Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Suspension of Disbelief Cubed

Suspension of disbelief is a term coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a "human interest and a semblance of truth" into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative. The phrase came to be used more loosely in the later 20th century, often used to imply that the burden was on the reader, rather than the writer, to achieve it ~ An excerpt from the Wikipedia entry.

I awoke with a splitting headache. Slowly opening my eyes I took in my surroundings. I appeared to be lying in a hospital bed. Also, to my amazement my friend Jed was sitting in a chair nearby. "Glad to see you're awake, Dervish", Jed said looking relieved. "What the hell happened?" I asked. "I thought you were dead". "Clearly I am not dead", my friend replied. "Let me explain. You were shot by a rogue police officer. But the bullet really only grazed your head and the cop didn't realize it. Probably due to the massive loss of blood".

"But what about you?" I protested, feeling woozy. "I thought you had a heart attack after being tased. I checked your pulse and you didn't have one". "Yes, that happened", Jed agreed. "But, as for explaining why I didn't have a pulse and appeared to be dead, that is something you are going to have a hard time believing". "Try me" I shot back.

"Well, you've seen the film Inception starring Leonardo DiCaprio, haven't you? "Yes", I replied, not sure where this was going. "Well", what about The Matrix, have you seen that one? I'm referring to the picture with Keanu Reeves in the lead" Jed explained. "I don't understand why you're quizzing me on what movies I've seen", I said. "Just go with me", Jed insisted. "Have you seen it?". "Yes", I replied, utterly confused at this point.

"OK. What about Independence Day, and Terminator 2? Starring Will Smith and Arnold Schwarzenegger respectively, of course". "What the hell are you talking about?", I demanded. "What do these movies have to do with you being killed and me almost being killed? I don't understand". "Just answer the question", Jed said, looking very serious. I lay there for a little while, staring at Jed. He stared back at me. "Yes, I have seen all those movies", I finally said.

"Think of this as Inception meets The Matrix meets Independence Day meets Terminator 2", he said. "Think of WHAT as that?", I inquired. Had my friend gone crazy? "No, I have not gone crazy", Jed replied as if reading my mind. "The situation you are in is like that. It is like Inception in that your dream of the violent sporting event was a dream within a dream. It is like The Matrix in that what you are experiencing right now is not real, but only a virtual reality simulation. It is like Independence Day in that it is aliens (and not intelligent machines) who are using what remains of humanity as batteries to power their machines which are stripping Earth of it's natural resources".

"How is it like Terminator 2", I asked, not believing a single thing Jed had just told me. "It is like Terminator 2 in that I am a cybernetic robot". "From the future?" I asked. "In a way", Jed replied. "The year is not really 2013 as you believe, but actually around a 1000 years later. Anyway, the reason I have no pulse is because I am not human. The tazing merely disrupted my electrical circuits. I only appeared to be dead while my CPU was rebooting".

"Here, feel for a pulse", Jed said, extending his arm. I felt for a pulse but there was none. "Still not buying this cockamamie story", I said, letting go of Jed's wrist. Jed withdrew a switchblade from his jacket pocket. "I could use this knife to slice the flesh from my arm and reveal my robotic endoskeleton", Jed said. "Although I would rather not damage myself in that manner".

Still I did not quite believe the line of BS Jed was feeding me, but clearly something strange was going on. "So why did you scream at me and then cry hysterically when the cop said he was going to give you a ticket?" I asked, sure I had finally stumped him. "It's like Star Trek Generations. You know, the film where they replaced Kirk and crew with Picard and the cast of the Next Generation series. You've seen it, right?", Jed asked.

"Actually, I just caught it on TV recently", I admitted. "Well, then you should recall one of the subplots had to do with the android character Data and his emotion chip. I too have an emotion chip. The reason for my chaotic emotions is because this chip was infected with a virus. But don't worry, the virus has been dealt with".

"Sure", I agreed, certain my friend had flipped his lid. Perhaps we had both flipped our lids and were in the psych ward. I wasn't able to ponder just what was going on for long though, as voices in the hall outside the room distracted me. "This way officer. The suspect is in this room", a female voice in the hall outside said.

"Oops. it's too late", Jed said. And then he disintegrated in a blinding flash, leaving not even ashes behind. "What the frick!" I exclaimed in astonishment. But I did not have time to ponder this new development either, as just then a familiar officer of the law entered the room. "That's the violent crack dealer who attacked me", the familiar cop said to a second uniformed officer who entered the room alongside him.

"Wait a minute, that isn't true at all", I complained, directing my disagreement toward the second officer. But I could protest my innocence no further, as the room suddenly started spinning. He needs another transfusion, a nurse that had entered the room behind the two cops said. She approached the bed and inserted an IV in my arm. In a few seconds I was feeling very drowsy. "This will put him under so that he may be transported to the prison hospital", was the last thing I heard the nurse say before I lost consciousness.

SWTD #153, TI #3.

1 comment:

  1. This appears to be a case of life imitating movies rather than the other way around.


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