Fantasyville is an overcrowded baby boomer suburb on the outskirts of Reality. The populace is trail mix of urban humanity. All are bound together by a common bond—a life built around self-deception. Fantasyville is full of yuppies, for instance. Yuppies thrive on myth. For example, they persist in the belief that the Good Life consists in the abundance of things that one possesses. You may want to check this out. If you ever want to track a yuppie, his “sign” is fairly easily to spot.
Mindless MaterialismLook for ‘toys’. Lots and lots of toys. Yuppies collect them like achievement badges. Just find a compulsive consumer lifestyle, an expensive home garnished with an overburdened garage bulging at the seams with a BMW, a Mercedes, a van, a boat and a wide assortment of other adult play things. Chances are you’ve found a certified yuppie. Yuppies appear to lack nothing (however appearances are deceiving in Fantasyville). Rarely do they put off for tomorrow what they can possess today. Two important things that most do lack, however, are God and a margin for error. Yuppies seem impervious to the realities that restrain the excesses of some. Their materialistic gurus have conditioned them to believe blindly that what is, isn’t. One doesn’t easily get their attention, for example, by questioning the economics of gaining the whole world and losing one’s soul. The mythical cocoon in which they live assures them they have no soul to lose. What a wake up call they have in store!
Puzzling ParentingYuppie child-rearing is a curious phenomenon. . .an exercise in pure fantasy of the first magnitude. The fiction of equal devotion to Self and Kids reigns in Fantasyville. Yuppie parents, totally self-absorbed and immersed in psychological myths, believe that self-realization (whatever that is) is Job One. In reality, such license to parental selfishness rarely goes down well with the conscience. But this is Fantasyville where reality gives right of way to myth. Normally one would pay indemnity with serious guilt for exercising such liberty. Guilt however is quickly becalmed in Fantasyville. Heavy doses of ubiquitous, psycho-babble reassure the timid that one can give up nothing and give the kids everything. Watching them play out this fantasy is a little like watching inmates in an asylum. They are so-o-o serious in their world of make-believe. Here they come in their shiny cars and vans. Naturally, the infant seats are the most conscientious guilt money can buy. Money they spend; time and nurture is what is in short supply. One watches as the little ones debark from expensive suburban chariots. Then with ostentatious, “me-thinks-they-protest-too-much” hugs and kisses and a fawning paint-on smile for the by-standing gallery, Mom quickly disgorges her little ones into arms of a surrogate parent. Shortly they disappear into the bowels of that affirming, affectionate, tender world of day care as Mom rushes off to wow the world with her wiles on the fast track.
Illusions of ImmortalityYuppies in Fantasyville also cherish the fantasy that Time will stand still for them. For them Death holds no terrors that 10-K runs, muscle tone, lots of veggies and low cholesterol cannot keep at bay. Frantically they rise with religious fervor at ungodly hours to freeze themselves in time. What a shock when one day they discover that marathons and oat bran never cheat Death! And they run even as the church bells are ringing! Now that’s Fantasyland in the nude. Someone once jested that in the end, for all their faith in the gospel of fitness, all they do is make themselves miserable for the best years of their lives so they can add a few days to the worst. It never occurs to people in Fantasyville that every minute they are living (or running), they are running out of time. The truth is, they can’t stop the meter. But truth has little to do with life in Fantasyville. Fantasyville allows one to live in self-deception longer than some places. Something in the atmosphere affirms the illusion that it’s working. That is, until someday the wheels come off or the kids go to hell in a hand basket and the mystified parents wring their hands in despair, wondering how anybody could give their kids so much and reap so much grief in return. But Fantasyville is a far out place, just chock full of Columbine-like mystery to its inhabitants.
Artificial ActivismFantasyville also attracts more than its share of Activists. Typically these folk dwell, as you enter town going south, on the left. Somehow that is not surprising. Most are severely needy or guilty-driven types searching for a way to feel better about themselves. Another attraction to that neighborhood is the scent of power! It makes one feel s-o-o-o alive to be able to trouble the waters! Of course, no one will be surprised to learn their tribe also includes not a few bored housewives, some nosey matron-types with way too much time on their hands, and the usual, ubiquitous chronic malcontents who enjoying meddling as an avocation and get a perverse thrill out of spreading their misery and making others sweat. In any case, what you must know about the Activists in Fantasyville is what they manage to hide from everyone but themselves—their identity. It was the media that started calling them ‘Activists’ but that moniker hardly gets below the surface. Actually their activism is just a charade. . . a form of self-therapy under the guise of ‘getting involved in the process.’ The fact is, down underneath all that citizen ‘concern’ (their all-time favorite but most tiresome word!) is frequently just a plain ol’ fashioned social Hypocrite hiding behind a Cause in a desperate search for personal meaning at somebody’s expense. Ever willing to create a crisis where there is none, no damage is ever too great to inflict on others so long as it serves an emotional need to flex muscle and make oneself feel ‘wired’ by the wicked thrill of creating a stir and fouling somebody’s waters.
