Thursday, July 29, 2010

Imaginary Enemies

Imagination is the subject of today's article.

Ironically, people with the least imagination are also usually the most narrow-minded religious fundamentalists you could find - something which one would expect to require... imagination.

They can't imagine what it must be like to be a man attracted to another man, or what it must be like to be a man trapped in a woman's body. And what's even worse is that mostly, they won't even try.

They have some very firm opinions on these things, often criticizing such people out of hand, without even entertaining a debate - especially an objective debate - on issues surrounding the legitimacy of other people's needs and feelings about their own lives.

No really, imagine for a moment that you're out there telling people who have a different sexuality or gender identity to yours, that "it's all in their heads" and that they are somehow just "imagining it" - not just because of how you feel about these things - but because of what you believe in.

That's right - you're out there criticizing and chastising people, even opposing their right to be treated like human beings - because of something you have never felt, seen or heard for yourself - and have to use a great deal of imagination to even convince yourself it exists.

If you're bludgeoning people over the head with "the Word" - which strangely enough, is a book written by other people who were supposed to have been "inspired" by God to do so - a feat which must have taken a great deal of imagination to perform - and which must take a great deal of imagination to swallow as 100 percent true and "inerrant".

The whole thing reminds me of little kids who have these imaginary friends - except, as adults they have invented whole elaborate religions around them. Books to tell other people about their imaginary friends, people to do the convincing for them, and to "prove" their tales to other people who obviously need something invisible to believe in - even if they don't know it yet.

Dead Man’s Hammer” by Christina Engela
Obsidian crows frequently got run over because quite frankly, they were too damn lazy to get out of the way and anyway, they would just get up and walk off again afterwards. They were flightless birds, mainly because they were extremely hard bodied and far too heavy to fly – unless they fell off a cliff or were launched from a catapult. (Anything will fly if launched from a catapult – ask the Navy.)

Deanna was just another third rate colony in the Terran Empire – and it was pretty much as boring a lump of rock as could be expected. That is, until Gary Beck, aka Beck the Badfeller ran over an obsidian crow with his Jeepo and didn’t have a spare tire. (Things pretty much went down hill from there.)

There was an assassin in town now and she had a score to settle. She was pretty, but as most poets will tell you, beauty can be deceiving. The same poets, who would write about Helen of Troy as the face that launched a thousand ships, would write about Villainessa Tittle as the bitch that sank them. As an assassin, she was the worst kind; this meant that she took pride in her work, enjoyed what she did for a living – and above all, that she was bloody good at it. And this time unfortunately, it was absolutely 100 percent personal.

Published: May 26, 2016
Pages: 212
Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
Dimensions (inches): 4.25″ wide x 6.88″ tall (pocketbook)

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Most people go through life seeing imaginary friends, who turn around and do something to prove they aren't real friends. On the other hand, Leviticans and other religious extremists start out by making imaginary enemies out of everybody who doesn't see the world through the blood-tinted glasses they wear.

When it comes to religion and human rights, equality and justice - and imagination, I tend to think of John Lennon's song "Imagine". It says it all for me. Imagine how things could be. Imagine how other people you think are different to you are really not so different after all. Imagine how much better this world would be if we could all just live, and let live.

Imagine that.

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