Ignore the man behind the curtain . . .

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know how movies were made. Things that look big are really small. Things that look old were created yesterday. Panoramic views are actually paintings. Even the clip-clop of the horses is fake. And now with computers, the list seems endless . . . Despite the elaborate deception, when we sit in front of the big screen our brain tells us it is all real. We know that none of it is, but we love it anyway. We don’t feel lied to because filmmakers tell us it is just a movie in the opening credits.

Marketing on the other hand . . .

Supposedly, a code of ethics exists in marketing that requires the messages to be true. Consequently, marketers have become the most skilled purveyors of illusion that exist. Technically, they never lie—but they weave together a tapestry of images that make us feel exactly the way they want. It doesn’t matter if it’s pizza or politics. Every word, smile, backdrop, and even the music is carefully orchestrated to change how we think. However, people are smart. We see through even this illusion—and sometimes knowingly buy into it anyway.

Get real . . .

It seems from the time we are old enough to sit we are plopped down in front of the TV and inundated with movies and marketing. Among the countless messages, we can see a continuous panorama of actions without consequences and relationships where couples will get together, break up, and get back together happily-ever-after in less than an hour. Fantasy and illusion surround us—but like any smokescreen, eventually the smoke dissipates and we must face reality.

Reality and relationships . . .

In real life, most people do not want to be sold a bill of goods or live in somebody’s movie. They actually prefer reality and truth. Few want to be with anyone who is pretending to be someone they are not. But, unfortunately, fantasy often looks better than reality. An embarrassing story from Tracy Lynn Cutler’s past makes my point.

I haven’t always had the best eyesight. One night I went to a dance with a western theme. Upon arriving, I couldn’t see anyone in the dimly lit room who interested me right off except a tall handsome fellow across the hall who appeared to be taking the western motif to the very extreme. He seemed to be looking at me as well. I felt a little flushed and flattered. Finally, I asked a friend if she knew who he was. “Sure,” she said. “That’s a cardboard cutout of John Wayne.”

Cow tipping . . .

Many people aren’t who they seem to be. They don’t have eight cows so they create Cardboard Cows. From a distance, the cows look great. But up close, they are two-dimensional facades of the real thing. Too often, when a person sees a herd of eight fat and healthy cows in the pasture of someone they are interested in, they seem timid—almost afraid to check the cows out to see if they are real. I recommend every person do the research. Examine your potential partner’s herd, thoroughly. Get up close and personal. Give each cow a good nudge. Cardboard Cows tip over. The illusion is over.

Oh, I make it sound way too simple. However, most people make it too complicated by not taking some very simple steps. I call them the Eight Steps to Determine Eight Cows.
I will go over them tomorrow. In the meantime, go to a movie, eat some pizza, and watch out for Cardboard Cows.

Kurt Dowdle