Living in a Cartoon
I just watched “G.I. Jeff,” episode 11 of Season 5 of the sitcom Community. There have been a lot of Community episodes that take place in alternate realities. Sometimes I like them, sometimes not so much. I really got a kick out of “G.I. Jeff.”
The show takes place in the world of the G.I. Joe cartoon series, circa 1985-86. Joel McHale’s character, Jeff Winger is called Wingman in the cartoon. What’s really going on is that Jeff is unconscious in the hospital, and he’s created a life for himself, and his friends in the cartoon. You can read the show summary here.
So after some animated military action in which Wingman manages to kill a parachuting Destro, the group is imprisoned. It urns out that Destro’s death is the first in this universe. Abed’s animated character, Fourth Wall is in the adjoining cell. He concludes that Jeff has constructed this fantasy because he’s in a medical crisis.
I really don’t want to describe the entire episode in this post. What I want to do is talk about the idea that having a psychotic break to escape life’s harsh realities seems kind of appealing to me.
That’s stupid I know. I understand that there are people who live with conditions like schizophrenia whose lives are not so wonderful. I don’t want to have a psychotic break. I just want an alternate reality that I can disappear into when the going gets rough.
You know what? I can escape. I’ve been escaping all of my life. All I have to do is recede into one of the many fantasy worlds that I’ve created. The next step would be to make these worlds more real by writing about them. If I had the time and work ethic, I could probably have a few novels and several short stories under my belt. If I could meld my wish to escape with my desire to be a writer, I could maybe do something great.
I’d say I’m going to set some writing goals, but I’m not going to. Maybe the time isn’t right. I’ll just keep thinking about it, and then take action in my next life.