When my children were growing up I’d periodically remind them that “everything you see on TV or in a movie is probably a lie.” We didn’t have a TV but I knew they’d see things at their mother’s place and in the homes of their friends. By the time they were at school they knew people don’t fly backwards when struck with bullets, that guns don’t go “click” every time they’re pointed at someone, and that defibrillators can’t restart a motionless heart. They also knew that forensics evidence is rarely as cut-and-dried as it’s made to seem on TV shows and that eyewitness testimony is essentially worthless. They worked out for themselves that memory isn’t like a videotape that can be replayed with perfect fidelity. Unfortunately it seems a great many people reach adulthood without having discovered that the pablum churned out by Hollywood is an extremely poor guide to real life.

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