Marc Redfield responds to Reality, C'est Moi! the other experts say

I don't know whether to give it a 1 or a 4–your diagnosis is sober-as-a judge, but what you're diagnosing is crackpot. But what does a sober theory adequate to the reality of a crackpot reality look like?

A commentary: the first example–carrying around a book–feels less time-specific to me than some of the others. (People have always pretended to accomplishments they don't actually have; here, the only surprising thing to me is that such folks still consider book-reading an enviable accomplishment. There's a silver lining!...). The Combs-eating-eggs example is terrific; ditto the "reality officer." And the moral of your fable, the Crackpot Theory itself, is, as noted above, alas, all too true to reality. I wish it were a crackpot theory.

Marc Redfield is a Professor of English at Claremont Graduate University.

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