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Fantastical Delusion

  The Internet (and the world at large, really) disgorges a lot of horror every day, and it’s sometimes very difficult to keep up with it. It’s also very hard to digest it all and not want to spend a good deal of time locked in a closet with a bottle of booze in a desperate attempt to not go insane. As far as these things go, I like to pick my battles in terms of what I rage against in these little weekly columns of megalomaniacal detritus. Mostly, I go for the stupider and weaker elements of what’s being vomited at us, as they are easier to unpack and deconstruct in a funny way without wallowing in despair.

  Or something like that.

  Anyway, this past week has produced a couple of minor annoyances. One is dealing with the continually-puked-up articles about introverts and how awesome they are, as though there was a recent attempted cultural purge that I somehow missed.

Alright, I'll stop chaining up introverts in my basement, Huffington Post. Just... shut up.
Alright, I'll stop chaining up introverts in my basement, Huffington Post. Just... shut up. For the love of god, shut up.

The other one should sincerely be preceded by this headline at all times:

Star’s Sexuality Causes Mass Mourning by Idiots  

  In short:

  “Oh, my god! Did you hear? Prison Break star and shorn hair enthusiast Wentworth Miller is a gay! Never mind the fact that he came out in direct response to Russia’s draconian anti-homosexuality statutes and that, if not for homophobia, his private life could have remained... you know... private. Nor shall we discuss the horrific ways that Russia is becoming even more intolerant toward an already vulnerable population. Nope, the most important fact is that he doesn’t want to stick his penis in the womenfolk! Oh, lord have mercy! All of those heterosexual women that thought he was nice to look at are crushed! Who will they work their vibrators to now!? Who, I ask!?”

  Um, hey. Hi. Quick question about this: why, exactly, is this cataclysmic?

  I realize that Mr. Miller is an attractive guy if you’re into the sort of lanky beef cake kind of thing. His attractiveness is not the issue – it’s his supposed availability to one gender or the other. The idea that so many women are whining about it implies that they were laboring under the delusion that they would a) be in the same place at the same time as our star, and b) that they would be the right type of person for him, and c) his body guards wouldn’t immediately tackle the amorous potential mate to the ground in an effort to protect Miller’s chiseled bod from molestation.

  With the pure number of memes out there wailing about how not fair it all is that someone could potentially be into the cock (or celebrating it, as the case may be), I’m not actually sure people understand the difference between fantasy and delusion. After all, they can be used interchangeably depending on one’s tone, but there is a subtle distinction.

Thank you, Dictionary.com, for the assist.
Thank you, Dictionary.com, for the assist.

  For those yet to come to grips with such piddly concepts as ‘connotation’ and ‘denotation,’ “fantasy” would be used to describe something with elements contrary to reality that one still acknowledges as fictional. “Delusion,” then, is convincing yourself that something – contrary to all evidence – is true. Basically, fantasy is how you get through the work day without falling asleep. Delusion is the raw, unfiltered ability to look at the available facts and say that, no, you prefer to believe in a fiction that you’ve made up. It’s what powers government and gives academics aneurysms when attempting to teach entitled suburbanite kids about the continuing horrors of the modern world.

  Anyway, the beautiful thing about a fantasy is that it doesn’t have to be grounded in reality and you fully acknowledge that it isn’t going to happen. Sure, ninjas may come crashing through the window and you must fight them off with your bath towel and a loaf of French bread, but you know that such things are about as likely as a shark evolving thumbs for the singular purpose of jamming them into swimmer’s noses for a laugh. Even if it did happen, it would probably leave you dead instead of a blood-covered victor.

  Also, why are you standing around in a bath towel with a loaf of bread?

  A delusion would be that you think that ninjas are following you, watching your movements, and planning to strike at any moment so you can’t go into the bathroom without pulling back the curtain because ninja magic will allow them to come up through the pipes and strike you at your most vulnerable. Which is preposterous.

