Let’s Pretend: Fallacy or Fantasy

Whatever you heard about me is true
I change the rules and do what I wanna do
I’m in love with God, he’s the only way
‘Cuz you and I know we gotta die some day
If you think I’m crazy, you’re probably right
But I’m gonna have fun every muthaf***in’ night
If you like 2 fight, you’re a double-drag fool
I’m goin’ 2 another life, how ’bout you?
Prince, Let’s Pretend We’re Married 

I start with the end. That’s just kind of how I roll. 

All right, Loquacious here.  Let’s go with another quote, just because.
And together we’ll stare into silence
And we’ll try 2 imagine what it looks like
Yeah, we’ll try 2 imagine what, what silence looks like
Yeah, we’ll try 2 imagine what silence looks like
Yeah, we’ll try…
Prince, If I Was Ur Girlfriend 

Again, the end before the beginning. Maybe that’s a hint? 

So, two snips of Prince songs about imagination and pretending; using their closing lines as the intro of my article. 
I have a point, I swear. It might take a minute to get there, but I have a point.
What a ride.

In movies, the end is where everything is wrapped up and people usually feel good, or fulfilled; or answered. The point of the movie has made itself clear and folks walk out thinking about what has been presented.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to accomplish that here. I don’t know if I can wrap things up all tidy with a bow, or fulfill anyone or do much to answer people’s deep and serious questions. 
What I do know is that I’m going to talk about. What is it?

What makes thoughts go from “just ideas” to “beyond the pale”?

“let’s pretend” are magic words for me. They open up all realms of possibility and cut me free from the reality of my life: a heavy set not so pretty lady, married to a heavy set not so traditionally handsome man (don’t get me wrong, I think he is SUPER fine!); with 2 normal kids, a dog, a crazy busy schedule that doesn’t allow a lot of time to strengthen an already stressed out marriage, the usual money complaints (not enough of it) and work woes (a job that’s either annoying or stressful or both) and a myriad of other “standard fare” issues. In my real life, I have to deal with all these, even when it’s not fun.

With pretending, I can do what I want.

Pretending allows us to go way beyond ourselves and touch on infinite ideas, constructs, merits and worlds. Pretending can be seen as creation; whether through literary, artistic, visual, sonic or gastronomical works matters as little as the spark that started things. For many, the result of imagining and pretending doesn’t matter; it’s the process that fuels them. There’s a “starving artist” idea out there for a reason- for some, merely acting in a creative fashion is what nurtures them and the value of the creation can often fall to the wayside.

Let me say this again: pretending can be seen as creation.

Thuloid asked a pretty heavy question in his recent post  :

Can we go further and suggest that we game in imitation of the divine itself?

Gaming is modified pretending, in most cases. In very limited circumstances is gaming strictly educational or informative; but the vast majority of our games; our play itself- is nothing more than fancy make believe.

When does pretend become real? When does art imitate life? When does a thought process become something more dangerous?

This is a question people have been asking for as long as there have been things to argue over. The reality that people disagree on everything from necessities (food, clothing, shelter) to luxury (games and game systems) should be as completely evident to all.

For most, the act of disagreeing is pretty simple. You say “tomato” and I say “tamahto” and we just accept that we have different viewpoints and move on. There’s nothing personal about the interaction, and both parties continue to feel respected and whole.

Sometimes, however, ideas and thoughts enter into boundaries we set for our personal selves and make us uncomfortable and yes, even offended. Those thoughts and ideas make their way into our psyches and disturb our perceptions about certain things (usually others, but it happens that it’s self directed fairly often).  What then?

Are the ideas and concepts we’ve pretended or imagined become real? Have we become deities in action, creating not fables but truth? Are our ramblings now cogent and thus more insidious?

When thought becomes reality and when ideas cause concern is definitely worth considering. That’s just part of my exploration here, but it is one of the most important points.

Are certain types of ideas that are inherently “worse” than others?

I don’t know.

I’ve read enough history (Galileo, anyone?) and seen enough Law & Order and SVU episodes (as well as real life situations) to know that there are those that believe so. There are folks that want ideas to be watched and held under close scrutiny. There are people that will attack you for thinking, writing, saying- but not actually DOING- all manner of things. That’s not something I can find a lot of ways to support. The Thought Police is a real fucking scary proposition.

