Probably the best childhood Christmas present I ever received was the little tape recorder from my parents. It enabled a major step in my childhood development. Little ten-year-old me interviewed grandparents, cousins, and other family members that Christmas day. It was thrilling capturing their comments on tape. The tape recorder helped me to emerge from my shell.

I suppose dad and mom finally realized that they should encourage me to follow through on my childhood dream. Ever since I was five, I had wanted to be a voice inside people’s radios. There were the pretend disk jockey shows I “aired” by announcing and playing 45 rpm records on mom’s portable record player. My childhood hero was Walter Cronkite. After reading newspaper stories aloud to my family, I ended each “newscast” by borrowing Cronkite’s signature line, “and that the way it is.”

I recorded them all on that tiny tape recorder. Unfortunately, the shows were all temporary, because there were only two tapes. I had to erase them and record over them each time. The little recorder lasted a few years before it finally gave up the ghost. It’s fun to reminisce about the many times I pretended to be a broadcaster back in the day. It’s too bad the little reels of tape got lost. I’d love to hear some of the voices from my personal past.

Pretending can be a positive activity in the case of childhood development or if one’s career is dramatic acting. Pretending is not so good if it is being used as a technique to mask behavior or as a way to commit fraud. The most insidious pretense is when we try to fool ourselves and loved ones. In the end, nobody really benefits from that type of pretending.

We all have known moralists who preached a good pitch to sell “morality” by talking the high ground, yet when their personal lives were revealed, they turned out to be severely lacking in morality. To pretend and claim to be moral is not the same as actually being moral. The lack of integrity is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved.

More tragically, is the case of comedian/actor Robin Williams. To make up for his empty feelings and severe depression, he put on a funny face and pretended to be happy. Tragically, the pretense did not save him from himself.

So, it turns out that pretense is another tool in the toolbox of life. It can be used to enhance life or subvert life. The secret is learning how and when to pretend so that everyone benefits from the charade.

The Blue Jay of Happiness puzzles over a quote from 20th century actor/comedian, John Ritter. “I knew when I grew up, I always wanted to be a liar, and if you’re in television, you’re lying because you’re just pretending to be yourself much like I’m doing now.”  

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, cultural highlights, philosophy, Youth. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Pretending

  1. Today I too am writing something on these lines , its always a coincidence we are on the same topic. Do check out my post tommorow .

  2. As its said we can never judge people that easily with complexity in human nature , choices and situation.

  3. Good morning. Some amount of pretense is needed in our daily interactions. Otherwise we’d be rubbing each other the wrong way much of the time. I guess it’s part of being “civilized”.

  4. Alien Resort says:

    When a visitor brought a Wollensak-type recorder to my fourth grade class, I was enthralled. My specialty was listening to what people were saying on the radio and wondering why they didn’t say it a different way that would have been a lot funnier.

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