Tuesday, June 22, 2004

My Blue Fantasy-World Heaven
Things I'd rather be seeing and doing...

I told someone yesterday that I was delving farther into escapism, but that the worlds I wanted to escape into were gone before I was born.

Well that wasn't entirely true.

I don't want to live in any specific Greco-Roman empire historical world. I'd want to live in a Hercules Sword and Sandal historical world.

Obviously, the real old west was about pioneers, busting sod, and panning for gold, so even more obviously, I want to live in the Spaghetti Western world.

If I'm living today. I don't want to be in a joe average yakuza world. It's a Miike world all the way.

In worlds like that, let's face it, there'd never be a dull moment.

I can't imagine a single character in any of those movies, well at least none of the ones I liked, buying insurance. They wouldn't stand in line at the DMV. Good or bad, they don't fill out paperwork.

So it's not that they were over before I was born, they didn't exist in the first place. They were stories. Movie sets. Actors. Celluloid. You don't like to think of them that way, but that's what they were. When the day was over, Lee Van Cleef took off his western outfit, made some phone calls, took a shower, had some dinner, read his script, and went to bed. (Ok, and he probably had a drink or two.) Point is that he wasn't out kicking some @$$ all the time. He had other things to worry about.

That's what's funny. I know the difference, and I'm not on the verge of some psychotic break. I still know that even if I was nuts, it's still fantasy. Just like I'm aware that my favorite escapist materials are still just a book or a movie or a comic. Granted, if I were crazy, I wouldn't care...but, at least at this point I know the difference.

I sometimes wonder where everyone gets the idea that the world would be better if everyone were at peace with a roof over their hand, food in their mouths, and happy all the time.

Truth is....It'd be really Boring.

There's a two pronged answer to that.

One is idealistically. I'm sure I already mentioned in here somewhere about the constant critical derision about the Paradiso segment of The Divine Comedy. No matter how good a writer Dante was, he couldn't describe absolute beauty and perfection in a way that didn't eventually become... frankly, boring. If you wanna look at everything in it's really natural form, it's always opposite. War makes you appreciate peace. Sadness makes you value your happiness. And so on.

Second, there's a wonderful book called The Lathe of Heaven that describes pretty well the ridiculous lengths we would have to go to so that we could eliminate everything that pits us a against one another. I take it even farther: no race, no gender, no body types, no monetary values, and so on. Everyone would have to be exactly like everyone else to make it happen.

Luckily, barring clones, nature has insured that that won't happen.

Anyhow, back to the movies...

Quentin Tarantino in a sound quip said something to the effect that Thomas Edison's movie camera was good at capturing two things "Killing and Kissing." Well, I'd like my movie world to be more literary than that, but the effect is the same.

Even in that, I'd have dualism (and I'm sure I've mentioned this one before). I always like martial arts and samurai movies because the heroes are motivated by tradition, culture, and honor. Everything they do has a reason. Sometimes that reasoning is wrong, but everything is motivated. On the contrary, I love spaghetti westerns, where the heroes don't believe in anything at all.

But that goes along with how I believe the world should be...and it is...but it's still not like my fantasy world.

I have no idea where I'm going with this.

All I know is that there would be a whole lot less time-wasting real life crap to deal with.


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