Last night I saw the movie “The Social Network”, which as almost everyone knows, paints an unflattering picture of facebook.com founder Mark Zuckerberg. After seeing the movie however, you might agree with me that there’s hardly anyone to really like in the movie except for the BU student at the start of the film, Mark’s girlfriend at the time, who tells him succinctly and explicitly how awful he is as a human being. The film certainly does nothing to make Harvard, and all of its students, look redeeming in any fashion. It’s like a free-for-all of who can grab the most money and worldly acclaim the fastest! From the snobbish final club society to the wanna-be Zuckerberg’s it really paints a low picture of an establishment that has been in such high regard in society for such a long time.
It is also unfortunate that the movie reminded me of some people whom I actually know, particular Harvard grads, who in fact do emulate and exemplify that elitist mentality that only wants to impress you with how wonderful they are, but if you’re down on your luck, there’s not a shred of empathy, warmth or consolation for your situation, apparently because if you went to Harvard you’re above expressing genuine emotion or remorse for someone in a difficult situation. Reality bites, as they say. As does the truth about who some people are on the inside.
I’m bringing this up as with the upcoming Venus Retrograde, we may find that the facade that we normally see with some people will be stripped away. We may find out that someone is not whom we think they are. Correspondingly with ourselves, we may have to dig deep and re-evaluate our own values and what we place importance on in our lives. We may have to determine, like the card game above is it Fake or Real and if it’s Fake am I going to remove this aspect from my life or keep it? Although rather simplistic, I like this Fake for Real Memory game because, especially for children and teenagers, it helps differentiate how media sells us our values by making certain people and products look better than they do in real life.
This of course, is the core of advertising, and like advertising, Venus is the planet of making things look pleasing to our aesthetic senses, in order for us to value them. It’s not like we can change that as humans we are attracted to people and things that are aesthetically pleasing. Looks are part of our society, and I am guilty of working in an industry that makes almost everything look better than it actually did at the time of photographic capture. The question is not whether or not this happens, but can we differentiate real values from fake values in our lives. Can we realize that having a thousand facebook friends might actually mean that we either don’t have, or don’t value close friendships? Can we acknowledge that if we spend all of our time at work and gaining a prestigious title and less on reaching out to our friends, family, and relationships that consequentially these will suffer, and perhaps as a human being we will not grow as much as we could? Are we holding ourselves to relentless standards of perfection that just aren’t possible because in fact, the images were retouched beyond reality and are not meant for someone to actually achieve in real life?
All of these questions, and more, will come to the surface from October 8th through November 18th this year. While not a great time to get an actual make-over, Venus retrograde is a great time to get an internal make-over, to feel better about what’s on the inside, and not what’s on the outside.