Fakely I’m Amazed

Fakely I’m Amazed

A few years ago, a friend of mine’s new, pushy wife came with him to a summer camp where he and I worked. She happened to be walking on the road when a newspaper reporter, coming to do a feature on the camp, stopped his car and asked if he was in the right place. She introduced herself as the publicity person for the camp, and she became the story, pissing off a lot of instructors. I asked her why she did that.

“You are what you say you are,” she answered.

“So, if I say I’m a doctor, I’m a doctor?”

She walked away.

I was reminded of that when a recent Facebook post showed some TikTok bits featuring nurses. Each one was shot in a video, stepping outside their hospitals, and crying for patients who had just died from Covid. It was touching. But weird. One nurse, someone with a cellphone camera—OK. But multiple nurses? Each video featuring a sobby pop soundtrack? (Nothing like pop music to stir the emotions.) Also, each nurse wore form-fitting scrubs, not the baggy kind we all have seen in hospitals. One of the nurses collapsed on the ground, legs spread, revealing underwear and more. Like I said, weird.

Turns out, each crying jag had been set up, filmed, and a soundtrack added by the nurses themselves. In other words, they were nurse performers. Their “you are what you say you are” was acting. The videos went viral—of course. Who doesn’t want to watch a nurse in her most painful moment, crying for a lost patient?

Me, that’s who. And what of the family members who lost loved ones to the pandemic only to see their loved one’s nurse staging her grief for thousands of viewers?

TikTok. When I first heard that new word, I watched a few videos and was repelled by narcissists staging everything from “accidents,” to reading bad poetry they had written, to kids acting sexy. What’s the harm? It is the inspiration for the current crop of teen shooters. This in my mind was the ultimate internet consequence: Look at me, look at me—even if I have to kill someone for attention!

Now people stage fake grief. Now people stage violence. Now some teens film themselves beating old people. Ho-ho-ho! Now every jackass in the world can now compete for subscribers. We transform from real to fake. We make fantasy come alive—badly. We exploit. We’re not loved enough so we stage emotions to compensate.

The master of this is Donald Trump, a narcissist posing as a rich man, a president, a TV star, a stud. In reality, he’s a rapist, a thief, a sexual predator of his own daughter. Yet he’s enabled by Deutsche Bank and fascist monsters from Erdogan to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman across the world.

The fake revolution WILL be televised.

I’m a doctor.

About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: eugenebaldwin.com. I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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