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Date: Sat Nov 6, 2004 1:16 pm
From: Jürgen Hubert
Some time ago, the topic of a "Dreamlands Iraq", nicknamed "Irak" came up - a surreal version of the real one.
In recent times I have, uhm "discussed" politics online with many Americans. And I've come to the conclusion that the image a certain segment of the American population has of Europe has surreal, even mythic qualities. Frequent words that were used are:
"Socialist", "Ungrateful", "Back-stabbing", "not able to see the real world", "Appeasing", "freedom-hating", and many, many more.
The vehemency, frequency, and consistency of these appelations has come to lead me to the idea that there is something more to it than mere slander. Perhaps the fears, suspicious, and sterotypes many Americans - especially those who have never been here - have of Europe have led to the creation of a complete pocket-Dreamlands where all these things are true, and which partially exists in Carcosa. Or may the pocket Dreamlands - which I shall dub "Europa" - existed first, and the Americans simply got in contact with the Vibe.
Your thoughts on this?
From: ialdaloboth *genzundheit!*
I think you're reading way too much into general stupidity on behalf of people who believe what they see on CNN or FAUX News.
But I suspect a lot of pieces of the perceptions turn up in everyday transactions within the Dreamlands. Maybe there's a kingdom of blue-helmeted knights who are incapable of doing anything? ; )
From: Stephen Posey
Wow, the whole idea is a compelling approach that opens up room for doing all sorts of bizarre "alternate history" kinds of situations. The "pocket dreamland" angle allows for things to be more twisted and surreal than you might otherwise be able to get away with. I like it a lot!
Maybe there all the conspiracy stuff about the Illuminati, etc. is true?
From: Jürgen Hubert
Now we only have to figure out how it interacts with the real world.
And, of course, there is likely to be an "Merika" - the pocket dreamland of how the rest of the world sees the USA…
From: "Janusz A. Urbanowicz"
Wouldn't this be 'LA' as described in "Callahan's Endtimes Salloon"?
From: "Mark McFadden"
In the pursuit of clarity and all-around politeness in online discourse, could we maybe come up with a shorthand to describe the sort of Merkin yahoo that uses that sort of language in debate as something a little more neutral and distancing than the choices offered by the "Jew York liberal media"? I would hate to denigrate the intelligence and morality of anyone that lives in a Red State even though some of the most vocal folks that claim to speak for everyone there don't hesitate to denigrate my intelligence, morality, politics, culture, philosophy, patriotism, viewing habits, choice of vehicle/coffee/footwear simply because I reside in California.
Y'know, something equivalent to "Xian" to help differentiate between sane people who are Christian and the wackadoos that are rooting for Armageddon so they can finally say "I told you so"?
My whole conception of LA in the Dreamlands is based on the misconceptions about L.A. people get from movies and TV. So yeah, I'm with you on this. In fact, some of my thinking about further adventures in the LA context has been about traveling to the Dreamlands variants of other cities in other countries Which, BTW, are only about three scenes of stock footage away. 1) Plane passing behind the Landmark restaurant at LAX, 2) in flight, heading either left to Asia or right to Europe, and 3) wheels down at the destination. I think these other cities are shaped by the misconceptions of dreamers mixed with the realistic details of dreaming locals.
Now, in the LA context, the rest of the world is shaped by the conventions of movies. Consequently, most of Japan is a crowded nighttime Tokyo lit by neon, but the rural areas tend to be medieval peasants and wandering ronin. The accessories of evil peculiar to Japan include missing digits, full body tattoos, really elegant knotwork in the bondage, eating sea creatures while they are still alive, or sushi off of blondes acquired through the sex slave industry.
Germany is mostly Berlin and it still has a wall. The Wall part of the context tends to be in B&W and at night, and espionage is the primary activity. Hamburg is the part of Berlin where the rock & roll clubs and hookers are. In the daytime men wear lederhosen and drink beer outside, served by waitresses in braids that all seem to look like the St. Pauli Girl. Accessories of evil peculiar to Germany include monocles, Heidelburg dueling scars, shaved heads, Nazi regalia.
