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[fan-taz-muh-gawr-ee-uh, -gohr-]



1. a shifting series of phantasms, illusions, or deceptive appearances, as in a dream or as created by the imagination.

2.a changing scene made up of many elements.

3. an optical illusion produced by a magic lantern or the like in which figures increase or diminish in size, pass into each other, dissolve, etc.


I love this word. It conjures visions of a world that surrounds us and that we can master.

Fear of the unknown tomorrow haunts our waking moments, and invades our peaceful slumber. The more responsibility we have for others, spouse, children, elderly parents, others who are in need of assistance, the more we fear life will turn against us.

This chaotic world challenges our belief system and tradition. What will come tomorrow?


Some take to the streets with funny hats and placards that nobody remembers. Others turn to authority and believe the promises made to gain power. Still others turn to GOD and a system that explains he will make it all right if you only follow his teaching. We have become expert at finding fault, but lacking in finding meaning.


If you are still reading this, you are starting to get uncomfortable. Who the hell is this guy to tell me what I think? You are right! I don't know what you think. But we share some common traits as Humans! We long for security. We want to plan a vacation with the knowledge that we will have a job and bank account when we return. We want to purchase a house and car with the knowledge we can pay for it, and plan a retirement.


But our world has been turned into uncertainty by over reaching government and enterprise that no longer values our services. There are too many of us doing the same thing. We can easily be replaced with an Internet search that will reveal someone younger, cheaper, and more desperate.


Which brings the subject to the Internet. We can obtain all knowledge with a GOOGLE. No longer must we ponder over leather bound tombs that take hours, days to reveal information surrounded by confusing discussion. We can go directly to KOS, or Huffington Post and get precisely what we wanted to know.


AND we can go to social media and find those of like mind, to comfort us in the knowledge that we posses the answer to life. If anyone dares question our truth, we can stick a link in his face and drive him away. AAAGH. We have the answer to life's problems.


Now that our stature has been raised. We can seek out web sites to display our knowledge and expertise. We can create an Avatar that displays our greater understanding of the world. We can curse America and those fools who think it offers hope to the world that each man can live in dignity. We can prove that everybody has a right to everything, and damn those who have more than their fair share.


What a wonderful world we live in. So why do I feel that it is all Phantasmagoria?


