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I’m reflecting on a passage found in David Shields “Reality Hunger: A Manifesto.”


“151: That person over there? He’s doing one thing, thinking something else. Life is never false, and acting can be. Any person who comes in here as a customer is not phony, whereas if a guy comes in posing as a customer, there might be something phony about it, and the reason it’s phony is that he’s really thinking, How am I doing? Do they like me?




So, this hunger that we have for reality is due, according to Shields, to the fact that “we experience hardly any.” While everyone who comes into a shop is playing the role of ‘customer,’ only those who worry about making it look real are phony. This got me thinking about the classification that teenagers have been assigning to each other for the past few years. Teenagers have taken on the responsibility of evaluating whether or not another person is “real.” Someone who is “real” is authentic in what they feel or think, or in the way they interact with others. Often times, the person who is not “real,” ends up being the person who you’ve had a disagreement with, or who holds a different view point on life. As we are hypocritical creatures, we often accuse other of being “fake” for things that we ourselves do. Therefore, if we chose to classify people in this way, none of us are “real,” and those of us that insist we are, are the fakest yet.





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