Saturday, June 23, 2012

a homeless house arrest fairy tale

Good morning, everybody.

This post is related to this entry in my dream journal.

Both these dreams have a theme which I think is common to literature. But I'm not sure what the common parallel is for this theme in America.

The theme is, of course, of taking the King's daughter for a bride. In this case, however, I'm taking the King's daughter for a girlfriend in both cases. And instead of it being a King's daughter, it's a President's daughter.

I would suppose that in America, as well as all over the modern world, the parallel to this theme would usually be taking the daughter of some extremely wealthy person, like the head of a global corporation, as a bride. But I'm pretty sure that the father in both dreams is supposed to be the President. In both dreams the father arrives with a whole squad of vehicles -- which I would think of as a motorcade. And in the first dream, the father even walks up the steps of the mansion with what appear to be a retinue of bodyguards.

I'd like to mention that the theme of bodyguards must also come from this video, by the megagroup Girls' Generation. I mentioned this video in my last post, as well. But at the beginning of the video, you'll see the girls surrounded by bodyguards.

Now, I kept thinking about making the joke in the comments section for this video, "Where's the part where they follow me until they love me?" But I figured either that that joke had been said a million times before, or else that the joke would lead to a whole bunch of useless anti/pro-Lady Gaga arguments which tend to sprout up on the comments section of just about any music video you can imagine on YouTube. So I kept the joke to myself.

The joke was a little more than a joke, since I'd be perfectly happy having Girls' Generation or Lady Gaga following me until I loved them. It wouldn't take very long in either case.

The whole video of Lady Gaga's Paparazzi does take place in a big mansion, too, which I think is interesting. The mansion also looks kind of like the White House at the beginning of the video, in my opinion. That might heighten the idea of the President theme in my dream.

Also, when I was at Pride Fest in Denver this week, one of the performances I loved was called Pride Idol, which was a karaoke contest for kids eleven years old and younger. It was a lot of fun.

But one of my favorite performances was by this boy who had his hair dyed blue, wore huge, blue, star-shaped shade-glasses (where, instead of there being lenses, there are strips of plastic like half-closed Venetian blinds), and tons of necklaces of metallic blue beads. This boy sang Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi," and he kept the lyrics that said, "I won't stop until that boy is mine." I thought that was great!

But I don't think the mansion in my dream really was based on the White House. I think it was based on the front of the Schwarzman branch of the New York Public Library, the big one with the lions in front of it.

The mansion in the dream was also related to the convent in the Almodovar film Entre Tinieblas (Dark Habits), especially at the end of the movie, where the view is from the outside at night, into the best preserved and decorated room in the convent. I watched this movie last night, so the images from this movie were obviously at the top of my mind.

Now in the dream, I was sleeping in front of the NYPL with a pile of blankets. In other words, I was sleeping like a homeless person on the streets. Now I'm pretty sure that the NYPL is careful about not letting  people sleep in front of the Schwarzman building. But other buildings, especially churches, are more permissive.

The side room in the dream, though, I think, is reminiscent of the New York Palace, one of my favorite buildings in New York. The left (north) wing of the New York Palace contains a little museum. The only time I went there was when they had a Jane Jacobs exhibit. I admired Jane Jacobs a lot at the time. But the exhibit wasn't so great.

But in the dream I am made to go into that side room and act like some kind of tour guide. I'm supposed to give some kind of talk -- I'm not even sure what -- about some place I know nothing about.

The first thing I think of again is the Schwarzman building. In 2008, I helped organize a presentation given by a global corporation. That evening, the corporation was also putting on a little party inside the Schwarzman building. I think that, in my role of organizer, I had to act like I knew what I was doing. I'm not sure if I knew what I was doing. But I suppose I did a good job. But I suppose that was also one of the times in my life where I felt like I could handle a lot more responsibility than I'd previously thought I could.

The Schwarzman is a kind of big symbol in my dreams, even though I seldom dream directly about the building. I first moved to New York in 1998. I spent a whole lot of my time inside the Schwarzman, studying mainly Sigmund Freud, George Bernard Shaw, Karl Marx, and William James. As time wore on, I ended up needing to study at other places, such as the Bobst Library of New York University.

But, especially once the economy started to tank, and I found myself with a lot of downtime, I went back to the Schwarzman building. And the place again became a center for a lot of my most important studies. But even though I was studying some of the most important literary figures of recent history, and even though I was in one of the most famous buildings in the world, I still felt like a little, poor, anonymous speck in life.

But -- even though my perception was false -- on the night I was at the Schwarzman, attending the big corporation's party, I felt like something had come around for me. I was in a building that (sorry, Mr. Schwarzman) I considered to be mine, and I was with a lot of wealthy people, enjoying a party for a big corporation. In some ways it was against a lot of the things I thought I believed in. But in some ways it was like a first step toward something I thought would be an attainable goal in my life.

