While we were at the cottage, my mom was relating to me a story about the last time she and my dad had seen a Moose. As they drove along a highway, they passed a logging road, running perpendicular to them. She looked down the road, and saw the silhouette of a Moose. "It made no sense to me," she said, "that someone should have put up one of those black, wooden silhouettes out here. You know the kind I mean, like a cat about to climb a tree on your lawn. I looked at it again to see if it was a statue, and it wasn't a statue either. It suddenly occured to me that it was real, and then it moved. I was shocked to see it there."
I found this a fascinating account of how we are conditioned to favour the representation over the real. The real becomes apparent to us only by the absence of representation--it is not what is, but what is not. We look for the representation so that we can dismiss it, so that we are not forced to look at it or deal with it. When the real comes to stand in for the imitation, we are not prepared, for the real demands that we see it. The real shouldn't be there.