Tuesday, May 17, 2005

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Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear

For those who drive in the U.S., most cars have right side rear-view mirrors that magnify the picture. Because the resulting image can be deceiving, they say "Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear".

Because, images can be deceiving.

Today I'm traveling for business purposes. I headed off the the airport and boarded a plan for Washington D.C. (On a side note, while I had peripherally heard about a new airline security rule, I was still surprised when they announced on the flight that everyone must stay seated during the last 30 minutes approaching Washington, or else the flight would immediately be diverted away.) Of course, the Capitol building, the Whitehouse, the Washington Monument, are all very impressive.

The created image of Washington is exactly that, the impressive buildings and monuments. Never in a news report, picture, or whatever do they ever show that 2 streets back it's just a city, houses, traffic, restaurants, etc.

On arrival, as I drove out of Reagan National Airport, I looked over and saw the Capital building and the Washington Monument. Impressive, I first thought. Then I noticed the view was crowded with office buildings, roads, etc. Not like some distance away, like someone just took those impressive buildings and dropped them into the middle of a downtown. Which, of course, is exactly what Washington D.C. is.

The image of Washington D.C. is a picture of impressive buildings, the seat of power of the United States of America. And, a street away, everyone is stuck in traffic. The garbage men come and pick up in the back. There's some construction going on, as some of the buildings need some work. It's hard to find parking. In other words, pretty much the same as any other city.

Do you realize the images you're being fed, by the news, paper, TV, Internet, are manipulated?

(Of course, this blog is an exception.)

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