Fake news, fantasies and pipe-dreams vs. the truth

I’m going to start this blog by quoting from a blog written by Adriana Diaz-Encisco, because she has put the thing I most wanted to say, into skilled and powerful words, which I can’t better. This is what she writes:

We live in times when it’s easy to lose our grip on reality and start living entirely in a fantasy world. Our overdose on what we call technological advances has made of the disconnection, dissociation and disintegration of our minds a strange commodity.”

It is very noticeable in the publishing world that so many bestsellers are horror, fantasies, science fiction and time-slip stories – none of them based on reality. The same can be said for films, TV shows and videos. There is a great and growing taste for stories that will frighten us, shock us, even disgust us. It is a very far cry from the world of Peter Pan, which was also a fairy story and a fantasy, but in those days, those of us who read it and watched it recognised it and enjoyed it for what it was. Now look at our current taste for horrors. It’s enough to blow our minds. In fact, like Adriana, I wonder whether this appetite for horrors and fantasies has done us serious damage.
Do the majority of us now know how to distinguish between the truth and a lie? All these fantasy worlds that are created are lies and unreal, they shock us, frighten us, take us into realms we would otherwise ignore, but do we know they are based on a lie?

All this is bad enough, but in the political world it is a great deal worse and we only have to look at the Brexit bus to see how much worse it is. This was a piece of propaganda and very skillfully handled by men who are masters of the skilled lie. It does not say ‘We will fund our NHS with money we would otherwise send to the EU,’ which would be a straightforward promise. It uses a hint instead, saying grandly ‘let’s fund our NHS instead’ and millions believed it and voted leave on the strength of it. Boris Johnson disclaimed it later when all this was pointed out to him, by saying it was a joke. But it was no joke, it was a straightforward con and a lie.

Nowadays we also have to strain our brains to distinguish between real news and what is called ‘fake’ news or in other words what is a deliberate lie. The trouble is, a very large number of people are conned by it. ‘It was in the papers,’ they say, ‘so it must be true.’ And very sadly when you try to tell them that it’s a lie they close their ears as cognitive dissonance kicks in. It is extremely worrying to see how many people can’t distinguish between a lie and the truth in circumstances like this.

Adriana and I have seen this persuasive process at work during the time we have been struggling to get the Blake Cottage Trust to repair the cottage. They are now, I’m sorry to say, very firmly in the realm of fantasy. Take a look at these pictures and you’ll see what I mean. They are the drawings and plans produced by MICA an expensive architectural company for Mr Tim Heath.

This is the cottage as it is, sadly in need of repair but still full of character.





This is the pipe-dream cottage.

And these are pictures of the magnificent half a million/two million pound extension that Tim Heath dreams of building in the garden.

As Adriana says:

“In this context, I wonder whether if the Blake Cottage Trust’s three Trustees have really lost it altogether now, whether if they are trying to take advantage of the gullibility of contemporary men- and women-folk, ever more willing to believe in what is not actually there, or a combination of both.

Be as it may, we recently had a chance to see an article on the Bognor Regis Observer, boasting 3D images of Blake’s Cottage (new Blake’s Cottage 3D images).  The reader could access this piece of entertainment by watching the accompanying video: a slide show created by MICA, the architecture firm that the BCT has chosen to help them do as they wish. The video has an interesting caption telling us that we’re looking at images “of what a fully restored Blake’s Cottage would look like”. That is, we’re watching images belonging to the realm of make-believe.”


‘Images belonging to the realm of make-believe’, please notice, not my truthful pictures of the state the cottage is actually in, I have still to find a local reporter or a local newspaper that will give them as much publicity as Tim Heath’s fantasy.

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