Some ideas are scary to some people. Sometimes those people want to squash out those ideas for a variety of reasons, but the biggest one is inevitably children and their innocence. Most of the time, that reason is the thinnest of shreds to hold to, but there are cases where it’s a genuine concern.

For those majority of times when children are a cover for less developed concerns, Ken from Popehat’s call of “for the children” as a mockery usually rings true for me.  Christopher Titus’ “Arm The Children” skit takes the mockery to an absurd extreme, and proves several points with just a few lines. But every now and then an idea crosses my boundaries and I find myself fighting a concept.

I think it’s safe to say we all have faced that situation- where an idea is so bafflingly outrageous that it steps firmly across our thresholds uninvited and causes great upset such that something- anything has to be DONE.

It’s happened here on more than one occasion. Hell, I’ve even incurred the wrath of the pitchfork masses at least once, and I am quite the milquetoast in comparison to some of our other, more strident writers. Does my desperate need to avoid confrontation at any turn mean that we censor what we write about so that there won’t be conflict? No, not here. Conflict happens here.

Knowing that it has happened here is worth mentioning. This is The House- a mature blog intended for adults. We are NOT by any means the family friendly FTW and that was part of the point of this place’s creation.


These are our jokes, man

It’s going to happen that something comes out of this place that someone is upset and there’s going to be concern. I’ve accepted it like you accept that there will be some bleeding at any hockey game you go to. It can’t be stopped, it just *IS*. 

It’s how it’s handled that matters- it’s very important to treat concerned folks with respect and to let them feel whole. I’m not interested in alienating anyone on the regular; and if I can find ways to have a courteous discussion, I am going to do that. 
Part of the job of being the BossLady here is growing both the mission and the writers. I both recruit and develop some truly talented writers, and help them get read by as many people as I can. By expanding the empire taking over the world getting more readers, I know more people than ever are reading. Pageviews are up and so are comments. The potential for concern goes up as readership does; it’s the way of it. There’s not a lot I can do about it, nor do I want to. 
I knew that the beginning of SinSynn’s most recent article could have been problematic because I read it before it went up. He wanted to know if I thought it was funny. I told him that I didn’t think I was his target audience, being a Terran Female and all. 
But I read it as his friend- someone that has been reading for a LONG time and knows all about the Megan issues. I read it as someone who has been exposed to the obsession and knows that while it’s exactly that (an obsession), it’s also a fantasy. 
I didn’t read it like the BossLady. BossLady supposedly carries a heavy purse and keeps folks in line with it. It’s infabled, according to Porky. But BossLady didn’t make an appearance before the article ran. Was that a problem? Quite possibly. I’m willing to concede that point. 
But I want to point something important out- BossLady didn’t HAVE to say anything even after it got published. Our readers said something, in a way that was both compelling and important. Peer pressure and public discourse worked far better than any threats or “punishment” I could ever try to enact. You, our readers, are a far better motivator than I will ever be. SinSynn busts his hump trying to make our readers happy, to bring smiles, and to talk about things in ways you or I never would. Without readers, he wouldn’t be who he is today. He may not know it, but he needs us and we need him. 
I read that article again- actually, probably a good 100 times or so. I have two comments about it. First, I’m personally glad that it went up. As this guy’s friend, I want him here.  Second, that article would never have been a problem if he had started with the ending. If he had begun with a discussion of his temper and his little breaks from us and everyone else, it would have been fine. 
I try to write my articles so that people get my point right away, and then expound on whatever I have to say with supporting arguments, sources, etc. I write a lot of my stuff like it’s a school assignment, and I approach my stuff with a certain point in mind. 
This time around I really wanted to talk about the ideas and processes of thoughts and discussion without getting to the “point”, which is-
we’re going to disagree. 
I want you here, even if we do disagree. I’m going to do everything in my power to hear you and find ways for us to be respectful about it, and give a space to anyone who wants to talk openly and honestly about why we disagree. It’s important that while we may not have everything in common, we do have a welcoming and safe place to talk about why. 
I’m going to end the same way I began, because that’s just how I roll. 
Electric word life 
it means forever and that’s a mighty long time
but I’m here to tell you
there’s something else 
Not the afterworld… no. The HOUSE

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