Monday, 6 June 2011

Get real!

If you live in the real world, which one am I in?

Sometimes I get upset with typical things people say that simply make no sense. How often have you read or heard someone exclaim that they live 'in the real world', implying that whoever has incurred their pet hate for the day, does not? Parents tell teenagers about the real world; opposition politicians love to imply that the ruling politicians do not inhabit the real world; people of a certain class, income level, or job-type will readily claim that others aren't in the real world. My question then: if I'm not in the real world, then where am I? Even in multiverse theory, every possible world is real. Of course, the word 'real' is meant more metaphorically, as an indication of socio-economic circumstances. But my problem remains. What could possibly make a plumber's life more real than a banker's? An adult's more than a child's? An economist's more than a person on a low wage? We all observably and obviously inhabit the same reality.

A similar mistake that gets my goat is when people think that crimes are a state of mind. As much as some governments might like to, it's actually impossible both practically and legally to detect or punish thought crimes. Repeatedly I read in the paper (paraphrased): "I wasn't really speeding, I'm not a boy racer." "I said some things while drunk, but I'm not a racist." Tough luck. The law doesn't punish people for what they are, it deals with what people do. Driving too fast is against the law, no matter what your state of mind was while you did it. Directing certain terms at people is against the law; whether or not you are a racist can never be determined anyway.

That's how it works in the real world.

1 comment:

  1. Well said.

    Recently had this brought to stalk reality while trying to argue my soft leftie view point against someone rather more rightwing.

    While for some time i have appreciated that a rightwing persons world is just as real as mine, it boiling down to simple differences in opinion on what best serves society and that its shades of gray noone is actually right or this would have been sorted long ago. I was not afforded the same respect in our...errrmm "discussions". In fact your exact phrase was used that i "..didn't live in the real world." which was followed unfortunately for the discussion by a rather ridiculous over the top bit of fiction about his tax pound being used to house a [insert ridiculous racial stereotype here]." This rather quickly ended the discussion as it was fast approaching a Goodwin’s law moment.

    Spot on about the state of mind thing as well. If i had a pound for everyone that moans about the law shouldn't apply to them when they are caught speeding, illegally parked ("..but i was only parked for 5 minutes.") and even stealing ("it was only one [insert item of reasonable value].")