EXPAT Added Feb 20, 2017 - 11:59am
I became a pariah by calling participants on social web sites a Pile of Pixels-POP. Since the only site I use to piss people off, WB, is down. I had time to offer a more thoughtful presentation. Most of you will excuse it as more Crap from an ASSHOLE, but that's OK. I enjoy challenging people to think. Even if they hate me for it.
Mircea Negres Added Feb 20, 2017 - 1:56pm
EXPAT, this was like hitting the target at a thousand yards, and the picture of the guy getting reamed by the bull was well chosen. Who knows, maybe those brave or foolhardy souls who run with the bulls at Pamplona will try wearing kilts next so the bull doesn't step on pants weighed down by certain brown matter... Good points and nothing made me feel uncomfortable. The POP piece was spot-on too, because it was true. Heck, I'm a pile of pixels to anybody here, and see no sense in getting uptight because you called it like you saw it. You a pariah? Not in my book.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Feb 20, 2017 - 2:07pm
Wow. Had to google some of the words, but it catches on.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Feb 20, 2017 - 2:08pm
We read experience, we don't experience it. And then we think we KNOW.
EXPAT Added Feb 20, 2017 - 5:27pm
MJ. We each have our own way of dealing with life. It's when our way becomes the only way, that problems start.
Now we have half the people demanding that the other half conform or be destroyed. Not a formula for harmony.
EXPAT Added Feb 20, 2017 - 5:41pm
Mircea. You read me 100%. But there are some who cannot face up to life and live on and for the internet.
EXPAT Added Feb 20, 2017 - 5:46pm
Internet addiction results in personal, family, academic, financial, and occupational problems that are characteristic of other addictions.  Impairments of real life relationships are disrupted as a result of excessive use of the Internet.  Individuals suffering from Internet addiction spend more time in solitary seclusion, spend less time with real people in their lives, and are often viewed as socially awkward. Arguments may result due to the volume of time spent on-line.  Those suffering from Internet addiction may attempt to conceal the amount of time spent on-line, which results in distrust and the disturbance of quality in once stable relationships.
Some suffering from Internet addiction may create on-line personas or profiles where they are able to alter their identities and pretend to be someone other than himself or herself.  Those at highest risk for creation of a secret life are those who suffer from low-self esteem feelings of inadequacy, and fear of disapproval.  Such negative self-concepts lead to clinical problems of depression and anxiety.
Many persons who attempt to quit their Internet use experience withdrawal including: anger, depression, relief, mood swings, anxiety, fear, irritability, sadness, loneliness, boredom, restlessness, procrastination, and upset stomach.  Being addicted to the Internet can also cause physical discomfort or medical problems such as: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, dry eyes, backaches, severe headaches, eating irregularities, (such as skipping meals), failure to attend to personal hygiene, and sleep disturbance.
EXPAT Added Feb 20, 2017 - 5:53pm
Stone. You and I, and Mircea have experienced life at a basic level. But too many people who have never left their home town except for a vacation at a resort that mimics home, become experts based on knowledge from the Internet.
EXPAT Added Feb 20, 2017 - 9:34pm
MJ deleted her comment. Too close to home I guess.
EXPAT Added Feb 20, 2017 - 10:41pm
MJ. I did not expect ANY comments on this piece. When you tell people they are deficient and fooling themselves, it never goes over well.
See my first comment!
Also, you and I are in a different time zone than America.
Ari Silverstein Added Feb 21, 2017 - 9:31am
There is a difference between knowledge and information.  Google provides us information, how we process that information is what knowledge is all about and Google can’t think for us.  Furthermore, social media didn’t change our desire to hang-out with like-minded people. 
EXPAT Added Feb 21, 2017 - 12:22pm
The key word is PEOPLE Ari. Instead of hanging out with people, coaching soccer, playing Soft Ball, Bowling night, card games, joining clubs, visiting each other's homes, book clubs, local plays, family night; all the things that are long forgotten, we sit in front of a screen and look at Pixels.
I can show everybody how smart I am with a few hundred key strokes and a little copy/paste. Why try and improve myself by taking community college courses, or discussion groups, or prayer groups? All I have to do is Log in as Ari Silverstein, and I can challenge any other Pile of Pixels to a verbal duel.
This is better than TV, or Cyber Games.
EXPAT Added Feb 21, 2017 - 12:28pm
Society no longer exists. Soon a smart phone chip will be implanted in our heads and there will be no need to leave the house at all. A monthly living allowance will be deposited in my account, and my hologram will perform sex as directed. Life will be perfect! Only problem will be, IT Isn't Life.
EXPAT Added Feb 21, 2017 - 12:37pm
I like the way MJ keeps deleting her comment and running away. She and all those who avoid this article are cowards hiding from the truth.
But the truth invades what is left of their humanity, and makes them angry.
Just a suggestion! Go out and be with people, and then come back and write about it on WB.
We are losing our humanity and becoming a Pile of Pixels.
Dino Manalis Added Feb 21, 2017 - 1:10pm
We have to make some reality out of the insanity!
EXPAT Added Feb 21, 2017 - 1:28pm
How can we do that Dino? Reality is what we are hiding from.
Muslim's are slitting throats and raping women. So if we bring them to our country, they will get fat and stop hurting others!
Ben Ghazi taught us alternate reality. Pretend that an attack on our embassy was a demonstration against a bad video. Put a moronic woman on all the morning news TV shows denying it had anything to do with terror, and not an attack on U.'S.'. Have POTUS make a speech to the UN, saying the threat is over, we have the film maker in jail. Have Madam Secretary do what she does best, LIE. Problem solved!
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Feb 21, 2017 - 4:10pm
You're right.
Thomas Napers Added Feb 22, 2017 - 2:45am
Gone are the days where two people have some disagreement about who was Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State, we simply look it up on Google and move-on with the conversation.  However, that didn’t remove knowledge from the conversation, it just provided some closure to it.  In other words, I agree with Ari.
People are still coaching soccer, playing Soft Ball, Bowling night, card games, joining clubs, visiting each other's homes, book clubs, local plays, family night… In other words, people are still hanging out with other people.  
I’ll never forget the time I was at a restaurant with friends and everyone was busy texting.  I made fun of them all and soon thereafter bought a full-keyboard phone and became a texter myself.  So yes, there are some drawbacks but the change technology has provided is mostly good. 
What’s so wrong about backing up a point with a link?
EXPAT Added Feb 22, 2017 - 8:05am
Thomas. This article was not written for the person who does diligent research on the Internet, and participates in life. It was written for the people whose lives have been TAKEN OVER by social blogs. Who no longer participate in people oriented activities. Those for whom participating in multiple websites is an obsession. That is BAD!
"What’s so wrong about backing up a point with a link? "
Truth gets buried under dozens of links. What ever fantasy you want to back up, you have dozens of links to prove it. False testimony.
MJ Added Feb 22, 2017 - 1:57pm
"MJ deleted her comment. Too close to home I guess."
Has nobody ever told you, you suck at analysing people in general? Maybe I am a "coward hiding from YOUR truth."
I don`t do Facebook, Twitter etc. only WB for relaxing purposes. I have a full social life, so where does that leave your theory?
It is 2017 Sunshine, wake up! You have been left out of real life for too theory!
MJ Added Feb 22, 2017 - 2:19pm
.........I think you are homesick!
EXPAT Added Feb 22, 2017 - 6:06pm
How interesting would Seinfeld have been if they all interacted on a computer?
All this protesting and invading Town Hall Meetings, and activist students, in acting out delusion, shows how corrupted our process of reasoning had become.
But just like withdrawal from Heroin, withdrawal from Progressivism and Internet Zombie (POP) is painful and emotionally challenging.
We are seeing, no, we are being forced to deal with how corrupted our electoral process had become.
The media are making fools of themselves, in name calling and distorting events.
Our Legal system is showing how corrupt the judiciary has become.
The whole world is seeing just how much AMERICA influences their lives.
Trump is IN YOUR FACE, whether you like it or not.
And I love it. It is good for the cardiovascular system to be constantly in High Anxiety. People are screaming at each other, threatening each other, and generally pissed off.
This is a civics lesson in Participatory Democracy that has people interacting with each other, like I haven't seen since Vietnam days.
Trump is forcing America to look at what it has become, and it ain't pretty folks.
We either have to accommodate the desires of each other (Compromise), or KILL each other.
It's not up to TRUMP, but what has become of the Democrats, that will decide America's and the Worlds fate.
They will either re group and become the party of the people, or go the way of Keith Ellison, Nancy Pelosi, and Louis Farrakhan into oblivion.
Right now hysteria and Ellison have the edge, but I am betting on the reconstruction, perhaps under another name, of Kennedy Democrats, and a true Dialectic. People to People.