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  • Writer's pictureLilah Lyons

Just a Thought: Unveiling the Simulacrum

(The "Just a Thought" posts on my blog are completely random ideas my brain thought up. Most, if not all, of them should not be taken seriously. However, thoughts are like birds, and if I don't release them to the world they will drive me insane by their constant singing. 🙃 )



Recently, I have been trying to get healthier. It seems pretty obvious, but the best way to be healthy is simply eating whole foods and exercising. But as I was thinking about healthy living, I began to realize that everything I was doing was just imitating the healthy lifestyle of about 100 years ago. I was lifting weights, eating organic vegetables, and going on jogs around my house, but all this felt horribly fake! 


Today I want to teach you a new word, “simulacrum.” According to the Oxford Languages Dictionary, simulacrum is a noun that means “an image or representation of someone or something [...] an unsatisfactory imitation or substitute.” All my efforts were only a simulacrum, an unsatisfactory imitation, of what true health looks like. My exercise was just imitating a day of hard farm work, and my eating habits were imitating the diet of a rancher from long ago (meat, vegetables, some fruit). I was stupefied! It felt like everything I did was fake! 


So I began to think, perhaps I could grow my own vegetables, or at least some of them, and my hens give me eggs so maybe not everything I eat is simulacrum… But then I realized, even if I got plants and seeds at the supply store, they would still come in little plastic packages, and the seeds would be genetically different from the true varieties found in nature. Simulacrum!


I started going even deeper into this idea. My house, like most houses, has interior walls made of drywall and support beams with insulation stuffed between. But why? Houses used to be made of just stone, wood, clay, or plaster. All materials that could be taken directly out of nature and built with nearly unadulterated. Even the outside of my house, which is made of limestone, was only about surface level, and the back of my house has no stone at all, only cement that looks like wood. Even my stone house was only partially made of stone, and even the wood was fake. 


We are surrounded by simulacrums! Why must we work to get money then buy food when we could just grow it ourselves? Why must we wear fake leather shoes when real leather exists? It seems like we have been completely jipped into thinking our daily lives are natural when in fact the majority of objects we interact with are completely fake. 


I think this leads us to the greatest of all simulacrums in the digital layer of society. Money, communication, images, ebooks, they are all pretending to be real things but they have no substance. Nothing to give them bulk but the minuscule particles producing the light on a computer screen. Even this blog post has nothing to it. Shut off the world’s electricity and it simply ceases to exist. 


It’s terrible really. Our skyscrapers are just getting taller and cheaper, but all I want to do is feel the earth beneath my feet. I want my clothes to be made out of real fibers, not plastic, and I want everything I touch and see to be made out of natural materials. 


Right now, I can't do much about this ever-permeating simulacrum in society. Instead, I can just daydream about smashing my computer and living out of a house I built myself. But really, would that make all simulacrums stop in my life? Or do I myself become a simulacrum, an unsatisfactory substitute for a person living years ago?

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Edmund Goforth
Edmund Goforth
17 de mai.

Reminds me of a conversation we had. Good stuff!

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