Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Let's Pretend

My husband loves to tease me about my fascination with all things sci-fi, especially comic-book movies. I dragged him out to see "The Dark Knight" again last weekend, though no actually arm-twisting was necessary. Anyway, after we leave the movie he starts asking me stuff like... Hubby: I bet you wish you were Batman and you could ride the Bat-cycle and run around kicking ass.... Me: What are you smoking? I don't want to be Batman. Hubby: No? Then you want to be Wonder Woman or someone like that...I mean, it has to be a girl right? Since you're a girl? Me: (looking at him like he's crazy) Wha....? To my husband, it's perfectly logical to assume that my love of comic book characters means that I actually want to be one. But I like to think I have a healthy understanding of the line between the real world and an imaginary one. But maybe my husband has a better understanding of things than I do. Take Comic Con for example. I really wish I could have gone, mostly because Hugh Jackman showed up-- but I digress. Comic Con, while a very cool assemblage of all things sci-fi/fantasy related, has become well known for attracting people who love to dress up as their heroes. To some extent I get this. Who wouldn't want to be Captain Kirk, Wolverine or Wonder Woman? Me? I'd like to wake up tomorrow looking like Angelina Jolie, but that's another story... But here's the thing, I don't personally want to dress up as Lara Croft (or any other Angelina persona) because just wearing the costume won't make me magically transform into that person. No matter how cool I want to be, I'll just be a geek in a costume. In my earlier life, before I chose to play-it-safe after becoming a mom, I did like to do as many interesting things as I could. I traveled, para-sailed, drove fast cars-- stuff like that. Sure it's not adventure novel stuff, but they were wonderful experiences to me. The point being that I tried to live an interesting life that was my own, not a knock-off of someone else's. In the modern world however, it seems that people are feeling the need to go to extraordinary lengths to make their own lives interesting--in a pretend world. I think the Reality TV show phenomenon is a direct result of this. I mean, everyone wants to be famous now, don't they? In fact, I believe that most "Reality" shows wouldn't have to offer prizes to get people on the show. Nope. All people really want is to be on TV and be a star. Just look at Youtube. The amount of stupidity on display just for the sake of attention is staggering. And you know what? It appears that there is now a mental illness that backs me up on this. Yep, it's called "The Truman Show Delusion." ~From The New York Post TWO Montreal shrinks have diagnosed a new mental illness where sufferers are convinced their life is one, big reality TV show. They're calling the disorder the "Truman Show Delusion," after the 1998 movie starring Jim Carrey. Psychologist brothers Joel and Ian Gold, who are writing a paper about the illness, have treated five men, all between the ages of 25-34, for the disorder. "I realized that I was and am the center, the focus of attention by millions and millions of people," one patient told the doctors. "My family and everyone I knew were and are actors in a script, a charade whose entire purpose is to make me the focus of the world's attention." "The delusions we treat are narrow," Dr. Joel Gold told Canada's National Post newspaper. "There is Capgras Delusion, where someone will think his family has been replaced by doubles. "Or the Fregoli Delusion, where someone believes that one person is persecuting him," he says. "The Truman Show Delusion, though, involves the entire world. We really should have seen this coming. I wonder what it is about the world that has people craving so much attention? Personally I think the root of it all is the out-of-proportion amount of fawning that our celebrities receive. And I'm not guiltless here. After all, my fantasy is to look like Angelina Jolie and marry Hugh Jackman-- is that so wrong? But at the end of the day, I know what really matters. I might not wake up tomorrow looking like my favorite pouty-lipped actress, but I also won't wake up homeless or hungry. I'll wake up with two healthy children, a lovely home and husband who loves me. Why would I want to be anyone else?


Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Naw, I don't want to be anyone else either. I'm perfectly happy being good ole Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator.

Charles Gramlich said...

I have a clear sense of reality and fantasy myself. Although I love to put myself into other worlds through imagination, I'm clear on what it takes here in the real world. And when I create imaginary worlds it's always "me" acting in the stories. I don't ever imagine that I'm someone else, although I do sometimes imagine that I'm younger or stronger.

Avery DeBow said...

I like to pretend I have twenty-twenty vision. It only works until I fall down.

Stewart Sternberg said...

After watching the furries in action and watching the overweight guy in the skintight tron outfit...well, let's just say there's crazy. Then there's crazy. All that being said...just call me Bond, James Bond.

SQT said...


Yeah, but you're the Intergalactic Gladiator in a healthy way. ;)


Most of the time I just imagine I'm much better looking.


I tried that too but then my husband threatened to take my car away.


I so have my Bond moments. Usually when I see an Aston Martin. I mean, I don't want to be a guy or anything. But I would like to have that car.

Steve Malley said...

I wear my cape around the house.

Say It said...

man, does this post hit home!!!

I have met so many kids that annoy the crap out of me with how self centered, rude, and unfocused they are. Personally, I believe it is because there is nothing for them to focus their energies on, the home revolves around their activities, their wants, their needs and what they want. There is an entire generation with a lack of purpose out there and I find it a little scarey.

On the other hand, I too would love to wake up as Angelina Jolie.

Heather said...

Speaking of Bond, I just watched the Quantum of Solace trailer. Knocked my whole Cthulhu costume off!

Kidding. But that trailer was sweet.

Carl V. said...

I wouldn't want to dress up necessarily either, but I think it is cool that people put that kind of time and effort into their costumes, make up, etc. I have had very powerful connections with tv shows, films, books, etc. and I consider that most of those people are just finding a way to outwardly express their connection with a particular character. Of course there is a degree of attention seeking and desire for acceptance with some but that is present in many of us anyway so I don't mind. I'm kind of glad people do it, it is fun to people watch if nothing else.