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“It doesn’t matter because it’s imagined”

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One of the most annoying things I am confronted with when I discuss what I do is the repeated comeback… no.. insult…

“Fantasy and imagination doesn’t matter because you should accept reality”

I have walked .. no.. run from my prior life because I started seeing the beauty in the world.

And what did people do?

“Shut the fuck up. I don’t want to hear it. “

or

“That’s fiction”

or

“That’s imaginary”

As if you all are preprogrammed to not believe…

No. I get it. There’s much more to this all than meets the eye, and I appreciate what you all have done.

Do you know what you’ve done to help and protect me?

I grew up loving fantasy and science fiction, and the concepts of imagination where what MAKE my life worth living.

I didn’t believe God existed until 3 years ago then I learned the undeniable truth and that that being’s a real asshole. To some degree, it’s nicer believing that being doesn’t exist rather than having this opinion of that being.

In an article I found on Wikipedia yesterday, the word ‘fictional’ tv show is stated no less than 13 times in the same wikipedia entry. Do a search for ANY television show on wiki, and rest assured you’ll find the word ‘fictional’ asserting that position no less than 10 times per article.

I post a question on yahoo questions – to discuss science theories I accept as fact, so I make it a fact to assert these theories as fact in the often funny questions (at least I THINK they are funny).

it’s comical to see the responses. Here’s a question I posited four days ago:

Multiverse2

And here’s a sample of the typical responses:

Answer1

Answers2

  Answers3

Look, I know I am stirring the pot. but science has GOT to understand and consider what’s been discovered in the Computer Science, and for some reason it remains blind to it.

In any case, I applauded the ‘out of the box’ thinker ‘, Dom – who made a comment about “Earth 2”

Answers4

Now there’s a fantastic story I found on io9.com, discussing a quote made by Alan Moore – a writer of “The Imaginary Man known as Superman” which discusses one of Alan’s assault on people’s general refusal to imagine.

Here’s the quote: “This is an imaginary story (which may never happen, but then again may) about a perfect man who came from the sky and did only good. It tells of his twilight, when the great battles were over and the great miracles long since performed; of how his enemies conspired against him and of that final war in the snowblind wastes beneath the Northern Lights; of the women he loved and of the choice he made between them; of how he broke his most sacred oath, and how finally all the things he had were taken from him save one. It ends with a wink. It begins in a quiet midwestern town, one summer afternoon in the quiet midwestern future. Away in the big city, people still sometimes glance up hopefully from the sidewalks, glimpsing a distant speck in the sky… but no: it’s only a bird, only a plane — Superman died ten years ago. This is an imaginary story… (but) aren’t they all?

I think the thing to learn about this man, this quote, and my frustration is simple:

Imagination creates reality, Mr Moore even suggested as much by ending the diatribe with “aren’t they all”

and right now, for this guy, reality leaves an awful lot to be desired.

I have found a path forward.

And that’s quite simply for me to have my own reality – my own universe in a literal sense of the word.

One where I am free to gallavant and play throughout the stars and infinite variations of planet – through space and time – and with my potential imagination like a child would play with their toys.

At the snap of my fingers.

Sure, one day I will grow bored of that journey.

Or will I? I don’t know. In any case. I am asserting my beliefs for me.

Because I don’t want your reality and I do want my fantasy.

I deserve it.

Here’s the story that inspired my.. diatribe.

 

 

Whenever someone questions the logic of a film, book or TV show, it’s almost inevitable someone will trot out Alan Moore’s ‘This is an Imaginary Story’ quote from Superman #423 in response. But they’re using it wrong – and in the process, completely missing the point of what Moore was saying.

First off, it’s ridiculous to pass off a critique of a piece of fiction with the comeback of ‘it’s not real, so it doesn’t matter’. There’s a place in science fiction for stepping away from ‘competency porn’ and breaking into fantastical scenarios that might fall apart the moment you pick away at the surface (but offer something compelling upon a first viewing), but it doesn’t make something not making sense any less valid, just because it’s a piece of fiction. That’s not how things work – otherwise, what would be the point of any logic in storytelling? You could just have something made of complete nonsense and that would be fine – because hey, it’s imaginary, why should we care if we consume something that makes sense. It’s not even an argument or a counter to criticism when used this way, wielded like a blunt implement being swung around brutishly – it lacks the finesse of a counterpoint. It’s a way of shutting down discussions immediately, rather than actually engaging with them. That’s a pretty stupid way of trying to prove a point, honestly.

And being used this way, it completely disregards what Moore was actually saying in his introduction to Superman #423. Many interpretations of the full quote place it as Moore almost rallying against the de-canonisation of past Superman stories ahead of John Byrne’s reboot of the character post Infinite Crisis, but he’s doing so much more than that – he’s championing the power and scope of imagination, of imaginary stories. It’s not necessarily a quibble about canon, but the fact that fantastical worlds like the comic book one inhabited by Superman can bind all of these stories together. That the canon and the non-canon can sit alongside each other because that’s not what’s actually powerful about these stories, it’s the fact that they are products of imagination. His intro to Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? brands all of Superman’s tales as imaginary – but not to say that they don’t matter, but to imbue them with an almost mythological sense of power that Moore so clearly saw in fiction. So while many people use it to argue that something shouldn’t matter, Moore is in fact saying very much the opposite: fiction is a construct of imagination, and that imagination has power. It all matters.

So if you come across someone bemoaning a plot hole, or calling for common sense in a piece of fiction, don’t misuse poor Alan Moore to try and shut them down. He doesn’t want you to completely disregard something, he wants you to embrace it. That’s the power of imaginary stories, after all.

 

The original article can be seen here.

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