I have been a consumer of fantasy media all my life. I love a great who-dun-it, spend hours and days tearing through novels of all kinds. I’ve always appreciated visual entertainment, movies and television. Remember watching Star Trek in its first run, have followed Dr. Who for the better part of its entire run.
As the about me page for this blog points out, I derive great pleasure from posing as the devil’s advocate. In order to explore various angles of argumentative attack, it is important to be able to hold ideas temporarily, as a basis for testing these ideas. Entertain notions that you really don’t support simply as a basis to test a hypothesis.
I believe in the value of fantasy, in other words. That there is a benefit to engaging in fantastical speculation that can lead to insights which are denied people who stick to reality at all times. That there is a redemptive value in escapism, an expansion of mind only possible to the imaginative.
The problem isn’t fantasy. The problem is mistaking fantasy for reality.
You know the kind of people I’m talking about. What you probably don’t know is that you are one of the people I’m talking about. Even I’m one of those people, on occasion. In the miasma of influences the average person is subjected to these days, it is hard to separate what is real from what is fiction. It takes a dedication to unbiased research, to reading stories that you disagree with just to see if you can find the facts that are buried in the story, to come to the point of determining what the reality of the situation is. Even then you can be mistaken.
You can be mistaken because of the sad fact that there are entire organizations, websites and social groups set up specifically to delude you into believing that the comfortable fiction is reality.
No, this is not a conspiracy theory, which would in actuality be a conspiracy fantasy. Conspiracy sites are some of the worst offenders, right up there next to climate change denial, vaccine denial, anti-GMO propaganda, creationism and pro-life websites. All of these kinds of sites share some basic common themes; namely, the discrediting of accepted science and the proposal of an alternate narrative at odds with what the scientific method has revealed to us as we’ve learned to apply it.