Modernized MysticismMixed in among the Activists in Fantasyville are their close relatives, a colony of recycled (y)hippies now disguised as sane suburbanites. Their own capacity for illusion is prodigious. Find a small, secular liberal arts college, a natural food store, a naturopathic doctor, some enterprise touting a ‘wholistic’ approach (to whatever), some astrology buffs or a little group spouting New Age mantras and chances are you have landed in a nesting ground for this breed. They never left us; they just molted. Now they come back to haunt us in another form. In the late 60’s and early 70’s they went East (guru-shopping) and never returned—at least mentally. Now at last, together with that great mind-bending, earth-shaking New Age maven, Shirley Maclaine, they have looked in the mirror and discovered God (or Something) looking back at them. Boy, I’ll bet He was horrified when they confused Him with them! Talk about insulting. In their deluded state they even call it a quest for ‘spirituality’. What is lost on them in their acute historical myopia is that their New Age spirituality is just a euphemistic, sugar-coated name for a time-worn paganism. Contrary to their fantasy of advancement, all they have done is gone backward, not forward. They are like junk yard dogs digging in a religious dump. And what did they pull out from the debris? Just rotted remnants of old paganism discredited and discarded long ago by progressive societies enlightened by Jesus Christ. All they have done is dusted it off, polished it up a little, recycled it, renamed it and started passing it off to less experienced fools as an exciting new way of Enlightenment. Wonder how long it will be before they work their way back to the roots and rediscover the power and vitality of human sacrifice! I doubt that we have seen anything yet. We may yet become Ignoble Savages. You can easily see why in Fantasyville business is good. You can sell anything there. . .but the truth, that is. Sucker on every corner. Of course one can readily see the appeal, however antiquated, of this revived delusion. What an empowering idea! I mean us being gods. It should tell us something that, historically, this idea has been a hard sell. Somehow I recall that Mother Eve herself first entertained the grand notion of being like God. Just think. If you are god, you are limited only by what your mind is unwilling to conceive. I for one would think the baloney detector of even a simpleton could sense the fraudulence in this religious doctrine. We all have seen an abundance of devils among the human species. But I for one have never encountered a single mortal who aroused in me at least the slightest hint or suspicion of resident or even potential divinity. Of course, even I sometimes forget the hold that delusion can have on the inhabitants of Fantasyville. As someone once said so well, when people stop believing in the God of the Bible, they do not believe in nothing; they believe in anything. How true! Think about it. Us, gods? Come on. Talk about dumbing down the idea of ‘God’. If all there is to God is what I see walking around in the streets, we’re in real trouble down here. If that is the best God idea we have going for us, face it, we’re all alone, baby. But that’s life in Fantasyville. Scarier than a horror flick. Still, you have to be amazed at the way these now suburban (Y)Hippies-turned-Suits-with-New Age-lapels have managed to re-invent themselves. After an enormously successful effort in their earlier Woodstock days to make the world a safer place for drugs, filth and feces, sexual promiscuity, venereal disease, civil disorder and even violence, they have moved on. Ever determined to wrench a meaningful existence out of hollow lives, their new war cry (so ironically) is saving the environment they once so freely trampled—oh, and delivering the country from grasping corporate privateers who make it possible for them to thrive. By the way, it is only in fantasy land one would feel his future safer in the hands of a reconstructed green (Y)Hippie and Ralph Nader clones than in the hands of pin-striped corporate moguls. At least the latter we may suspect of having an interest (albeit it selfish) in the general well-being and survival of our nation rather than a secret death wish for it.
