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The Fantasy Delusion

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We read fantasy, watch movies and TV shows in the genre, and play fantasy video games and they are great ways to escape reality. But what happens when you cannot escape the fantasy? You end up auditioning for American Idol wearing a Transformers costume.

See it for yourself.

American Idol shows people with such delusions it seems they have left the bounds of reality. It is a fantasy for many of them to think they can win. Many of them are just delusional.Optimus Prime

Why would that contestant dress as a Transformer? The costume is awesome and he ought to share his inventiveness—but at American Idol? That would ruin your chances, even if you’re Michael Bublé. Your voice could not get you past the audition because the costume is a distraction from reality.

It seems sad, but it sparked a question in my mind: Is staying in the fantasy world delusional? It is if you can’t escape it. It is if you choose to remain in it. It is if you try to bring that fantasy into reality. Isn’t it?

When we are kids, the world is full of fantasy. The Tooth Fairy brings money. The Easter Bunny brings eggs and candy. Santa Claus brings toys. No deep explanation was required for these figures because fantasy was part of our world.

As we grow, the fantasy slips away. We may learn that the Fairy, the Bunny, and Santa are ideas, like rewarding us for bravely having a tooth pulled, celebrating new life in spring, and having a spirit of giving. But the fantasy is gone and as adults, we miss it sometimes.

Our adult world is devoid of fantasy and that’s why we must turn to the arts and make an effort to escape reality and give our starving imaginations some cake. And it’s great to get sucked into worlds like Hobbiton, Gotham City, and Diagon Alley. As we learn and read more about these worlds, there is something that should eventually click—at least with good art, we see our own world in these realms of fantasy.

Our real struggles are played out in these other planes of existence. Our trials and tribulations pay off and the good guys win. Reality does not always work that way. It makes us want to stay and live in fantasy where things go the way we want them. Reality bites, as they say, and the more we hold to fantasy, the fewer things go right in reality.

We’re delusional if we think fantasy will work in reality. We don’t get it. Others don’t get us. I just don’t get why someone would wear that robot costume to a singing competition. But I also applaud the guy. He’s not afraid to show his love of fantasy. I love it, too. Transformers rocked when I was a kid.

My imagination was at its peak when the 1986 animated Transformers movie came out. But it was as much the death of my fantasy life as well as its peak. The toys were great. The show told a story with these toys—these were characters with passions, faults, determinations, and obsessions. It was a story of good and evil. It wasn’t deep, but it was enough for a kid like me to believe in the ideals they were portraying.

When I saw the cold-blooded murder of the franchise’s top character, Optimus Prime, a benevolent and wise leader of the good guys, I died a little inside. No, his arch-rival Megatron did not kill him, the writers did. Why? The Optimus Prime toy, like many others, was being discontinued so as to not bore the market and keep the brand fresh. The movie was used to explain his absence from toy shelves. His death woke me up to a harsh reality. I was watching, on the big screen, a 90-minute commercial.

Reality then cast a shadow over me like a permanent eclipse. I could not enjoy fantasy anymore, not like a child at least. I wanted always to go and get that feeling of pure fantasy again. From then on, I could only come close to that feeling by trying to escape into literature, movies, video games, but each time I have had to work a little harder to get there—it takes work since fantasy isn’t just around the corner anymore.

It is my imagination that is working. And it must be nourished like any muscle or organ; we must keep it active or else we cannot find true joy in reality. Not seeking joy is the real delusion.

So, while I think that delusional guy in the Transformers costume will not pass the American Idol audition, he wins my vote for bringing a piece of fantasy to my imagination. I admire him for creating that piece of fantasy—a real costume that took real work and real imagination to bring to reality.

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  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    The real delusional part about it is that people think American Idol is what music is all about. They think that by winning that competition that their creativity, talent & originality will be appreciated & celebrated, when in fact, they will sign a contract and a slave to the almighty dollar. Most certainly the majority of us are slaves anyways,but, if you have a skill or talent then that’s all yours and you don’t have to sell it out for the limelight in order for it to be of substantial worth!

    Sadly, reality has got nothing to do with passion or appreciation. At least the Transformers did…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Our imagination dies only if we personally allow it. For every story that ends, there’s a hundred more that are strong and vibrant. For instance, I think that the “Ghost in the Shell” anime movies and series were at least as influential and far more intellectually challenging than Transformers…but even GITS had to come to an end. Fortunately, there are always more imaginative artists eager to tell stories that haven’t yet been told.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Yea… I have to agree with Glenn. Paprika was far more intelligent & thought provoking than most live action films I’ve seen. I was gonna comment on it in my first response but I wanted to address the growing irrational dependency on “reality” shows like American Idol though that shows is far more entrenched in fantasy than most Anime films.