Saturday, 19 November 2016

Defining Fantasy.

These days I tend to resist going into that world which most people inhabit, so much so that I dread it a little when the prospect is unavoidable. You know the world I mean – the world of fast highways and recreation venues and places where people talk of TV shows and celebrities and the tragedy of a lost monoculture. These days my reality is the world of trees and animals and birds and blogging and dreams of the Yangtze River cruise and my future with The Woman and searching YouTube for strange music from far off places.

‘You’re living in a fantasy world,’ I’m told. ‘You need treatment.’

Yes I am, and maybe I do, and the only reply I can conjure is:

‘So are you. Your fantasy resides in shopping malls and furniture warehouses and new car salesrooms, and is built on the fantastical – not to say delusional – notion that having new cars and new carpets and the latest smart phone makes you happy. It doesn’t. Like any addiction it gives you a temporary high, and when it wears off you need another fix. And so you head back to the peddlers of the painted fa├žade; more than that even, you make regular visits to stay topped up and be convinced that all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.

Do excuse my appropriation of a literary reference and application to alternative purpose. It just seemed to fit rather nicely.

‘Ah, but,’ comes the retort, ‘cars and carpets and smart phones are real things, concrete things, things you can own and touch and use. Your fantasy is all in the mind.’

‘Quite right,’ I say, ‘insofar as it goes. But fantasy isn’t about concrete things. All fantasy is in the mind, and the only difference between yours and mine is that yours is created and designed by a system over which you have no effective control and then injected into your bloodstream while you sleep, whereas mine is tailor made. By me.’

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