guess what I'm really trying to say in my convuluted and long-winded way, is that we're constantly being peddled stuff that we don't need in order to make us into something other than what we are.  And we don't need it because (a) it can't be had, and (b) if we do get what we think it is, it won't be anything like the dream and will lead to disappointment, dissatisfaction & dissillusionment.  Like, for instance, having presence.  You can't 'have' presence.  It's not like a coat that you put on. You can't buy a bottle of 'Presence' (ha! what a great marketing idea for a perfume!).  It doesn't rub off on you cos you've got the latest 'stuff'.  Snake-oil salesman don't even come close to it!  

I mean, sure, buy the car cos it's got an efficient engine, or a great sound system, or tight cornering and it's a joy to drive, but don't buy it because you think it can give you 'presence'.  You don't need that.

If you weren't present, you wouldn't be.  

Presently, you are.  

WHAT you are... well, that's another question.  Just try to make sure that you're NOT the dickhead in that advert... cos no-one likes a smug bastard, with or without presence!

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