Hello Vanderworld readers. Sorry I’m so late to my own guest blogging gig. But now I’m here, and better late than never. I’ve done the guest blogging thing before — here’s my intro in case you don’t remember — and for those of you who are seeing me for the first time, I’ll elt you in on a secret: I’m totally black.
I know, it was a shock for me, too.
But today I am not going to talk about “black stuff,” I want to talk to you all about dreams.
This weekend many of my friends went to go see the new Christopher Nolan flick Inception, and most of them came back raving about it. I plan to see the movie soon, but in the meantime I’ve been poking around at the reviews to see what people are saying. Some folks, like Rex Reed, are so apoplecticly upset about this movie that they aren’t making much sense. Others are less angry about the movie, but many critics wrote something along the lines of this riff from the NYTimes’ A. O. Scott:
Mr. Nolan’s idea of the mind is too literal, too logical, too rule-bound to allow the full measure of madnessâ€”the risk of real confusion, of delirium, of ineffable ambiguityâ€”that this subject requires. The unconscious, as Freud (and Hitchcock, and a lot of other great filmmakers) knew, is a supremely unruly place, a maze of inadmissible desires, scrambled secrets, jokes and fears. If Mr. Nolan can’t quite reach this place, that may be because his access is blocked by the very medium he deploys with such skill.
Not having seen the movie, I can’t speak to whether Nolan’s idea of the rigid dreamspace isn’t weird enough, but each time I see this criticism I balk at it. Yes, dreams can be really weird and trippy and balls-out insane, but most of my dreams are a lot like real life, except they skip around in silly ways. Dream logic is not Earth logic, but mine does often have a sensible logic. Am I weird?
I feel like I’m not, because when I hear people talk about their dreams, it’s not always filled with Freudian symbolism and backwards-talking dwarfs. Often the weirdness comes from them being in places they shouldn’t be — my grandmother’s house when I was 10 — or around people they don’t have much contact with — Stephen King gave me his scarf to keep warm — or doing things they wouldn’t normally do — I was performing in the Oscars but didn’t ever go to rehearsal, crap! Everyone has trippy dreams, I’m sure, but I’m not convinced that a very realistic dreamscape is unrealistic in itself.
Still, I am willing to entertain the possibility that I am weird. I am a semi-lucid dreamer, as in I can often direct the way my dream will go, though not always because I realize I’m dreaming. I can remember many times in dreams where I thought “It would make sense if X happened right now” and then X will happen. I often wake up and remember my dreams progressing in a very linear fashion — very fiction-like — and making sense most of the way through even if I don’t direct them. Some of my dreams would make decent short stories if I could actually remember how they began.
Maybe Christopher Nolan is like me, and thus Inception‘s vision of the unstructured dreamscape isn’t off the wall because his own dreamscape isn’t. I don’t think it’s necessary to have trippy dreams all the time to be creative. Honestly, I enjoy the break. But now I wonder: how many people out there are having these crazy dreams all the time? Is it just me and Chris who have boring dreams?