Between the experience of living a normal life at this moment on the planet and the public narratives being offered to give a sense to that life, the empty space, the gap is enormous. The desolation lies there, not in the facts. This is why one third of the French population are ready to listen to Le Pen. The story he tells – evil as it is – seems closer to what is happening in the streets. Differently, this is also why people dream of “virtual reality”. Anything – from demagogy to manufactured onanistic dreams – anything, anything to close the gap! In such gaps people get lost, and in such gaps people go mad.
(John Berger, ‘A Bed’ in ‘The Shape of a Pocket’, 2001)