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Dutchess_III's avatar

Is it OK to pretend things are real when you know that they aren't?

Asked by Dutchess_III (38189points) December 5th, 2017

Completely independently of each other, Kardamom and I chose the same picture to honor Espiritus_Corvus. Obviously both of us Googled “Sailing into the sunset pictures,” and out of the hundreds of pictures to choose from we both choose the same one.

I’d like to think it’s a sign from Espiritus_Corvus. In fact, I think I’ll go ahead and believe that it is. It makes me feel good and warm.

Is it OK to make believe?

........................................Rest in Peace, Maker of Dreams…....................................

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64 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It is okay @Dutchess_III

{ { HUGS } } }

Aethelwine's avatar

I think it’s okay to make believe if everyone is in on the fact, otherwise it is deception. We’ve had a user banned for deceiving the community several years ago.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I noticed the pic, thought it was agreed between you to honor him that way.
Amazing the coincidence!
I would like to believe the crow has or will visit all his Fluther friends in some way, one last time (at least).
Let’s all hang on to our whimsical fantasies. I am certain Crow would approve 100%.

marinelife's avatar

If we were visited by the spirit of the Crow, I would hope that he would explain his deceitful ways and be absolutely honest in future.

I do not think that it is OK to make up a persona and pretend to live it in order to deceive others.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Am I the only one who suspected he was making it all up? I knew he wasn’t sailing the Caribbean, but his stories were so marvelous that I looked forward to them. I assumed everyone took his stories with a grain of salt.
We saw other sides of him that were him. His opinions, his feelings. So what if he told stories?

Aethelwine's avatar

I never believed his stories and I don’t think he’s dead. Only his persona is.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s fine.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I never believed his stories, but it was clear he wanted us to. They were lovely, abd tended to lift my day.
@Aethelwine, why would you believe his death is false?

Brian1946's avatar

I’m sure some of EC’s stories were true.

E.g., believe me now or flag me later: I was his cellmate in Venezuela! ;-o

Patty_Melt's avatar

I am really lost.
Did that ever come up before?
EC has talked of Venezuela, but I’ve never seen you mention it.
I’ve been had!?!

Mimishu1995's avatar

Real or not, he’s dead and there’s nothing we can do because we can’t resurrect the dead nor go back in time.

Also, let’s not forget that he had offer a greater support for a lot of us here. His lie was a way to protect himself from his harsh reality and keep himself happy. It wasn’t a right thing to do but definitely not out of malicious intention.

He’s a friend of many of us, so it doesn’t hurt one bit to at least let him rest in peace.

P.S: If I’m hurt by his lie, I’m 100 times hurt more by the people who are using his lie now to humiliate him, if there is any.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I loved his stories, and he knew us all very well, knowing what would appeal to each of us; horses, chickens, bees, adventure, romance, pretty girls, delicious food, he had stuff for everyone who would play along.
I wish I could have been there for him in person, but at least I was there for him in fantasy.

longgone's avatar

I’ve been asking myself that same question, at different times when I’ve been grieving. I think it’s okay. It’s your brain trying to help you through a hard time, and that’s healthy.

Side note:
Online or offline, interacting with humans requires a lot of compassion. It means thinking about why people do what they do. Sadly, we often get distracted on the way. We start to wonder if the actions of those around us are admirable. Maybe this is especially apparent when we’re hurt in some way. We want to make sure our connections are still stable – so we huddle up with friends, pointing fingers at anyone outside of our circle, talking about how we’re certainly not them.

If we truly want to understand, the question of why is all that matters, and we can’t let our judgment be clouded by all that baggage.

I know I’ve done things I wish I hadn’t. I’ve hurt friends, I’ve let people down, and I make mistakes every day. I hope I’ll still be remembered for the good in me.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I almost never go to viewings, for funerals. I don’t need to see the broken, crushing reality, of what is left. I remember them, as they were in life. The character they were in my story, is all that is really relevant, to me.

I have gone through a couple threads now, and pieced together, for the most part, what has transpired. I don’t know any real details, and I prefer to keep it that way. I am quite thankful that I am not on Facebook. I am more thankful that I knew this jelly. I don’t feel deceived. Although, I suppose I was…

I wish, I never found out. At first, I was upset about everyone pulling back the curtain. I understand that we need to talk about it, as a community. I get that it’s therapeutic. I can understand why some feel hurt.
It reminds me of when I discovered the truth about Santa Claus. It was as if all the majic, and wonder, was sucked out of my life.

Well. If he has indeed passed, he can’t defend, or explain his actions. And none of us truly knew that person anyway. We knew a smuggler, pirate, well intentioned, and thoughtful jelly.

I would add, for those who are being mean about this, he was more of a pirate, than any of us.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Oh Dutch, phenomenal picture! It’s perfect.

