I have the strangest dreams of anyone I know. On a scale of 1-10 for weirdness, I’d rate them Hayao Miyazaki. But I love these quirky expressions of my subconscious, and most of my story ideas come from dreams or daydreams. Here’s the latest.
In the dystopian future, street kids work with gangsters to steal the faces of attractive women and sell them to old, rich women. They use a vacuum-like machine that causes the face to fade right off. The kids don’t even have to be in the same room, it works through walls, but they do have to be within a certain proximity.
Occasionally they steal whole bodies. They have a slang word for a woman with a body worth trying to sell. I can’t remember what it is but I remember that it has a non-sexual connotation. They’re just kids, and though they can identify a “sexy” body that will sell, to them it means money and nothing more.
They crash an office where only young secretaries work and start stealing faces. Two kids catch sight of a woman with a nice body.
“Think she’s a [slang term I can’t remember]?” a boy, maybe about 9 years old, asks of a girl around the same age standing next to him.
“Yeah, let’s get her,” the girl replies.
The woman notices her leg starting to shrivel away, so she runs into another room where she’s trapped: The only way out is a window and a fall to the death. Someone runs in after her–the man in charge of this particular group of ragamuffins. He’s a short, squat man with long and greasy black hair and one red “cyber-eye” (I don’t know why, maybe to make him look more like a villain), and I think of him as a pimp.
Next I’m in the room with a huge backpack on my back. He asks me where the woman went, and I say I didn’t know. There’s no body outside the window but she’s gone. I don’t seem worried that he’ll be interested in harvesting anything from me. He lets me go and I leave slowly and casually, because I suspect the woman is in my backpack. When I get far away I check, but she’s not in there. I’m consumed with curiosity about how she got away, but I wake up before I can find out.
What in the name of Donald Trump’s toupee is this dream about?
I’m ashamed of how sexist this dream is. Only women bought faces. All the women in the office were secretaries, but hey in my defense maybe that’s my idea of dystopia.
I think the children represent ignorance. They don’t know what they’re doing, why a particular body type is so desirable, they just want the money. It reflects the frustration I feel lately with our lack of social responsibility. Ad execs throw all kids of crap in our faces and we let ourselves get distracted, not really thinking about the questionable assumptions and maybe outright lies behind what it is they are showing us. I get a little paranoid when I think about what kind of hurtful messages and beliefs I’ve been consuming, and I’m even more afraid of perpetuating them in my writing.
The guy in charge of the kids was a pimp because he literally sold women’s bodies, (how original, Nandie lol). But I got the sense he was just a middle man. He sold to big businesses that made half-assed attempts to make everything seem legit. They didn’t have to try hard though, those women wanted their faces and they were willing to overlook where they came from.
Which brings me to the women, the consumers. Again I guess it’s my frustration with the oppressed perpetuating their oppression. Watch this sketch from Whose Line is It Anyway.
On the surface, it’s hilarious. And on You Tube there are no shortage of comments about that.
But if you read between the lines, you’ll see the humor is derived from some faulty, outdated and even dangerous assumptions such as:
1) Gay men are not to be taken seriously
2) Gay men are salivating over straight men and will molest them as soon as they’re given the chance and
3) Gay men make straight men uncomfortable and should be feared
It’s just a comedy sketch, it makes people laugh I get it. But there are actually people out there who don’t have the critical thinking skills to realize all gay men might not be like Richard Simmons’ over-the-top portrayal.
Number 3 is the most worrying. People are beaten and killed for being gay. Is this comedy sketch adding to that? I can’t rightly say, but I know it’s not helping.
In my dream I feel like older women should be on the same team as the younger women, but they’re letting themselves be manipulated by the beauty industry. In the same way I think people, especially minorities who are no strangers to the slings of stereotyping, should be able to read between the lines when we see things like the clip above, but a lot of us would rather just stick to the surface, because if you look deeper it’s not so funny anymore.
And ain’t nobody got time for that. Most people have got over two-hundred emails in their inbox at work, the rent’s overdue and dentist says their kid needs braces or they’ll grow up to look like a horse that won the Stanley Cup. All they want to do is go home and laugh at Richard Simmons, God dammit. The way our society is set up, it seems impossible to get the masses to think more critically. It’s an uphill battle and even when you’re making the conscious effort to be aware you can still slip up.
But in my dream, that one woman did it, she escaped the body snatchers…but unfortunately I have no idea how.
What do you think?