Well, of course, it doesn’t have to, but that’s what most people are looking for. An imitation of reality.
Surrealism, for example, is crazy by conventional standards. Which is its whole point: who set up the conventional standards?
Once you open up that question, all bets are off.
What happens if I write a short play in which Edward Snowden is a dictator in a police state, and the NSA are revolutionaries battling for freedom?
Is that stage play “illegal?” Could reversing roles actually indict the NSA to a greater degree and make its crimes more vivid?
“No! You’re twisting everything! Stick to the facts! You’re soiling the reputation of Edward Snowden!”
Is that what I’m doing? Of course not. But “the reality people” are offended.
The notion that inversion or metaphor could be more powerful than fact is impossible for them to conceive.
Satire? Never heard of it.
The truth is, in every person there is a force of imagination waiting to make a prison break. That force feels great joy in overturning reality. But most people lock it up behind bars. And having locked it up, they don’t want to be reminded of it.
Art reminds them.
Art is a thorn.
“Don’t bother me. I’m accepting reality. I’m a loyal foot-soldier in the army of What Is.”
Such a person is conning himself, but he doesn’t want to think about it. He doesn’t want to think about it at all. But a child does. A child is ready to stage little improvisational plays at the drop of a hat. New roles, new stories. For him, reality is soft and elastic.
A child is prepared to torpedo any consensus in the service of inventing something spontaneous.
Eventually, he learns this a taboo. It isn’t part of the adult universe. If he’s going to use his imagination at all, it must be for the purpose of strengthening What Is.
His parents and teachers are there to help him with this effort.
But somewhere down deep, they all know this is collaborating with the enemy. It’s betraying the core of consciousness.
Awareness is only one part of consciousness. The greater part is imagination/creation. It needs no factual foundation. It needs no sanction.
Art makes realities, worlds, universes. In doing so, it jettisons rules. It makes up its own rules, or dispenses with rules altogether.
If more artists understood this, if more people became artists, society would undergo a remarkable transformation. It wouldn’t turn into a new consensus; it would evolve into millions of side-by-side original creations. What that would look like, how it would operate, is unknown. We’ve never seen a society like that on planet Earth.
But there would be no more need for war.
Pic: Nick Victor
The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.