And yes. It’s ok, to believe…

ragingloli's avatar

No. Lying is bad.

Patty_Melt's avatar

OP did not mention lying.
Perhaps you should read questions before answering.

ragingloli's avatar

Pretending that things are real, when you know they are not, is lying by definition.

Patty_Melt's avatar

No, by definition, it is fantasizing, or role playing.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Pfft… What is real? What’s in a name?

He was a character, in our stories. If you go back to the pages he was in, he was still a pirate. He just passes, anticlimactic though it was. It doesn’t change his role in our lives. We just won’t hear from him again… And, I think, he was a great character…

Zaku's avatar

How do you know that’s not the correct interpretation?

It doesn’t hurt anything to believe such a thing, or to pretend to believe.

kritiper's avatar

No. It’s like telling a lie. Some are okay, but some are harmful. Best to avoid them all.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Oh, well, there goes television, movies, Broadway, Shakespere, cross dressing, youtube…

Patty_Melt's avatar

Close down the fiction section in all bookstores and libraries.

Shall I list here all the things I believe Fluther jellies have/are lying about, and the things I KNOW are not true?
How many incarnations hace each of the finger pointers used when they were embarrassed, or just trolling?
Makeup is a lie. Wigs are a lie. Girdles are a lie.
How many jellies really are 19? And why do some stay 19 for three or four years?
Lets just do a big honesty exposé!
Shall I throw out details about how often someone’s time does not match their supposed location? How about occupations where simple terms are not recognized?

Get over yourselves! You know, when you point a finger, three are pointing back at you, on your own hand.

Someone needed to salve their misery with an alternate truth. Well, he either lived at least some of it some time, or studied it thoroughly enough to deserve to call it his reality.
Anybody who is angry about being duped should just consider yourselves stupid. I confronted the man four years ago. His highly emotional reaction told me he needed his story for himself. I respected his need to be that lively sailor, and continued with the stories knowing all the while it was fiction. So what? I wasn’t harmed. His posts took me places I couldn’t otherwise go.
He was an entertainer, but he loved, and that was real. He was loyal, and that was real.
If I had known the whole truth of his final days, I would have insisted the feisty old fart come stay with me and tell his stories until his breath was gone.
Honesty is usually the best policy, but there is a lot to be said for letting people have their dreams. Which I think I just did.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So believing in God, when your common sense tells you there is no way he could be real, is wrong because it’s a lie?

Wow…not enough GA for that post @Patty_Melt.
His posts took me places I couldn’t otherwise go.”
“He was an entertainer, but he loved, and that was real. He was loyal, and that was real.”

MrGrimm888's avatar

Patty is probably on to something. I don’t lie, about myself, but it’s clearly possible that some/all of us do. No required sources for your own story…

I’m actually a 12 year old girl, in Botswana!

Mariah's avatar

Thank you, feelings police, for telling me what things we are and are not allowed to be upset about.

It’s purposefully obtuse to compare making up entire fake personas and fake life stories to wearing makeup.

I am not personally upset about the lies/fantasies, and I loved his stories even though they were fake. But it seems pointless and cruel to me to tell others what they’re allowed to feel about the revelation that they were deceived. There is a huge range of valid reactions and feelings to this strange, confusing situation.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^There is indeed a range. Some of us, are in defend our friend mode. We all will probably react differently. Defending our fallen jelly, is a way some of us are coping. I haven’t seen any personal attacks, although I’ve missed what’s been moded. My statements, on this matter, are declarative. I hope nobody has taken them personally.

My head is spinning too. But it doesn’t seem right,to me, to cast aspersions on EC’s character.

I’m sorry @Mariah . {{Hugs}}. What a terrible, and odd situation. I’d like to think, that EC would never have hurt you…

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think anyone is saying what some are allowed to feel. As @MrGrimm888 said, we’re defending our friend. He added life and color and adventure to our lives and I hate seeing him torn down and insulted the way some have been doing…and he can’t even defend himself because he’s dead.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^So much, for not crying today…

Mariah's avatar

@Dutchess_III “Anybody who is angry about being duped should just consider yourselves stupid.” And you yourself said some nasty shit on Facebook to someone who was feeling upset over the deception.

I also wish people wouldn’t talk poorly about our departed friend. But I haven’t really seen people doing so. I’ve seen them upset about something he did. I haven’t heard anyone say he was a bad guy.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Next thing, I’m going to hear that @ucme doesn’t actually have house servants….

