Saturday, September 18, 2010

For I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds

"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." -J. Robert Oppenheimer, scientific director of the Manhattan Project, quoting the Bhagavad Gita.

This post falls into a long unused category, that of Dreams. By that, I do not mean objectives to be achieved, however impossible, or hallucinations brought on as a result of many a severe blow to the cranium. I refer instead to the flights of fancy experienced in that state which scientists blandly term Rapid Eye Movement.

Note: This is another post from my stockpile (which is running thin at the moment) of unpublished posts- can't post anything fresh out of my head right now, as I have a referral exam which I absolutely must pass... not to mention that I've been delaying revision due to the inescapable gravitational pull of Monster Hunter Portable 2G. Anyway, I'll be free sometime, say, early November.

Sometimes one just sleeps and dreams. On the other hand, sometimes dreams require a little… creative encouragement, in the form of a session of pre-sleep fantasizing. The dream which I shall catalog here seems to have come about by the second method, although whether there is any correlation remains to be seen.

I don’t know why I thought of all this before going to bed that night (or morning, really, as it was way past midnight). It really wasn’t the sort of topic that would perhaps establish a chance of acquiring a pleasant fantasy-like dreamland, nor of some romantic escapade. No, I was thinking of, ah, shall we say, certain ‘alternative means’ to achieve a semblance of world peace.

‘World peace’, eh. It’s something politicians and beauty queens traditionally (minus the dictators and undercover FBI agents, ala Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality) aspire to. Eschewing real world cynicism and wishy-washy hopefulness, I chose to imagine myself with powers comparable to those of, say, old-school Planeswalkers from the Magic: The Gathering fantasy series- you could call them near-gods, if you like.

How I was to obtain these powers is unimportant- whether granted by a god, or a pantheon of deities for the carrying out of that sole purpose; some advanced (and bored on a cosmic scale) alien being; reincarnation gone wrong; or a simple quirk of evolution.

Probably the biggest problem in relation to the aforementioned topic would be the Middle East, which has plagued the world and irritated sensible minds for centuries. I toyed with the idea of simply fiddling with the planets gravitational fields and thereby surgically remove the state of Israel from that region, and drop it (gently, to avoid tidal waves) somewhere more comfortable- Hawaii, perhaps. That way they wouldn’t have to worry about being surrounded by countries bent on kicking them out of the Middle East- I’d do the kicking for them.

That alone wouldn’t solve the entire Middle East problem, of course. History has told us many times that the chaps would simply fight each other without a common enemy to turn on. The solution to this problem was envisioned (whether intentionally or not is another matter) by Frank Herbert, author of the legendary Dune series, where a warrior race called the Fremen who inhabit a desert planet eventually lose their fighting edge and go soft as their planet is terraformed into a veritable Eden. Therefore the adding of some forests, lakes, and the complete removal of the desert should do the trick.

Where else should my omnipotent feet tread on, then? Africa is another problem spot. Nothing that a few billion tones of magically created food, a systematic hunt for the various little warlords, and a regime of compulsory education can’t handle. Rewiring their DNA structure to eradicate AIDS from Africa would probably do wonders for continental morale- what was that joke, which claimed that AIDS only started to affect mankind because some lonely African decided to get it on with a chimpanzee? No more of that nonsense.

Closer to home, the little dictatorship of Burma could be ended easily, with a little show of force- I hear that like the Thais, they are partial to elephants, so the conjuring of a vaguely elephant-shaped, Godzilla-sized monstrosity would work wonders, perhaps by annoying the military with loud trumpet blasts and defecating on the generals' villas. Meanwhile, China could easily be convinced to bring North Korea’s Uncle Kim in line, under threat of reunification of the two Koreas; Indonesia to cede some of it’s unused islands to Singapore; temporary abolishment of all political parties and a permanent end to the rotating monarchy in Malaysia…

Finally, noting that certain sectors’ distortion of religion has been a major force in screwing up everyone’s lives, I suppose I could simply materialize in a rather blasphemously divine form, name myself a representative of a certain god (without giving any names) and delivering a message that god threatens to kill him/herself if the puny humans fighting/yapping in his/her/their names don’t shut up.

It was all so simple and entertaining. It was therefore quite strange that I ended up dreaming not of stalking across the world, solving age-old conflicts with a casual wave of the hand, callously stomping on all who would resist, but of a simple, quaint, romantic fling.

Then again, ‘quaint’ might not be the right word for it. It was a little more complicated than that- I won’t produce any names, but suffice to say that a friend’s friend broke up with her boyfriend, and for some reason my friend arranged things so that I and the newly single girl started seeing each other. I don’t know what happened to the other guy in that dream.

What could all that mean, then? Despite all the hints I dropped to my subconscious, why did I end up with a dream like this? Of course, I don’t delude myself by thinking that I am actually capable of fully controlling what I can dream of- although like anyone else, the ‘hints’ should have gotten through, to a certain extent. If so, what’s the connection? I can only think of one: that I should fix my own problems before even dreaming of fixing the world’s. Pretty savvy subconscious I have there, if that is indeed the case, heh.


  1. @A20-man: Hmm, sounds like the subconscious of a future politician, eh? Although I must admit, when I saw this image, I couldn't shake that guy's resemblance to Obama. Destroyer of worlds indeed.

  2. @Jay: Guess he does look a little like Obie, heh, although this guy's a little meatier and perhaps slightly older, I think. Hmm. Might I assume that you're anti-Obie, then?

    Haha- I think you might have misunderstood me- that whole bit about world-changing wasn't in the dream, just the romance. Unless of course your idea of politics is a Casanovan experience, lol.

  3. @A20-man: Ahh, I see it now. I guess I needed to re-read it again to untangle all those strings of thought. But you're right, an older Obama weathered and worn from all the "worldly destruction", hehe. And trying to rationally "encourage" the irrational dream process is rather futile. They don't mix. You'd probably have a better chance of encouraging the desired effect by imagining something else entirely unrelated. Like reality. ^_~

  4. @Jay: So Obie got fed up with playing the good guy and decided to take the Anakin-route in his old age, hehe.

    Oh, it does work, now and then- on the other hand I could have just thought myself to sleep, and woke up thinking that I actually dreamed up those suggestions. What a mess:S

  5. Haha. You probably overloaded your poor subconscious, which then decided to go have a romantic escapade.