Wednesday is here. Midway through the week and you probably need a pick-me-up.
Let me tell you a story. Story-telling has been around since the dawn of time. Entertainment, education, and enlightenment packaged into one fire-side chat. Sounds like everything a modern movie endeavors to be.
Every day I find myself drawn to the siren call of Netflix. I dive headlong into the languid waters without a care. I'm not looking to avoid this like Odysseus's crew by stuffing my ears with wax. I am however very curious to know why I am drawn to the siren call.
I'm not going to delve into behavioral science and the 'hooks' that are used to rope me in. I'm less interested in how. I'm more interested in why. So I decided to spend the day thinking instead of watching.
I imagined I'm a young boy sitting around a fire and listening to a wise old man telling me fantastical tales.
What draws me to the tale is the opportunity to live vicariously through the journey of another's life. I want to know what it is like to live as a poet, warrior, prince, king, queen, thief, lover, etc.
Why else would we be watching a series about cooking and dealing meth? I am certain that the majority of the viewers are not actually cooking and dealing meth. My mind has embraced an ego, an identity I was born and raised into. Nature and nurture played a significant role in establishing my sense of self.
Society offers us a singular role. Let's leave the polymaths and generalists aside. For the vast majority, there is but one option. There is one hat to don. We are adults but the one game we still haven't stopped playing since childhood is role play.
As a child, I could don a hundred different roles and identities between dawn and dusk. In the span of a mere minute, I could have lived an entire lifetime as a gunslinger who walks into the room and promptly gets shot by my best friend. No time for funerals here. I get back up, dust myself off and I'm now the King who ride the fastest horse in the kingdom.
No billion-dollar production, no glamorous actors, no grandiose sets. Just my imagination.
But I can't regale myself and live vicariously today. A paper sword does not suffice to turn me into King Arthur. I can no longer ride an imaginary horse. I can't even imagine the prettiest maiden in the world by my side.
I need to feel its weight in my hands and actually wield a solid forged sword before I can even pretend to feel like a warrior. Even the hottest porn star or movie star would not fulfill my fantasies like the imaginary Queen who walked by my side.
Imagination > Information
In trying to answer that question, I'm only walking into more questions. Why is it that at 40, at the peak of human ability, I'm incapable of what my 4-year-old self would have waltzed through effortlessly?
I find it silly that the best minds on our planet are spending billions of dollars on attempting to reverse aging and prevent death. Am I the only one who feels like I'm already on life support? Living with Netflix coursing through my veins instead of my own virile imagination.
So, I'm going to reverse aging starting today.
I'm going to imagine a new identity every single day this week. For today, I'm a Magician in Mogadishu.
I wear colorful face paint and an elaborate headdress. I weave spells, chant incantations, dance deliriously, and entertain the village folk with my stories. If you don't understand my tribal tongue, I'm a telepath too.
What about you?
Who do you want to be today?
Who do you want to be tomorrow?
Forget your 10-year vision of who you want to be. Forget the future.
It's time to play. Right here. Right now. You are all you need.