  Namely because I’m the only one spying on you, and you’re boring as shit.

  The point I’m getting to through the rather rough terrain of ninja-themed allegory is that someone’s sexuality should not preclude including them in your fantasy. There’s nothing that stops people from fantasizing about anyone they like despite the reality that we’re about as likely to meet the object of our lust as we are as being launched from the Earth’s surface into the waiting maw of Lord Cthulhu (Ia! Ia!).

  I guess I just find it creepy that someone’s orientation allows them to be somehow “claimed” by a bunch of sexually frustrated people they’ve never met. “He’s ours,” has the decidedly creepy implication of a cult or a serial killer in only the most charitable of moments. There’s also quite a bit of hubris involved – just because someone may be into you because you have the requisite sexual organs doesn’t mean that they will be. They might not be into your hair color, you fashion style, your lack of piercings, your tattoos, your inability to pronounce the word “horticulturalist” or any number of silly things.

  So you fantasize about an unattainable person – I fail to see the harm in such wank-fueling indulgences. It can star people you will never meet in situations you will never find yourself in. If you really wanted to have sex with a famous athlete on the deck of the Titanic moments before the Death Star blows up Alderaan and Mickey Mouse silently watches from the shadows with his fixed, too-wide grin... well, you’re bizarre, but go nuts. As long as you don’t think that any of those things will happen, we’re good.

  And if the object of your fantasy turns out to prefer genitals of a different nature to yours, well, you still have a fantasy, right? You’ve already constructed a bullshit world with its own bullshit laws, is it really that hard to just ignore that fact? If your fantasy life is bulwarked by a firm basis in reality, you have successfully missed the point.

  Tangentially related to this are those people who feel a show is “ruined” when a gay actor plays a straight character. I find this especially difficult to understand, because the entire point of acting is taking on a different persona. I don’t equate Mark Hamill with Luke Skywalker, Carey Elwis as Westley, Scarlett Johansen as Black Widow, or Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin.

  Side note, just in case you never want to stop screaming:

WHY IS THAT THE SECOND RESULT!? WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM, PEOPLE!?
WHY IS THAT THE SECOND RESULT!? WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM, PEOPLE!? THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS!

The point is that these people are actors, playing a part. The better the actor, the bigger the range. Do these people only see an actor in one movie and that’s it? What if your one Raul Julia movie was Street Fighter?

  I guess what I’m saying is that you’re a terrible person.

  In any case, I hear this a lot with Neil Patrick Harris in his role as womanizer and clear sexual predator Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother, or as I like to call it, Why Don’t These People Call the Cops Already, Seriously. Because the actor is gay, some people feel that this invalidates his performance. Anyone remember Will & Grace, the sitcom about a gay man who lives with a straight woman? Yeah, I don’t really recall there being a fucking hubub over a straight man playing a gay man. I’m sure there was, but those people were just as stupid. And if not, well, I think the silence speaks for itself.

  Bringing us back to my main point, I just fail to see how someone’s real sexual identity plays any significant role in a fantasy – whether televised or in a lonely person’s masturbation fantasy. If you seriously delude yourself into thinking that someone is about to walk through the door and pleasure you to within an inch of your life simply by nature of being you, then you should probably see a licensed professional. It’s not healthy and, frankly, it’s starting to get fucking creepy.

  And you know what? If you do understand that you’re never really going to have the opportunity to feel the embarrassment of premature ejaculation or whatever equivalent mortifying event would happen if you did have the chance to sleep with the star of your dreams, why not make it so you’re said celebrity’s sexual kryptonite? You are now libido incarnate, able to override their orientation through the pure force of your magnetic personality! I mean, Jesus, you’re already making ridiculous concessions for the sake of your sex drive, what’s the harm in one more?

Purchase Project Northwoods at Amazon.com.   Purchase Washed Hands at Amazon.com   Purchase Improbables at Amazon.com.

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