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The War on Dreams: Part VIII

Dr. Gerard Trutt, PHD is the Professor of Dream Studies at Princetard University. He is an acclaimed author, speaker, and historian, and is considered to be the foremost authority on the War on Dreams and its effects on American life. His most recent publication is titled “From Betty Boop to Dumbo: Technicolor and the American Nightmare.” Dr. Trutt met with This Ridiculous World during his recent publicity tour.

What follows is the transcript of the interview:

In your professional view, has the War on Dreams been a success?

Trutt: Well, that is a difficult question, with different responses depending on who you ask. What happens when we declare something a war? You create a context. Conflict by nature requires a framework. Take any conflict you wish – war, presidential races, wrestling matches, a man trying to decide whether or not to have a drink. Take your pick. For the conflict to exist, we have to assume certain things. You know, that you can’t leave the mat, and so on. So, when we call this thing a war, you establish this context and call up all these connotations. You presuppose that there actually is an enemy of some sort, something at which to direct our efforts. Something to be afraid of.

Think of a football match – here we have one clear winner, according to the established rules, which are given to us, and so it is very much a success according to that particular party, being the “victor.” Now, the other team – for obvious reasons – will not view the outcome a success. They just had their asses handed to them, let’s say. And they will undoubtedly bicker amongst themselves, cast blame about, curse the referee’s mother, and so on. The important notion here being that they will not admit that the loss, the failure, was in any way due to their own shortcomings, neglect, or weakness. But they feel like losers, because they think the whole thing matters. Ok. Now, aside from those two parties, there are the others, those who see the whole thing as a farce, a spectacle. In other words, it is possible to refuse the rules. And then what happens? Well, that’s a whole other discussion.

So, to get back to your question: yes and no. If you consider the projected goals of the DNDC [Department of National Dream Control] and the current state of the American mind, then it has been wondrous success. And, as for the American people, well… naturally, they are caught up in a mess of false dreams, some implanted by the DNDC, others natural byproducts, and so they fail to recognize that they are the source of their own downfall. But, as I discuss in my book, the ultimate success of the so-called War on Dreams is essentially the destruction of the American spirit. It is inherently apocalyptic. If it is “successful” in the sense of the complete annihilation of creative thought, human progress will altogether cease. So, success?

TRW: What can you tell us about the methods used by the DNDC?

Trutt: The DNDC’s campaign utilizes a self-oppressive strategy. That is, it relies on a simple and common psychological phenomenon: laziness. It is actually quite brilliant. It was quite a dreamer that thought it up, ironically.

TRW: What hope is there?

Trutt: As I mentioned before, there is a third party – the strays, the minds who recognize the absurdity of the “conflict.” Now, it is widely recognized that if the losers – the dull, dreamless, frightened mass – could be shown a different option, they just may begin to think again. To dream. And it could be possible to destroy all “progress” of the campaign. But, what we must realize is this: no threat will ever be defeated on its own terms.

TRW: Could you give an example of what you mean?

Trutt: Imagine, if you dare, a football team showing up to an NFL match and, at the sound of the first whistle, proceeding to execute a beautiful and graceful ballet instead of their expected play. What would happen? Naturally, you would have a few casualties, what with the confusion, but the overall effect would be both hilarious and, for those who rely on maintaining the rules and illusion of their importance, disastrous. Think about it.

TRW: What exactly is meant by the term “Dreams”?

Trutt: That question deserves another complicated answer. Unfortunately, it is not a question that is asked frequently enough, despite the amount of media coverage on the campaign. By dreams we do not necessarily mean activity during sleep – although it is part of it. The DNDC defines the term quite broadly to include any sort of creative, unconventional mental process, both awake and asleep. Wondering, imagining, figuring out, figuring in, doubting, inventing, pretending, hoping, aspiring, and so on.

TRW: Earlier, you referred to “false” dreams. What did you mean by that?

Trutt: In our world, America especially, our concepts of necessity and value have been wildly distorted. The mainstream media, one tentacle of the great monster, has perfected methods of implanting and controlling dreams in its viewers. This may sound like some paranoid Orwellian conspiracy theory, but it is quite real, and these methods evolved naturally through years of ratings analysis. It – the media – sets up a simple system of fears and desires, which is used to trick the mind into believing it is coming to its own conclusions. It is basic advertising, really. But to an extreme degree. And what you have is a mutually beneficial arrangement between the media and the so-called “powers that be.” And, to avoid the old conspiracy criticism, let me say this: whether or not it is intentional is unimportant. In fact, that may make it worse.

TRW: Is there anything you’d like to tell the American people?

Trutt: Let me say this: The War on Dreams? This is no war. It is pure unchecked aggression. Bullying, one-sided – that’s what people need to realize. Because if they do, then they will have to act differently. And if they just reject it all, all the shit being shoveled into their mouths, and see how ridiculous it is, well… what do you think would happen?

TRW: Well, thank you for your time, Professor.

Trutt: My pleasure. And don’t forget to read my book.

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