Duplicitous Double-StandardsThe inhabitants of Fantasyville redefine straining at gnats and swallowing camels. My, they would hug a tree forever. They would make animal abuse a high crime of near death penalty proportions. Yet never for a second would they raise a finger in protest if someone asked her doctor to surgically kill her unborn child. Not even if their silence meant crushing the head of the tiny thing and sucking out its little brains. Wonder where they bought these blinders? In Fantasyville reality is so distorted that it is considered ‘extremist’to view a tiny life hidden in a mother’s womb as sacred as one tucked in an incubator. Should not a woman, they think (if that’s the word), own an unalienable right to dispose of an unwanted little life burdening her resentful womb? What kind of callous reactionary would prevent an inconvenienced woman from having the freedom to terminate a defenseless little life that itself has neither voice nor choice in the decision to save it or snuff it? Just imagine! Oh, I forgot to mention that these more-compassionate-than-thou folk fancy themselves ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’. Could have fooled me. Just shows how in a world of fantasy one can’t even count on good words to hold a stable meaning. No wonder Orwellian doublespeak is the native dialect of Fantasyville. In all fairness though, let’s not leave the impression that Fantasyvillers lack a social conscience. Oh, no. Believe me, when the chips are down (no pun intended) they will get up in arms. Not just about trees, mind you, though, believe it or not, some truly would bemoan the loss of a tree more than a human being. What they really care about are the higher, nobler species like the spotted owl, the sockeye salmon, assorted crawling things and insects! I do believe these folk would stop the march of history to perserve a rare bug in complete contradiction of their Darwinian law of the survival of the fittest. But things like that are the norm in Fantasyville where the world of reality is turned upside down.
Mixed-Up MoralityYes, sir, these folk in Fantasyville will fight for what they believe in. Do you think these liberal hearts care if they protest away the meager livelihood of poor rural folk? Not if they can save an owl habitat or an old growth tree. Gotta know what’s important in life! Do they mind if, over a little wetland, they destroy the dreams of a small, hardscrabble businessman or ruin the hard-won investment of a property owner. Hey, what are property rights? Not much—unless it comes to infringing a woman’s body. Oh, then they are suddenly everything. But consistency, who cares? Isn’t that the hobgoblin of little minds? Trust me, Fantasyville hippies-turned-activists will not hesitate to turn lives on end and convulse the democratic process interminably to make life worse for their neighbors and better for critters. All this, of course, in the name of saving the environment and quality of life. For whom? Their or ours? For human beings or the ducks, salamanders and wild flowers? If you have perhaps noticed symptoms of insanity here, you aren’t far off. Someone once noted (Chesterton, I believe) that one sign of that condition is fixation on small, narrow things; the mad can’t see life in the round at all. Like I said before, they strain at gnats and swallow camels. In Fantasyville moral vertigo fills the air like toxic fumes. It’s all part of the delusion. There perversity gets palmed off as diversity and pornography passes for art. Indulgence of pure and simple evil is confused with that civil sort of tolerance. Everything is upside down. Good is evil; evil is good. Obviously this is not a thinking man’s town (but, psst! you can’t tell them that—a crazy man is the last to believe he’s nuts). An old preacher once said that in Fantasyville people had the brow of a harlot—they don’t know when to be ashamed. Fantasyville is just not a safe place to shop for ideas. You can never depend on the labels nor the price tags.
Fatuous FreneticismYou may not have heard, but Fantasyville is the hometown of Political Correctness. The Thought police there are omnipresent and straight out of the mold of the Spanish Inquisition. In a liberal minute they will burn down a career or dismantle a hard-earned reputation if you commit the slightest infraction of their arbitrary codes—even unwittingly. It’s a place that can disorient in no time flat all but the certifiably mad. In general, Fantasyville is a weirdly restless place. At all hours they boil out of their nests like agitated ants. Nothing can keep them in their place. They fear quietness and solitude like the sound of a thief in the night. Day and night, in an endless stream, they keep swarming, like displaced bees, clogging the streets and freeways, choking the malls, churning the turnstiles of diversionary recreation and generally burning up the highways. And for what? For no better excuse than the need to distract the demon of emptiness with frenetic activity. Yet, the restlessness betrays an ill-guarded secret—the so-called Good Life is plenty hollow.
The Pursuit of Power (…or at least the appearance of it)Myths are a shaky foundation for a life. Breed horrendous insecurity. I guess that is why some people in Fantasyville court power symbols so much. You know the game. Cultivate power friends, swagger in a power job, throw power parties, wear power clothes, buy a power house, flash around in power cars, make waves in a power boat, join a power country club, marry a power wife, enroll the kids in power schools, join a power movement.
Here’s everybody wired and well-connected, but, strangely, no juice. The battery is dead. That’s life for power players in Fantasyville. They have everything and yet have nothing–except more masks than the Mardi Gras. Funny thing about these fantasies. Almost everybody outside gets sucked in but the players themselves. They can never really enjoy the game because it was themselves they most wanted to convince when they tried to impress us.
… and be sure to wear your power suits.
… and be sure to wear your power suits.