Please-be-True Fantasies


Critics at Large, a podcast of the New Yorker discussed the subject of George Santos and his participation in what they called his scams, had a panel of columnists discuss his case. The columnists agreed we are living in the golden age of scam in which Santos is merely the latest iteration. This really is the point. Many people in North America live in a FantasyLand that is filled with astounding lies that are exploding through the ethnosphere. We are in the midst of surging lies and scams. They are ubiquitous.


Kurt Anderson in his gem of a book FantasyLand explains why this is so. He traces it back to the delusions of the original European visitors to North America.  This is what he said about early settlers in the United States, but would no doubt say about the same about the early European settlers to Canada. This world of illusions is by no means confined to the United States, but as I have said, that is where this world was profoundly amplified. This is how Anderson described it:

“The first English people in the New World imagined themselves as heroic can-do characters in exciting adventures. They were self-fictionalizing extremists who abandoned everything familiar because of their blazing beliefs, their long-shot hopes and dreams, their please-be-true fantasies.”

We are the ancestors of those fantasists. We are following in their footsteps 5 centuries later. And George Santos is merely the latest manifestation of that phenomenon.please-be-true fantasies.”

This is what  what happens when we abandon critical thinking and skepticism in favor of fantasies that we want to be true so ignore the lack of evidence for them .


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