And on and on. I am amused to see that the latest stereotype to be added to the xenophobic litany of British alienness concerns dentistry and oral hygiene. This is probably due to Austin Powers, since I have a hard time imagining the sort of person that responded to one of the Guardian letters to Clark county with "MAY YOU HAVE TO HAVE A TOOTH CAPPED. I UNDERSTAND IT TAKES AT LEAST 18 MONTHS FOR YOUR GREAT MEDICAL SERVICES TO GET AROUND TO YOU" spending much time watching the BBC or actually meeting any Brits.
Besides, everyone knows that the distinguishing characteristics of UK denizens are fishbelly-white skin and a predilection for getting their naughty bums spanked for misspelling "tire", "theater", and "color".
From: Lee Williams
I am afraid the demeanour of your humour holds no flavour or colour for me
Anyway, surely with you being a colonial type the phrase 'naughty bums' refers to badly behaved homeless persons?
Actually, I quite like the idea of the movie-style Dreamlands. However, I suspect the whole of Dreamlands England would look like a rainy London and would also include Scotland and Wales, and the population would all talk either Dick van Dyke 'cockerney' or have cut glass Oxbridge accents, depending on social status.
I'm off for a cup of tea now. Pip pip old bean!
From: Adam Crossingham
That's actually "a spot of tiffin" old man if we're conforming to colonial stereotypes.
Personally I prefer the cliché of double vodka and Red Bull, arcane closing time ruckus, and where our football soccer hooligans still rule the world.
From: Lee Williams
the stereotypical English alcoholic drink is surely real ale? I love the stuff myself.
Double vodka and Red Bull is not only a waste of perfectly good vodka, it also enables the inebriated morons to stay up all night shouting at each other and causing the aforementioned arcane ruckus :)
Also, I hate football personally, but I think our hooligans 'rool'? Or is that just how they think it is spelled? ;)
From: James Collins & Sarah Wood
I think we should pull back from the concept of countries within the Dreamlands (i.e., Europa, Irak, Merika, etc.) and instead look at individual cities. What cities would you put in the dreamlands?
I see a 19th century Britainia (London - what would you call it?) with fog shrouded streets, someplace where Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes, and the League of Extraordinary Gentleman run about. The skies are always grey (or night) and it never really rains, but it's never really sunny either.
Then you can travel to D.C. (Washington D.C.) where the government really is Big Brother (add orbital mind control lasers, immortality serums, brains in jars, etc.) and Steve Jackson's Illuminati is the truth rather than the fiction.
Lost Vegas (Las Vegas) where the sun never shines (a perpetual night illuminated by neon lights and spotlights). The city consists of the strip and not much else, but the strip has everything you could need or want if you're willing to gamble for it.
So take any modern (or not so modern) city, fill it with stereotypes, add a dash of fantasy (think Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman - sp?, Charles de Lint, James Blaylock or H.P. Lovecraft - who else?), and make a Dreamlands city.
From: Dirk R. Festus Festerling
mmmh,London , yes. Paris, i guess. probably there's a dreamland moscow too.
but e.g. italian cities will be dizzy. imho various canon dreamland cities own a lot to italian urbanity (or i'm visualising actually nondescriptive terms in a default mediterranean way).
dreamland germany rather has towns than full grown cities, probably pre-industrialized ones. and probably there would be a rural, perhaps even pastoral english countryside dreamland too.
wonder if fascists of all kinds are too modern to have established their dreamlands?
From: Stephen Posey
Hmmm, for interesting and "dreamy" takes on Paris and Venice, Tanith Lee's Forgotten books of "Paradys" and "Venus" would be good sources. There's some particularly "mad" vibes to a lot of it.
It also occurs to me that some portions of England's (depdending on era) probably resemble Wonderland, Pooh's 100 Acre Wood, Narnia, and perhaps even Middle Earth; perhaps with some nasty twists.
If you buy Jung's assessment of the importance of Dreaming then the fascist dreamlands would likely be even MORE potent and bizarre because of everything they've repressed.
Perhaps a different take would be that with the exception of the Nazis (who took great pains to establish themselves as a movement with deep mythic roots), most of the other fascist movements actually deeply discouraged all that airy fairy arts and dreamy stuff.