I don't really feel anymore like that goal is attainable. And I think that's part of the reason I'm a homeless person, sleeping on the steps of the Schwarzman.

Now, the dream has a whole dynamic of the rich father coming up to me and telling me that I need to go lead a tour group  , and my actually going and trying to do it by throwing out questions which I hope will lead people into telling me enough that I can get an idea of how to improvise a speech that will make me look like I know what I'm talking about.

At first, when I woke up from this dream, I thought that I had been pretty original and clever in the dream. Unfortunately, though, I will say that most of the dynamic of this dream comes from the David Cronenberg film eXistenZ, which I watched a few nights ago and mentioned in a previous post.

Almost every film can, and probably has been, compared to a dream. So I made a pretty common judgment when thinking of eXistenZ as a dream. The two main characters in the film, a man and a woman, show two different ways of getting through dreams. One way is the kind of naive way, which I think I mostly take, where you just see and react to everything that happens. A lot of people -- a lot more than I ever would have guessed! -- actually seem to be able to reflect on their dreams and make creative and critical choices within their dreams. In eXistenZ, the man is the naive character and the woman is the thoughtful character.

I think in my dream I, admiring the woman character, wanted to try to be like her. So I tried to use a somewhat thoughtful, critical approach to my unknown situation.

But I think my approach to this situation also comes from waking life. In both of the positions I held in Equity Research, I was required to do a lot of research by phone -- calling up industry or government representatives all over the world and trying to get an idea of market trends from them -- sometimes about things that I knew little or nothing about.

My approach would often be to talk to these people, listen to the terminology they were using, and take any sort of reading material suggestions they would give me. I'd go through the terminology, go through the reading material, and brush up my own talking points with this material so that, the next time I got on the phone with somebody, I sounded a lot more like I knew what I was talking about -- even though I probably didn't. I never thought of myself as having learned more. Rather, I thought of myself during this process as honing more and more finely the presentation I was giving of myself to the people with whom I was conversing.

But I think this approach to things actually comes from one of the films I watched all throughout my childhood, Fletch, starring Chevy Chase.

In one of the scenes in this movie, Fletch walks into a dinner ceremony where he suddenly has to act as the Master of Ceremonies. He doesn't really have any idea what he's doing. And, of course, we as the audience can see he's doing a hilariously terrible job. But he somehow seems to fool the audience in the movie. I think I subconsciously took that aspect of Fletch as a strategy for my own personal life, from childhood all the way to the present.

I think there's one last image in the first dream that I'd like to discuss. The father figure in the dream is a "President image," I really believe. I believe that a King image must be taken up, in some, but not all instances, at least for Americans, by a President image. But I think the father figure in the dream is also a head of a corporation. I think he comes from the film The Man Who Fell to Earth, by Nicholas Roeg.

In this movie, David Bowie is an alien trying to get back to his home planet. He needs to get enough money to build a spaceship to take him home. So he uses a bunch of alien inventions to make money on earth. But the person who helps him run his company does a pretty bad job, and the company ends up getting taken over by another person, who looks very much like the father figure in my dram.

The David Bowie character, considered kind of a risk to the person who takes over the company, ends up being imprisoned in a series of rooms in a mansion for a number of years. He can have whatever he wants in the rooms. But he can't leave them.

Of course, as a paraphilic infantilist, an adult baby, I have a fantasy of being trapped in rooms, never allowed to leave them, but being given anything my babyish desires might imagine.

But I also have a weird fantasy, which I call the "hedgie fantasy." In this fantasy, I'm supposed to be some kind of genius hedge fund manager. But I have to hide my identity from everybody on the street. But my genius shines through, and everybody hates me, just because they can tell what I'm capable of. Eventually I have to hide myself from the world, isolate myself in a series of rooms. I'm incredibly rich, incredibly talented, maybe even incredibly powerful -- but I can't go anywhere, because in the outside world everybody hates me for my talent. This fantasy is very similar to The Man Who Fell to Earth.

I think that one of the reasons Aung San Suu Kyi is such a powerful figure in my mind is because she underwent house arrest for such a long time. The idea of a gifted figure like Suu Kyi being put under house arrest falls very much in line with my "hedgie fantasy."

So, all of those images combine in my dream. I'm not sure how to untangle all of it, though.

There's only one other image I'd like to discuss today. It comes from a commerial on YouTube. The commercial is for the Superfly album Mind Travel. The lead singer for Superfly, Shiho Ochi, is standing before a projection of an image of a desert road. Images of Superfly music videos are being projected onto Shiho Ochi's clothes.

The idea of "mind travel" reminds me of astral projection or remote viewing. So I think I imagined myself projecting out onto the desert road on the cover of/in the commercial for Mind Travel. But, again, I'm not sure how this pieces together with the "President's daughter" fantasy that makes up the "plot" of this dream.

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