how real is the internet?

This question, or the idea behind it, prompted a wave of confessional posts (as per here). The argument was that blogs present the picture perfect, which leads readers wanting - even if these readers also write picture perfect blogs. Is this business irony? (And isn't this something which could be happily informed by a return to the Humanities and Classics?)
It used to be argued Kodak was to blame for the picture perfect life: that one needed to lead a life that would look good framed as the Kodak Moment. But it is more constructive to consider such questions as the reformulation of an age-old theme: What is real, and how is reality to be presented?
According to Aristotle, the artist's job was to recreate the heavens, so that mortal man could be inspired to imitate such heavenly movement in his own life. Ideal for the real.
In the Victorian age, to risk the sweeping statement, reality was that which was "ugly" - like trying to make an aesthetic of the extremely noisy locomotives, or "dirty" - like the city, crammed full of people who yesterday lived and died in the same country dwelling, or "poor" - like the bands of street urchins, or "taboo" - like the fascination with crime and murder, as opposed to fairy tales. "Real" vs. ideal: it looks real, for it certainly isn't ideal. It was a time of doubt.
And yet, there was a general awareness that that which purported to be artistic realism was in fact artifice: to fictionalise the quotidian involved the false movement of focusing and shaping, as required by the craft of the novel. There was also active criticism of thematic choice. Lewis Mumford lambasted photographers who merely perpetuated the foreboding signs of the growing media/money-maker/machine: the telephone wires, the dirt of the crowded streets, etc. Good photography was to inspire a better way forward.
Even then, the good photograph shouldn't be taken literally. I wrote in an earlier post about Plato's warning about poetry (or art) - people often take it literally, "instead of seriously". The scholar I quoted explained that "men are apt to be too stupid to realise" the imitative value, not real value, of art. The picture is never real.
Reality is a place with much more agency than art can provide, for art is by nature stuck within its artificial parameters: the frame of a camera, the structure/context of a text. Think about a photo of a perfect house. It does not record the conversations that take place within the cleverly painted walls, and what if the woman says, "He would have loved me had he ever noticed how unhappy I was."
It is easier to create or believe in falsehoods about others than the truth, because arriving at the truth involves so much work, not to mention empathy for the paradoxes humans embody. Even if we are "good" we can sometimes reveal an unwarranted stony face. Even if we are "open minded" we can reveal a most childish stubbornness.
The false is easier. Which is why there is so much dilemma about "reality". And I have only begun to scratch the surface of this topic, so I will make a new label "(ir)reality" to facilitate further discussion. For now, here's a slice of the sweet life, hardy har:

Elements: Animus.

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