Reality And Unreality

William Shakespeare (or Sir Francis Bacon?)
I happened to be watching videos on YouTube as I often do as part of my bedtime regimen when I commented on a classical performance video by a theatrical group there upon to compliment them.

The video itself was not of a violent nature (and was certainly most enjoyable), nor did it brandish violence in such a way that went beyond the context of the video in any other way than a cartoonish form of humour known as slapstick.

This is not an attack on the commenter's expression or their right to have an opinion. Rather, this is a chance to express views on this opinion in more detail, as this subject deserves a bit more space than a video borne comment.

I don't consider myself a violent person at all, and I've certainly never relied upon it in or during my life as a means to solve problems. If anything, the only role violence should ever play in anyone's life is as a defensive means when necessary to protect one's self or others from it and when all other options have run out.

Yet, as a writer of fiction, much of it recently involving the superhero genre, I was shocked when someone replied to my comment, treating the video I'd complimented as if it was something that occurred in real life.

Someone taking the context of a theatrical performance and applying to it the moral compass afforded to reality itself. 

Perhaps the person who replied to my comment was not doing so as to persecute the people who made the video for representing violence within it. Rather, persecuting the characters within for their actions as if the characters were real, and as if what they did actually occurred in reality.

I'd be the first one to admit that fictional characters often have a life all their own, though that life and what they do is dependent upon their creator, and the stories written within which the context of their life occurs.

To some degree, I regard the characters from my books as feeling like real people. I can even remember them that way because the experience of writing is as much an act of creation as it is an act of memory. 

This is the case especially when it involves recurring characters. However, I deal with them in such a way that their actions occur in fiction, not reality and despite the fact that their reality very much resembles our own, it is not the same reality. One could say that such fictional realities are often a metaphor for our own reality.

Therefore, violence within fictional worlds isn't always a direct one to one representation of violence in our reality, for there are many ways absent of violence that people engage in conflict. Rather than leading to physical wounds, they might be injured in other ways, even with scattered scars across their parts.

Emotional wounds. Mental wounds and scars. There are many ways that conflict can be damaging to a person that don't involve physical violence at all, and yet within humanity there are people focused upon this idea that physical violence is the culprit of all our evils.

While I agree that the solutions to any and every problem can be averted of physical violence, it isn't the only way that a person can be scarred and disfigured horribly. Some of the worst wounds in life are those unseen by the naked eye, for they can occur entirely at a different level of our being and what I've been working on recently deals with this issue in some ways.

Yet their impact upon us and society can far exceed even the worst physical violence of which we're capable and yet the only means to limit the effects of such a problem would be to limit the extent of our imagination.

However, theatrical and artistic performance and the art of the story teller should never be limited by restraining the capacity of a person's right to Imagine and express. 

Once again, as I've stated before. Imagine freely. Act responsibly. 

Imagine freely.

As in to think without hindrance by limits of any kind and as much, without a charge for the right to do so.

Act responsibly.

Act, referring to the context of reality and one's actions there within. Not referring to act as in the context of a theatrical performance or presentation, for one's own self or others.

This is certainly not to diminish this poem at all or Rush's having quoted it:

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;

And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,

Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,

Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,

Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,

In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;

His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide

For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,

Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion;

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

William Shakespeare (from Life As It is)
courtesy Poetry Foundation

If we are players in the performance of our life, then I'd say that the stunt performers and the effects people have the most difficult and trying jobs of all.

Does yet that mean when we use the lew, that we're on stage when we do?

That would also go a long way to explaining why we're all just a bunch of divas at heart.

Still working on the upcoming release. Expecting to publish it soon.

Thank you for reading the stories and books of and supporting Shhhh! Digital Media.

Brian Joseph Johns