This might lead to a mutually reinforcing feedback loop: as the governmental body drives deeper into that soil of myth, it resonates more strongly in Dream. And as it resonates more energetically in Dream, it bleeds into Waking more. That's why the Nazis still bring forth more knee-jerk reactions both pro and con) than more aggressively prosaic movements that have simply crumpled and washed away, without much of a mark on the weltanshaung (sp) beyod the people who are still feeling direct effects.
From: Bill Waters
Or maybe there are only brief periods of time when the Fascist Dream of the city is in command. Right in the middle of your dream actions the repressed feelings rise and for two minutes it's a Nuremberg rally, complete with torch-bearing ditch diggers and books burning. Then it gets repressed again, and everything goes back to the way it was.
From: Jürgen Hubert
What about Berlin? If the City of the Wall has no Dreamlands counterpart, then I would be very surprised…
From: Michael Layne
Yes, the Wall figured so much in so many dreams (and nightmares) of the Cold War era, that it would likely appear in some form, somewhere in The Dreamlands.
Given the influence of all the war movies, a Dreamlands Europe might also include some sort of Naziland, or whatever you would call it, where WWII is still being fought by armies of movie stereotypes — sort of like a cross between Valhalla and that WWII holodeck scenario on "Voyager".
Perhaps, rather than equating to _nations_, per se, many of the "pocket Dreamlands" (or whatever you would call them) are more based on _cultures_ (or at least the mass impression of them by Dreamers)?
Thus, the place Saddam temporarily visited was indeed Irak — because Iraq's capital is _Baghdad_, which features in so many Arabian Nights tales, as well as in local legends, and even our own Frankish perceptions of the Middle Eastern paradigm?
This milieu would be a combination of the dreams and fantasies of Saddam and countless others, the cultural memories of the might of the vanished Ottoman Empire, the Hollywood views of the Middle East (with the minarets, djinn, caravans, caliphs, amirs, sultans, and dancing girls), and the "harem fantasies" promoted in books and TV. (As the Lizard King once mentioned, it would abut other Desert regions, which would feature sandworms, the French Foreign Legion, the Coyote and Roadrunner, Crusaders, WWII desert warriors, Lawrence, etc.)
Perhaps Saddam could not be found for so long by conventional Allied forces, not because he was hiding in a hole, but because he really was over in Irak, in one of his palaces there! (And, being in another dimension, he was "off the radar" of the Mi-Go and their Report, so to speak?)
Proceeding from this, we can suggest that unconventional tactics on one side call for the same on the other, and that his hiding place was pinpointed by investigative work of brave DG personnel in- country. Following this, a B-2 Stealth Bomber (which may already make use of alien tech, as it resembles some of the reported UFOs from the 1940s) was modified to temporarily hop dimensions, and a select USAF crew performed the modern version of that WWII famous raid, where an RAF Mosquito made a bombing attack specifically timed to interrupt one of Goering's (or was it Hitler's) speeches. Terrified that the Americans and their allies had come for him, even _here_, where he assumed he would be safe, Saddam bolted for his… well, his bolthole — the passage between worlds he had used for his occasional visits back to Iraq from Irak! But DG knew of that one, too, and had quietly tipped off the US Army, which actually collared the Thief of Baghdad! Of course, in such a hurry, Saddam had to leave behind in Irak the money and WMD he had stashed there, as well as certain artifacts from local museums… It could be that DG and PISCES will need to mount a joint mission into Irak to locate the above items before they fall into the wrong hands!:)
Rather than the Afghan/Pakistan border, Osama might now be hiding in Irak, or in some other Dreamlands place where the ancient ways of the Ottoman Empire still hold sway…
But, back to the suggestion that we're dealing with _cultures_ (or Dreamers' typical perceptions of them)…
This could mean that Dreamlands France includes a Napoleonic realm (possibly a favorite of that nation's current leader):), that Britain (among other places) includes an Arthurian realm, as well as a Victorian one… And the USA might include The Wild West, the Civil War, Gangland, LA (of course), etc.
From: Edward Lipsett
We discussed this in passing for Japan, too. See: http://www.kurotokage.org/Kurotokage/DLs.html for some of the things we came up with.
From: Chris Tremlett
Ooh, how about a modern dreamlands middle east with oil rich sheikhs living fabulously decadent lifestyles where they cities look ultra-modern and are totally over the top and anything you want is available for the right price?
Oh, wait, that's Dubai, in the real world.