Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fake Plastic World

"A green plastic watering can
For a fake chinese rubber plant
In the fake plastic earth

That she bought from a rubber man
In a town full of rubber plans
To get rid of itself

It wears her out, it wears her out
It wears her out, it wears her out"

Sometimes it's all so fake.  The smiles, the hello's.  Sometimes it's nothing more than a practiced gesture.  A wave, a handshake.  Meaningless patterns repeated over and over. 

"The world is fake" you hear people say.  No one really means anything.  So much simply done by rote.  And yes, it can be pretty tiring to see everyone walking around robotically, automatons on an assembly line.

"She lives with a broken man
A cracked polystyrene man
Who just crumbles and burns

"He used to do surgery
On girls in the eighties
But gravity always wins

And it wears him out, it wears him out
It wears him out, it wears him out"

Is it the same with relationships?  I think sometimes.  (I've had so many fake plastic relationships of my own, I am surprised that I was able to see the difference.  But I do see the difference.)

But even a "real relationship" has its fake plastic moments.  Or even years.  Eating dinner together saying nothing.  Making idle chatter just to fill up the empty spaces.  Sleeping at opposite sides of the bed.

"She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love"

And sometimes the fakeness even feels real to you.  Like those intense internet relationships with their exceptionally strong feelings which, if exposed to the light of day, crumble and burn.

Or the guy you meet and have an instant connection with, only to find there isn't really anything there.

Fake Plastic.

The world is full of it.  But is it really all bad?  Can people really expected to be their full-force selves every minute of every day?  Isn't it ok sometimes to switch to Robot Mode and smile and wave at the paparazzi?  Doesn't that beat being snarly and mean?

Life is exhausting.  Just daily routine can be mind numbing.  It wears us all down.  And sometimes fakeness is the only thing keeping us from trying to stab our next door neighbor in the eye when they cheerily say good morning as we are leaving out houses.  Or wrapping your hands around the throat of the exceptionally friendly barrista at the coffee shop BEFORE you have had your morning jolt.
Fake Plastic.

Or lying to your friends and family to make them happy.  Telling your wife she looks good in a dress that actually makes her look like a sausage in a too-thin skin.  Or telling your best friend you like that new thing she has even though you despise it to its core.

Fake Plastic.

It's not that the world is fake.  That's too easy an answer.  it's that people can be fake - are often fake - because in some ways its  apart of our reality.  Manners and proper etiquette. 

It's fake.  It's plastic.

Sometimes it makes the world go round.


  1. I don't know that all of that is fake. Some of it is just the way we have to behave because honesty can be hurtful. And while some people are fake, I think that so many people are not.

    And internet relationships...I'm not sure those are fake either - for the most part. The intensity can be a bit unnatural, but that doesn't make it any less real.

  2. Well put! A purely plastic life is hardly worth living, but a judicious sprinkling of plastic just makes everything smoother.

  3. I go on autopilot all the time, it would be exhausting to have a sincere "hello" for all the people I don't actually recognize but seem to know who I am. On a side note, a friend of mine refuses to ask "how are you" simply because it doesn't usually mean anything.

  4. Myst - I think everyone has a bit of fakeness to them. It's not a bad thing, it's just a fact. And re: internet rel'ships - they are NOT ever as real as they seem.

    Malka - Amen

    COJ - Amen

    Sar - Right interesting point. When we ask how are you, most of the time we want "good, you?" not "Well, as it so happens......"
    fake fake fake

  5. Im not sure that all the "fakeness" described here really fits in the same category. A fake smile at a neighbor, a fake compliment to a spouse and an internet relationship are all very different.

  6. Prof - I'm not saying they are all the same. Nothing is ever black and white. And again, we all connote "fake" with bad - I'm not saying its bad per se.

  7. I was actually thinking about this. I was exhausted and not well but when I got on the bus I smiled at the bus driver and said " good morning"
    Just because I am in a bad mood or I'm not feeling well why should the driver suffer?
    We all go through stuff but that does not give us liscence to lash out or to be anything less than polite and friendly to those you see.

    It may be a fake mood but you can give a genuine smile even when you are in a bad mood.

  8. this is EXACTLY why my husband refers to Radiohead as suicide music...