The title of the post was originally supposed to be my super-clever idea for a blog name, but of course there is always someone one step ahead of me. Regardless, I felt that it addressed a problem that a friend of mine brought up during conversation the other day. He argued that fiction was merely a tool of entertainment and that when you’re done with it, you take nothing with you minus the satisfaction of being amused, horrified, gratified, or any other number of crazy emotions out there you might feel.

Of course, being an avid devourer of fiction, whether it be based in reality or some planet within the vicinity of Betelgeuse, I argued in favor of fiction. I feel it is not only necessary, as I’m sure many will tend to agree, but an integral part of everyone’s life. Plus, let’s face it, some of it is pretty damned cool!

Non-fiction is great and all, though I have to admit I don’t read much of it besides what I read in the news and even then I like to turn over to the entertainment section. I have no shame in it – it’s just who I am. Perhaps, some might say, I’m leaving in a dream world fantasy.

I am very much rooted in reality, I assure you.

So many things have shaped me into the person I am today. I’ve seen so many films, television shows, plays, video games, and of course read, read, and read so many different mediums. The amount of intake can be staggering when you look at it. So, when my friend said that I never learned anything or took anything from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Star Wars, I felt very hurt. I am a part of a culture, as is he, who almost lives for fantasy.

The real world is the sick one, but it’s all we’ve got. Fiction is a reflection of ourselves, sometimes through a twisted mirror, but a reflection nonetheless. Our collective hopes, dreams, and failures are represented through characters and themes. Even the way stories are told are more interesting than hearing it firsthand. Imagine reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with some sort of reliable narrator, perhaps a doctor or nurse separated from the action. I would doubt it would be as interesting.

If you think about it, reality, in a way, is fiction. My reality is not the same as another’s, as my views and perceptions of the world are different. If I were to describe what I see in a picture, you might see something totally different.

Is my perspective invalid, or is yours?

Or perhaps reality is just a fictional idea.