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Imagination and all its sisters


What makes one cling to fantasies so dearly? I can understand the impulse to run away from your life. But what color is your courage that pushes you beyond the limits of truth? To suspend reality and recede in thoughts. To forget and to belong.

I just saw a docudrama 'catfish'. The movie chronicles online exchanges that is just about to evolve into a  relationship which takes a new turn due to uncovering of a deception. While I suspect that it might be scripted itself, it certainly strikes you with its reality. Our reality, that is only defined by the deceptions around us.

How fragile are we? To need to run away from reality so often? So your partner vice is the cigarette, his' is grass (respect!), her's is booze, but everyone's hooked onto the internet the most.

Kids slip deep under the blanket to escape reality. But when someone takes away the blanket, the kid has to face the real world. Game over. Grown ups shut down the world around and populate the world inside with assumptions and make-believe stories. (Stuff fanatics are made of) Their blanket takes some work to be taken away. The blanket that is readily available these days to us, young and old, is quite alluring for its potency in anonymity and versatility in creating make-believe world - the internet.

I was wondering by giving us this individual escape towards togetherness, we are allowing us to slide to a more fragile world. Imagination has been the hallmark of human existence but it often was a collaborative act in search of strength. So the evening ritual of song and dance of our ancestors perhaps created enough noise and energy to frighten away possible predators (and more potent mythical fears) and give the group some courage.

Quick fix courage = Forgetting + imagination 
Forgetting real world; imagining a new one.

But the nature of imagination has now changed.
Imagination is no more a collaboration in real proximity in space and spirit. Digital world fragmented the act of imagination. Now the act of seeking courage is inverted. The demons of everyday boredom do not get tamed very easily. The inversion has to be fantastic. So now the courage is sought digitally not along with fellow tribesmen but tested against other men/women, and wholly supported by one's own imagination. Cruel pressures of individuality. Its the entrance fee to enter this generation.
Its like the digital world is a tub filled with bubbles of imagination floating around, waiting to hit and hurt each other, until you find one that gets merged without question.

Comments

sonal jhuj said…
at times i agreed.
at times i wasnt too sure.
but mostly i was left confused.
Ajinkya said…
ya.. i know..
I wrote it right after watching the documentary and put down the thoughts I had quickly. should have laid the context simply.
ah well, anyways, guess I could write up a paper over this continuing my digital native paper sometime later. :)
sonal jhuj said…
at times i agreed.
at times i wasnt too sure.
but mostly i was left confused.

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Withdrawal symptoms

Ctrl-tab
Ctrl-tab...
Scroll Scroll Scoll..
Alt-tab
Alt-tab...
Catch yourself slipping away.

Deep  breath. 

Close the browser. silence the mobile and turn it away.

Open an offline-real-paper diary. Stop your thighs from lolling impatiently. Stay still. 

Pick up a pen awkwardly. ahh, the fingers are stiff. It will take a  while for them to get used to holding a pen. Quick finger exercise - open the palm, stretch finger outwards, close into a fist, dig the fingers in. Repeat.
Ok now.. about to pick up the pen again, but eyes dart towards the screen. Tempted to check email.

Shut up. The last consequential email came two months ago. Nothing of consequence is online.

Pick up the pen. Don't fetishize the object now. Get on with it. Put it on paper, write a word and start it already. If I get to a sentence, perhaps I will get into a flow and won't have to look up from the paper at all. 

One sentence later.

Ahh. That was good. I am feeling good about myself. The sentence makes sense. …