September 19, 2010

POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY: Perpendicular Thoughts on Objectifying Reality

In my mind’s eyes, I can clearly see my pastor where he stands on the stage, a music stand to one side holding his notes, a stool with a glass of water, himself sitting on another stool.

At the rear center of the worship center, over my shoulder and behind me, is a raised platform on which the closed-circuit camera rests, aimed quietly at the pastor. The image picked up by the trumpet-case-sized device, is projected up on a pair of HD screens on which the image is color-corrected to give realistic representation of the pastor.

I find my eyes drifting more often to the screen than to the person…


Why does science fiction on the Big Screen tromp, crush, smash and beat up science fiction on acid-free paper?

Over thirty years ago, I stood in a line that was blocks long, for two hours to get a chance to see the original STAR WARS movie (defying all logic, it is now Episode 4: A New Hope).

Today at Barnes & Noble, the number of STAR TREK, STAR WARS, HALO, WORLDS OF WARCRAFT and media-related novels almost matches the number of original science fiction and fantasy and horror novels.

It APPEARS to me that people would rather act out or watch others act out their SF/F/H fantasies – rather than invoke the words in a regular novel and with the author, create a totally new place.


Finally, in a line of thought not even cotangent to the above (though possibly perpendicular), I offer the following definitions:

OBJECTIFY: 1) exteriorize; make external or objective, or give reality to; "language externalizes our thoughts"; 2) depersonalize; make impersonal or present as an object; "Will computers depersonalize human interactions?"; "Pornography objectifies women"

Did you notice that they have opposite meanings (I didn’t even have to try to find them juxtaposed, they are the first two in GOOGLE define!)?

To compress a bit, the first definition makes something more real, the second less real. Is it any wonder that we have trouble with the concept of looking at something unreal and making it real – and looking at other things that are real and making them unreal? Is it in the nature of Humans to be able to do this without thinking – a nature that at the same time allows us to read words printed on a page and make from them a “reality” and look at a person in front of us and make of them a “thing”?


Could this confusion of definition lead to a situation like perceiving real people saying imaginary things, and hearing imaginary people saying things we perceive as real? (What pops into mind is when we put words into the mouths of politicians; and those who mouth the sayings of Paul Muad’Dib from DUNE as if they were real wisdom…)

Last thought to tie this all together: have we become so lazy of mind that the line between imagining reality and UNimagining reality has blurred to near invisibility?

Any thoughts on the subject?



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