09 March 2007

Don't Lie to Your Mind. It's Unkind.

Yet we all do it. Why? Why should it be so difficult to resist deceiving ourselves? I suppose it has something to do with hope. We need a certain instinct for imaginative creation just to get by, to hypothesize and perceive long-term rewards. This is part of what helped us as a species get to where we are today, the ability to imagine ourselves happier if:
  • We kill a mastodon instead of a grass rat;
  • We take a little longer to find a sharper rock to skin it with; and
  • We avoid killing Ghlugg every time he does that stupid interpretive dance thing.
Sure, it's become more abstract in recent eons. It's not so much about immediate survival, hence the emphasis on the idea of hope. Things are bad now? Don't likey the president? Hatey your job? Have hope, lil' soldier! Hope's good for what ails you.

And relatively speaking (or writing), as long as your hope-o-meter (or fiction-o-gramme, for you Europeans) is in fairly regular interaction with the outside world, you get helpful feedback. Helpful in the sense of:
  • Hey! You are a little more awesome than that. Don't dress so poorly.
  • Hey! That may look an awful lot like a good thing to eat, but those in the know know it will eventually kill you.
  • Hey! You can not fly, no matter how much you want to. Step away from the ledge. Step away . . .
Not so much, when it comes to one's internal imagination system. Hope has a much more enhanced ability--nigh mutagenic, one might say--to polymorph into utter falsity. Anyone read the report of Gingrich confessing his extramarital affair, which occurred during Lewinskygate? Holla back, Newt! Holla back. Did he perceive the moral loophole afforded him by his religious views, or was it a subconscious struggle? We may never know. What we do know is that not one of us is without self-deception on some level, so we may not throw the first stone. Even if he did totally project his own self-hatred on someone with more responsibility. Even if it turned him into the same kind of liar he railed against in those halcyon days. And even if I do say, "Jehovah."

Don't worry guys: I'm only bringing this up because of the title of the play I'm working on now. Yep. And yes, sometimes there is a strange, coincidental reflection between the show one is working on and one's own life. But that's just superstition. And yeah, fate does make fools of us all, and the Oracle can not be broken, and all that, but I'm sure my life is going to be just peachy no matter what portents come my way. And--though this may seem something of a non-sequitor--someday I'll be Batman. Yep. Uh-huh . . .


Patrick said...

Huh? What the hell you on about, bwah? I'm intrigued though, I will admit. My interpretive dances ROCK, admit it. And I can too fly. Also Monty Python and the Holy Grail again, though no, you didn't ask. And I can't wait to see you as Batman. Mmmm... Jeff in lycra... That is the point, right? Hope you're feeling better.

Patrick said...

Shit, no, Life of Brian, not Holy Grail, that's what I meant. I did TOO.

Jeff Wills said...

Hrm. It only took you a minute to realize your error, soooooo...