marnanel: (Default)
A few years ago, someone said to me that they thought life was a bit like playing chess-- you know the rules, and you have to think a few moves ahead. I replied that I'd often thought life was rather more like Mao. In case you don't know Mao, it's a card game where nobody's allowed to explain the rules, so the first few times you play you'll lose spectacularly; after you begin to work out the rules, you may discover that there's a standard way for people to create new rules, but because of the prohibition on explaining the rules, the other players will have not only to notice that a new rule has been introduced, but also to work out what it is by induction. This somewhat parallels my experience of life-- everyone seems to have seen the rulebook except me.

Well, the other night I had a dream. I was at a party where everyone else was playing a game a bit like Mao, but instead of using playing cards, everything was on index cards: when you introduced a new rule, you had to create new cards to go along with it. And I was confused and disorientated and disheartened, just as in my metaphor for life.

But then a card turned up in my hand which had clearly been circulating for a while. It was in a familiar handwriting, and after a moment I recognised it as the stumbling form of my own handwriting I'd used when I was about eight or nine.

And this was the most encouraging dream I've had in a long while. I used to know how to play this game. I knew once. I can learn again.
marnanel: (Default)
In a dream last night, I was performing a sketch which was a rewrite of "Three Men on Class" about the higher education system. I was onscreen three times (as wtih a travelling matte): on the left I was wearing a MA gown ("I teach at an Oxbridge college"), in the middle a sports jacket ("I teach at a redbrick"), on the right scruffy clothes ("I teach at a former poly"), and there were boxes on the floor so I appeared taller on the left and shorter on the right. "Sometimes I look up to *him* because he's higher in the league tables..." etc. Do you know, I think this could actually work.

Nightmares

Dec. 2nd, 2013 08:54 am
marnanel: (Default)
Horrible nightmares last night; one of them I haven't seen since childhood. I'm lost in a huge cemetery, and the graves are all slightly cracked and open. I have to get away, but whatever way I go I have to cross over a grave. And when I do... no, no zombies... instead, I learn all the suffering in the life of the one who lies there. It's hideous. I think the worst last night was the medic who had to operate on his own child to save their life, unsuccessfully.

dream

Jul. 27th, 2013 08:20 am
marnanel: (Default)
I just dreamed I was starring in a Morgan Freeman film-- I mean, the dream was the film and I was Morgan Freeman who was playing a character in the dream. In the first part of the dream, you got to know his character. He ended up in the state capitol, and then there was some kind of a mix-up which led to him having to pretend he was a Republican state senator whose views on just about everything he found objectionable. (This state senator was in fact Thurman Thomas the football player who had decided to go into politics.) Anyway, you can imagine the sort of comedy resulting from him having to learn the guy's life history in five minutes. And then there was a tense filibuster scene and he saved the day, etc., but the capitol police suddenly realised he wasn't who he claimed to be. Then there was a car chase across three states, because my dreams have BUDGET, and an unsubtle political moment where he put the cops off the scent by taking off a hoodie.

More sleep

Jun. 27th, 2013 11:51 am
marnanel: (Default)
The doctor has put me on some tablets to help me sleep better. They're working, more or less. But now that I'm getting more time to dream, I'm finding I remember my dreams as if I'd been awake at the time. For example, I'm fairly sure I was dreaming when I had the chance to hear all four verses of the Betelgeusean Death Anthem aboard a doomed spaceship the other night.
marnanel: (Default)
In my dream last night, the admirals came to tell Elizabeth I that the Spanish were invading, and she said, "Well, repel them." But as the admirals were leaving, she added, "Wait, come back. I have invented a submarine, and I think this would be the best chance to test it in action. I shall call it HMS GLORIOUS." So HMS Glorious was built, and Elizabeth insisted on being the pilot. It carried no torpedoes, for they had not been invented, but instead it had a sharp point at the front which was used to ram the Spanish ships (yes, you're welcome to give a Freudian reading to this). And as the Armada sank ship by ship, the sailors would cheer and say, "Well done, your Majesty! Er, I mean, well done, mysterious sailor whose name we forgot."
marnanel: (Default)
In my dream last night I went home to my parents' house and turned on the TV. Anglia Television was running their answer to the National Lottery. This being Anglia, it was a bit cut-price and the prizes weren't actually monetary. Most of them involved chocolate bars, but I remember there was also a year's free travel on the Milton Keynes tram system and a book of tickets allowing free entry to the women's toilets in Welwyn.

Hoaxes

Nov. 30th, 2012 07:14 am
marnanel: (Default)
I have just woken up from a dream, and I wish I could give you a coherent picture of it.

It began with a scene from a later Harry Potter book, not one that exists in reality. Soon I realised that it didn't make much sense. But this was soon followed by the revelation that Harry Potter, as a whole, was a hoax. None of the story ever happened. Now, in the waking world, most people know that Harry Potter is fiction. But in the dream, people were shocked, and started making death threats against J.K.Rowling. It was only made clear in a conference held after the final book.

Soon afterwards it came out that another major multi-volume series was also a hoax, to similar results. (I forget which it was; in the dream it was another one about as famous that I'd read.) And then a third series, although that one was translated from Russian and I was only keeping up with it by reading the summaries online so that I could talk as if I'd read it.

You have to understand that these three successive revelations were bombshells not just to the literary world but to the world in general. They were front-page news for weeks.

And then, less than a week after these three stories had come out in quick succession, I found myself at a writers' conference where the three hoaxes were to be discussed. The eyes of the world were on this conference, and most news organisations had at least one representative there. What was to be done? What could be done?

[personal profile] brainwane stood up to give a speech on the matter, and it happened that I was the first to realise. There hadn't been three hoaxes. There had been one hoax. Rowling and the others were inventions or dupes of Sumana; she had arranged all three series, and all the films, and the faked deaths of many major players in the literary field and beyond, and several believable scenes in the lives of people involved, including my own, over many years, merely in order to tell a good story. Each discredited series was a necessary part in the metanarrative, and highlighted a different part of the human condition. And she was explaining where all the pointers to this had been buried since the beginning, and how we should all have known.

I should have been angry, but instead I was full of admiration.

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