A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
I just ran across the Internet’s latest phenom: Lil Miquela. For the uninitiated, Lil Miquela is an Instagram girl who posts a lot of selfies. She also has a lot of followers (at last count, 80,000.) And she also … uh … actually … that’s about it. Nothing special, right? No different from thousands of other people with Smart phones and time on their hands. So what’s the big deal? The fact is, Lil’s 15 minutes of fame is based entirely on whether she’s a real girl or a CGI fake. Ho-hum, the great debate! However, once again, the pundits have come out, like worms after the plow, to declare that the line between reality and otherwise is now irrevocably blurred and our superficial/artificial society is doomed. This happens every couple of years — and God, I’m tired of it!
Here’s the deal. Yeah, she’s a fake but so what! Lil Miquela is just the latest in a long line of media manipulations that started when Georges Melies faked a moon landing (the first time, LOL) in the theatres of Paris in 1902. It’s called virtual reality for a reason — it’s not real.
Take a look at any fashion/celeb/gossip magazine on the planet: those are pretend people. They might eat, sleep, get headaches and go to the bathroom IRL, but once they enter the digital world, they become CGI. The best example of this is Kim Kardashian. That woman has been Photoshopped so relentlessly, she probably doesn’t even recognize herself when she looks in a mirror. No wonder she’s the poster child of the 21st century.
Let’s face it, folks! We live in an age of make-believe, and things like Lil Miquela demonstrate that we’re very good at serving up phoney baloney. However, even though our Frankensteins are technologically superior to the one Mary Shelley created the first time, and maybe — just maybe — more believable (I doubt that, BTW) they’re still Frankensteins!