A Virtual Life

Took the kids (7,4) to the local summer youth presentation of Beauty and the Beast tonight. The kids performing did a great job. And I suppose it shouldn’t shock me, but it still does. How many people choose to live their life, to live the great moments of that life, behind a screen or in a box. The number of cameras, cell phones and video devices set up and how guarded the operators were was shocking.

The central song of Beauty of course hums, “tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme…” Can you ever have such a tale or a song if everything is perpetually new and captured on film? The finished product of a film, obscures the unreal life that went into its making. But we have a world dedicated to capturing the “real” moment never giving a second thought to the uncertainty principle – that the act of observing something changes it.

Maybe I’m a fuddy-duddy. But it seems to me that in trying to capture our greatest moments, we have of necessity lessened them. What if you had a camera with King Arthur? The sword in the stone wouldn’t have seemed as grand. A camera following even 5000 scruffy Galilean peasants wouldn’t look as significant. Just another peasant hung on a cross. We’ve traded a real living truth for a virtual promise of meaning and immortality. This says something about us.

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