Social beverage of our times

Social beverage of our times

German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s 19th century remarks ‘People never lie as much during a war or before an election’ have come to life in recent times. Perhaps, it is the most convenient thing to do, and more so in a situation wherein a warlike situation precedes elections! But with ‘lie’ having outlived its relevance, both as a noun and a verb, its less offensive and universally acceptable avatar - fake - has replaced it. In fact, fake is a potent currency as it travels faster than the speed of light.

A lie may need to be told often enough to become the truth, but fake has become a one-time wonder. You release it once, and what returns to your inbox is nothing but fake coated in the guise of the truth. It will earn you mass following on Twitter, help you receive unprecedented number of likes on Facebook, and inundate you with innumerable compliments on WhatsApp. I am beginning to learn that fake is fast becoming euphemism for instant fame! Is it the new normal lurking around?            

In the words of Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: ‘Fake has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the state’. To rally along fake is considered an act of cooperation, something that politicians love their followers for. Far from being challenged, the enduring qualities of fake engages social media and the public like never before. Like milk, the more you churn it, the better it is. Utterly butterly fake-licious!

I don’t know if it worries you that fake is fast gaining public recognition. George Bush Jr. must be credited for it. By virtue of having stayed in the White House for almost a decade, the former US President had inadvertently become fond of telling white lies. Else, he could not have convinced the world that there were ‘weapons of mass destruction’ hidden in Iraq. The fact remains that no such weapons were ever found. The shocking truth is that it led to writing a bloody history in West Asia on a rather fake edifice.  

One problem with fake news is that it works, and the message ‘fake it till you make it’ is loud and clear. I checked with my intellectual buddies who are as much awe-struck as anybody else is. On the other hand, psychoanalysts are still uncertain of their diagnosis, almost close to arguing that fake is but an evolved form of lie which has a short-time therapeutic value too. No surprise then that for everything real.,there is an equivalent fake!  

We have come a long way into a ‘fake yug’. Fake is the new truth that we may have to live with for the rest of our lives. I hope I am not too early with my judgement, but as of now fake seems essential to humanity but not truth.