Response moderated
Pandora's avatar

May he RIP. It really doesn’t matter to me if his stories were true or not true. He was a human being who reached out to others. That is the only thing that should matter. I’m sure some of his stories were true and some may have been exaggerated but he always came across as a genuinely nice person. The fact that it took 8 days for authorities to find a relative tells me he was lonely. But he didn’t stay alone. He reached out to us on Fluther and I’m glad he at least had us and we had him. May God Bless him,

canidmajor's avatar

I have missed most of this over the past few days (so much has been modded) so I am curious. I get that some of you don’t care that he crafted this persona, and some do. But so many of you speak to his motives with such assertion, that I am wondering if he told someone outright why he did this?
And again, out of curiosity, why would you believe him when he had lied (prevaricated, fabricated, shared his “fantasy life”, whatever) so well, in so much detail, for so many years?

Your statement, @Dutchess_III, about people feeling duped being stupid is just mean. Did he tell you?

I believed his stuff, I have actually known guys like him who sail around the Islands on various types of yachts, doing delivery trips, working odd jobs, reading everything they could find. Only once or twice did his stuff not sound quite right, but I chalked it up to the fact that it’s been a while since I sailed down there. His persona, including the Facebook page was well done, and pretty authentic to someone who has spent time in those islands, sailing around.

So, again, how did you guys know that he was harmless?

Patty_Melt's avatar

You named the wrong offender. I was the one who tossed out the word stupid. Why? I was a newbie when I first spotted inconsistencies. I confronted him, and his temper flared. I swore to never divulge, but he stuck to his story.
He needed his cammoflague. He never attempted to do anything harmful, or squeeze any money from me.
I followed the bread crumbs. I am the first to admit I am techtarded, but I did manage to learn his name. The boat he told me about didn’t exist. I checked registration records. There were some things which gave me a starting place to google his home. I found a white house with blue trim which may have been his, but I am not that confident of my tracking skills. I just wanted to validate for myself he was the man I thought and not something else. Once I uncovered certain things, I dropped it. I went along with his persona because it was beautiful, but losing a friend is not.
Certain things were hints, as he went along. Being not online all day because street work outside was too noisy would become “I have to go feed the dogs. They are howling my head into the walls.” That sort of thing.

I knew stuff was going wrong for him, but I didn’t know what or how much. I pleaded with him to come visit, but he had more excuses than a high school attendance office.
I just can’t bear that he died alone with a cheeseburger, while we were all talking about Thanksgiving plans.

I loved what he contributed to my life. The things I found out about him don’t mean anything to me. The man listened to my pain, encouraged me to write, shared my joys, took me on lovely journeys. He could have been a six hundred pound purple woman with bad breath. I would still have love for the person who was so loyal to me. I am grieving.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@canidmajor . I suppose I don’t know, he was harmless, but he never tried to get money, or steal anything, that I’m aware of.

There was a thread started once, by someone wanting to hack their friend’s phone. EC lit into hard. I think he something like “why the hell would you want to do that, unless you’re a complete shitbag?” I remember so well, because it made me laugh. EC discouraged violence, or malicious behavior, that I recall. He frequently would be mean to new comers, who were up to no good. It seemed like he wasn’t a bad person.

Yes. Much has been moded. I’m happily ignorant of what was said.

canidmajor's avatar

My bad, @Patty_Melt, it was your statement. Still kinda mean.
Sorry, @Dutchess_III, fat fingers hit the wrong name on the drop down.

My point was that the assertions of those of you who claimed he was miserable were absolute. I just wondered how much he had told you about his actual life.

Defend him, mourn him, miss him, fine. My question is valid, considering the circumstances.

And I agree with @Mariah. Comparing crafting a fake persona and maintaining it faithfully for years, to fudging a bit here and there is creating a false equivalency. It’s not the same at all.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ask Seek those questions @canidmajor, about why we’re pretty sure he was broke and alone, in the Tampa area when he died.
But you’ll have to go here to do it, because Maud_daub has left the building.

canidmajor's avatar

Seek is not the only one being adamant about this, and frankly, Seek is so angry I wouldn’t expect a reasoned and cogent response from her to me.
Like you, for instance, @Dutchess_III, why are you so adamant? Because of what seek said? Really, I am just curious. I don’t really have a dog in this fight, but even questioning any of this has annoyed people.

This is a fluther issue, this is where I direct my query.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Are you asking why I’m so sure that the stories he told were made up?

kritiper's avatar

I suppose in that one post of mine I should have said “generally speaking” and “within reason.”

canidmajor's avatar

No, @Dutchess_III, I’m asking why people are so sure that they know what his motives were in creating and maintaining the fake persona.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, I have no idea what his motives are. No one can really know. I can only guess. I’m guessing he didn’t like the way his life really was, so he created a different one to share with us. He created one he always wanted to have. But the reality, from what Seek found out, he was broke, unemployed and had just been evicted.
But he had been married before and he was a nurse at one point in his life.

I’m fine with his alternate life myself. He was a good guy who happened to tell wonderful stories.

canidmajor's avatar

so you don’t know what his motives were, gotcha.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I didn’t know him personally. I knew nothing of his real life, his real upbringing, his real life experiences, so, no. Of course not.

