Culture vulture

Living in a fantasy world
Most of us have been accused at one time or another of “living in a fantasy world.” The funny thing about such an accusation is that it’s perfectly true, but not in the way that our accusers generally mean it. Because most of us are inhabiting worlds generated not by our own fantasies, but are instead ensnared in a tangled web of fantasy spun out of the minds of everyone around us. Unfortunately, due to the economic circumstances of the corporeal world, so many of our fantasies are mutually exclusive that most of us can only imagine what it would be like to live in a world where our fantasies are encouraged to come true.

United solipsists
Tom Wolfe in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, recounts a tale about how psychedelic pioneer Ken Kesey, at the time a fugitive from justice, infiltrated one of the Acid Tests dressed in a silver spaceman’s costume. Kesey, intrepid tripper that he was, climbed up on some scaffolding with a device that allowed him to project written messages on the walls. One that got a significant reaction from the gathering of trippers was, “If you think you’re God, get on stage.” Kesey more than likely was just trying to encourage people to take charge of their own fantasies and realize that their power to make choices allows them to generate their own reality. In my fantasy everyone there would have climbed onto the stage and started an elaborate ceremonial dance of mutual self-acceptance that spread out of the building through the city and across the world in a wave of ecstatic union that encompassed every life form, rock, molecule and energy mote in the universe. What would have happened after that I’ll leave up to you.

Oh, the humanity
I was walking down Wall Street on my way home from 7-Eleven with a friend and a six-pack when we were surrounded by a half-dozen or so teenage boys who were trying to provoke a fight. My friend stopped to reason with them while I continued across Third Street. When I looked back I saw them knock him down and proceed to apply their Doc Martens to his head and ribs. As I ran back across the street to try to divert them so he could get up and away, I fired the only weapon I had, words. “So are you gonna go home and jack off and think about what a big tough man you are because you beat up a guy who didn’t want to fight you, you chickenshit little pricks?” I yelled in their faces before waking up on a stretcher, soaked in blood from a split eyebrow. I got 20-odd stitches, but I didn’t hear about anybody else getting beat up in the next few months.

Fantasies I’d prefer to avoid

1. Liberian small-boy squads

2. Mercury-laden sashimi

3. Another record by Limp Bizkit

4. The Terminator for governor