Monday, May 17, 2010

Speaking of Solipsism...


...I invented solipsism in the 5th grade. Apparently some kid named Descartes beat me to it, but he went to a different school on the other side of town. I didn't know about him or his ideas so I still think of the concept as mine. This was in my last post:
It (solipsism syndrome) is also known to occur in some youths who have been brought up on television as a substitute to reality.

That was me; a latchkey kid raised by ancient re-runs. My most beloved nannies were the original Star Trek, the Outer Limits, and above all others the original Twilight Zone. I learned from a very early age to question reality at every turn. I expected my perception of the world to dissolve weekly and reassemble according to a different logic. Rod Serling's perception-twisting tales taught me to keep my eyes peeled for clues in the shadows of obscured truths via his episode "Eye of the Beholder", and to listen for sinister double meanings and conspiratous wordplay that could save my life in a situation like "To Serve Man's" revelatory, "It's a cookbook!" moment.

I was always suspicious that the blue sky was a back lot matte painting and that Rod Serling could step into frame at any moment to demolish my constructed reality with a few heavy-handed closing remarks.

In the fifth grade I had a standing challenge on the playground: one hundred bucks(read as "infinite wealth") to the person that could prove to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that they existed and weren't just a figment of my imagination.

The most common and convincing answer I received was a quick jab to the nose.


I'll end here with a one-two punch of Serling's shifting realities. Enjoy.



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