Strauss's avatar

None of us, presumably, know the real person. The persona, the fantasy, is what we grew to like and appreciate, and that is the person I will choose to remember.

Aethelwine's avatar

I shared this on another relevant question. ”Fluther has experienced the hardest times of my life the past few years. Foreclosure, bankruptcy, not having any money until payday and needing to go to the food bank, near death illnesses, nursing homes, death. The worst anyone can deal with. I have never lied.”

It seems we have two different types of people here and one is accepted over the other. One told the truth, but while doing so they upset others because they took their angst out on them during this difficult time. Who doesn’t make this mistake during a difficult time? I apologized to those I hurt and they understood.

The other led a similar difficult life but lied about it. He tried to escape his miserable life by enticing others with something fake.

Why is the person who pretended things were too good to be true honored, when the person who dealt with everyday bs and was honest is vilified?

No, it’s not okay to pretend.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Most truly honest people, are considered to be blunt, or rude. Perhaps you fell into that category…

Maybe I missed it, but I don’t recall seeing you vilified…

chyna's avatar

@MrGrimm888 She was, indeed vilified. Here and on facebook by many jellies.
It was unreal.

canidmajor's avatar

I’m surprised you missed that, @MrGrimm888, it was dramatic and spanned many weeks and many threads.

janbb's avatar

I haven’t weighed in on this but I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Ongoing feuds are painful to witness whatever their cause. People may snap when they are under stress but it is disruptive to the site when people carry feuds on for days or weeks. Human but painful to witness.

As for the question of pretense, I would say that nobody, but nobody, should dictate or condemn how others feel about what happen. I had a long distance romance with the deceased at a time when I was quite vulnerable after splitting from my Ex. I enjoyed his positivity but also the romance of his depicted life. I even spoke about coming down to see him but was deterred. If I had found out about his pretense at that vulnerable time, I would have been very hurt. Luckily, I had come to see some of his flaws and gotten stronger in my RL and had drawn away from him quite amicably. And he certainly had many other friends here to tell his stories to (and was probably romancing in some way at the same time.)

I was catfished even if he never asked me for money. I’m not angry and I’m not “dancing on his grave.” I’m certainly sad that he’s dead. I’m glad that others enjoyed his stories and may have seen them for what they were, I bought into them and was duped. Telling stories but being upfront about them is a different thing from pretending that this is your life.

Some have called him a hero but if sticking up for a close friend whom you think was wronged makes you a hero, I’d hope we’d all do that.

The main point I’d like to make is that arguing over how people reacted to him and invalidating others’ responses is not useful or productive.

I hope eventually we can lay this issue to rest. I am saddened for his sake that he needed to lie and that he had such a difficult life. He was a brilliant, compassionate erratic man who added a lot of color to our lives. I wish he had had the ability to be a real writer of fiction.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@canidmajor . Maybe it was a beat down thread. I stop following a thread when it becomes just an argument. I thankfully, am not involved with facebook. It seems petty, to me, that people can’t settle their differences here. So they do things that can’t be moded (I assume) elsewhere.

Those of us with strong opinions, and no fear of saying what we think, can definitely get themselves into a hole. I know I work my way into people’s dog houses here plenty.

I’m with the penguin on some big points here. I hate to see the bickering.

Peace n love Fluther….

Aethelwine's avatar

@janbb This is the best response I’ve read concerning this situation. Thank you for being honest. You are loved.

Aethelwine's avatar

sorry for double post

@MrGrimm888 A user from here tried to compare my transgender child lying about his identity to what EC did. This was in a private Fluther FB group 2 days ago. I am not in the group and not connected in any way with these women, but I have allies. This woman crossed the line speaking about my child.

They are fascinated with me for whatever reason. I just want to be left alone.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Ah. FUCK Facebook. Bunch of grade school girls, is how everyone acts there…

I can remember when I cared about what people said behind my back. It was hurtful, until I realized that people who talk shit behind people’s backs, are not worth my time, or even attention….

The sooner everyone stops the behind the back stupidity, the sooner this can be discussed, and digested by our community.

I wish everyone would calm down, and just let some of us mourn. I think there will be plenty of time to discuss all the ins and outs of this later. Those of us mourning, are getting defensive, and it’s creating tension within the pond. Maybe someone could start a thread about the negative aspects, and those of us who aren’t comfortable with it, can mind our own business…

janbb's avatar

@MrGrimm888 It is dying down now. I agree it’s time to stop discussing it – forever. There’s really nothing more productive to say.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Yeah. Let’s let the dust settle…

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Aethelwine I am SO sorry that anyone could be so callous as to make such a comparison.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Well certainly it’s ok to believe! More ok than to respond to a month old question. (Don’t know why I tend to do that).

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