On Imagination and the Collective Memory ...


Come with me on this mental journey for a moment ...

Imagine a high speed foot chase is taking place on a busy city street.  The runner, trying to escape his aggressor takes refuge in a mostly empty theatre.  The foot chase has now become a tense game of hide'n'seek ... the pursuer, through the low theatre light, sees this target ducked down behind a stage prop, hoping to remain unseen.  Looking towards the roof, he notices a sandbag - that functions as a stage curtain counter-weight - is directly overhead of his not-so-well hidden target.  His eyes follow the complicated mess of ropes and pulleys until he spots the mooring and the knot that, once unravelled, will set the sandbag into free-fall, landing on the hidden subject, temporarily immobilising them to allow for capture, or perhaps just public humiliation.

Can you picture that?  I am sure you've seen it 100 times over in movies and cartoons.  I am sure that you can feel the weight of the bag on you and probably have some sort of fear that this could happen to you or someone you know ... that there is actually some set of circumstances that could result in this outcome and that this could somehow become a part of your life.  Some people may even develop a fear of walking backstage at a theatre due to the scourge of improperly secured counter-weigh sandbag rigging.

Now, by a show of hands, how many of you have been a part of, or even witnessed a drawn out aggressive foot pursuit?

Now, by show of hands, how many have been alone in a theatre with a another person whose intent is to harm or detain you?

How many of you have had, or known someone who has has, a sandbag dropped on them from height?

How many theatres remain with non-automated curtain counter weights without some safety controls on the rigging mechanism?

How is it that we can all have a common experience of something that, by any calculation of probability, has never happened in all of human existence?  The chances of all those events happening in sequence is near impossible in anything but entertainment.  A large sandbag falling from height would result in massive physical trauma requiring hospitalisation, not laughter!  The chances of stumbling across an empty theatre with an aggressor in pursuit has to be so close to zero as to be insignificant.  How many times, other than in a game of tag, have you been involved in, or witnessed a high-speed foot pursuit (except on the TV show COPS, and we all know how those end)?

Imagination, entertainment and suspended disbelief shape our view of the world so much more than reality.  What kinda boring life would it be if we all realized that, short of an exceptionally rare sets of compounding circumstances, we will mostly all wake up every morning for a significant number of years and nothing much will happen other than a slow deterioration of our bodies due to wear and tear than eventually leads to a total physical break-down, that will be probably be classified as a chronic disease or old age, and the chances of anything else are actually so small as to be insignificant.  Where is the all unnecessary stress that comes from living a life full of fictional worries - and how can we possibly be happy without it??

... or maybe its just raining outside and I have nothing better to do than share my random thoughts ... 

#imagination #sandbags #stress

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