Sunday, February 21, 2016

I don't want to be fictional...

I'm definitely and happily nonfictional. 

Even in my fandoms, I'm interested in nonfictional elements, such as the 1960s design elements in Star Trek, or what Duluth was like when Hutch was growing up.

But I am sympathetic to the impulse to be fictional.

This macro, below, gets at something---some people don't want to be in this world. 
(The images happen to be from Supernatural, but fans have applied the text widely. 
I can't find its original source. Here's an early one anyway: Harry Potter: "I want to join them.")

Here's the text :

"My problem isn't that my favorite characters aren't real; it's that I'm not fictional.
I don't want them to be real.
What I desperately wish is that I could be fictional with them.
It's not that I want them here with me in this mundane and ordinary world. It's that I want to join them in their extraordinary one."


Every generation has its traumas; would every generation create some version of this meme, if it had the Internet?

Sixteen hundred years ago, Augustine said we're all just pilgrims in this world; our real home is with God. 
Is that a version?

 Lately I've been pondering the effects on children who are now young adults of having witnessed (on their TVs) the World Trade Center collapse on 9/11.
Unlike Pearl Harbor, 9/11 wasn't followed by a righteous war. 
Unlike Vietnam, there is no moralistic protest movement in response. 
There was just this huge rip in the fabric of the "ordinary world", and it keeps on fraying...

I have no conclusions--I'm just waiting and watching.

Every generation is shaped by its traumas.
Growing up during the Vietnam War and Watergate, I saw (on nonfiction TV) how violent and greedy and stupid people can be.

All around me, I also saw people engaged in active resistance or creation:  
my parents took me on anti-war marches; our neighbors were among the founders of the first food co-op; feminism came in when I was in high school...

I was escapist too: 
I read all the time (all the time: bed, bath, and beyond), and I watched Star Trek every chance I got (only one episode after school, Mondays through Thursdays).

If I'd had the Internet, would I have stayed in that extraordinary world?
I'd have loved it, but temperament is a factor too, and I've always been attracted by nonfiction.

How did that transporter work, anyway?


Zhoen said...

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.”

- M. Twain.

ArtSparker said...

I frequently feel apologetic toward people in their twenties, it seems the boomers got a lot of the best stuff, the sense of possibility, today the options seem much more limited. A little tangential, maybe.

Fresca said...

ZHOEN: Thanks for the Twain quote.
I've been thinking about it, and I'd say both fiction and nonfiction are ways of trying to get at or express "Truth".

[It also put me in mind of that other famous quote:
"What is truth?"]

ART SPARKER: No, not tangential at all--very much the sort of thing I was thinking of---
what is it to be in one's 20s now? What have we passed on?