I haven’t been sleeping well, lately.
At about 2:30ish almost every night, I wake up, and go back to sleep, and do that every 45 minutes until 6:30 when we have to get up for work/class. I’m not sure why this is happening, but a strange corrollary is that I’m remember almost all my dreams.
I’m getting a real strange feeling about this, as I’m remembering 3-4 dreams a night. ‘Experts’ say that we don’t dream in colour: that’s just wrong, because I vividly do. Technicolor! THX 5.1 DIGITAL SOUND! Full 3-D Action! This is a departure from normal, since I usually have pretty normal dreams (walking down the road, going for a picnic). These dreams, however, are fantastic armies fighting each other, fighting in the mid-east, sowing subversion in a group of lizard men while eating delicious strawberry-rhubarb pie, etc.
Generally, it is understood that dreaming is your subconscious way of dealing with your day. I’m really not sure about that anymore, as these dreams have only the most tenuous grasp on something to do with my day. My synapses are firing at full blast while sleeping, it seems.
Why is this happening? I don’t know.
Anyone got any ideas?
I am going to start by just throwing this out there: I am the Dungeon Master for the game Dungeons and Dragons, 4th Edition. I’m also an orthodox, quasi-evangelical (to substitute for the weighty title postmodern orthodox, which has postmodern in the title, so it must be bad.). Because of this apparent dichotomy, my players and I get judged on occasion for playing, one of which asks that we not speak about it on his facebook for fear of him losing his job. This seems tired and ridiculous to me, and here’s why:
Many evangelical Christians have been conditioned to understand Dungeons and Dragons as a demonic, occultic tool of the devil, used to trick nerdy teenagers into becoming witches and wizards, being possessed by devils for using real spells. THIS.DOES.NOT.HAPPEN. Well, let me qualify that: This doesn’t happen anymore than it would for any fictional work. In my own research on the topic, I’ve come across what I believe is the root cause of this misconception:
The majority of the hype concerning Dungeons and Dragons comes from Patricia Pulling and William ‘Bill’ Schnoebelen’s work, mostly in the early-to mid-eighties, about the occultic nature of Dungeons and Dragons, and that it leads to suicide, schizophrenia and a tendency towards satanic and occultic worship. In 1979, tragically, Pulling’s son, Irwin – an avid D&D player – committed suicide. Pulling believed this was because her son’s principal cast a ‘Dungeons and Dragons Curse’ on Irwin, so she sued him, as well as TSR, who owned D&D at the time. After this, she started ‘Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons (BADD),’ which spread the ‘truth’ about the evils and suicide risks involved with Dungeons and Dragons. Schnoebelen got on board later (1984ish) and wrote an essay called “Straight Talk about Dungeons and Dragons,” published by Chick Publications, a bastion of fantastic theology and level-headedness. He claimed that real occultic practices were in D&D and therefore was evil. Now for the otherside:
I will concede this point, however. Dungeons and Dragons does pull the majority of its source material from all myths and legends of the world. In that respect, Dungeons and Dragons is fundamentally ‘pagan,’ (it should be noted, however, that Narnia and Lord of the Rings were just as much so).
Frankly, D&D is playing imagination like you did when you were a kid, except now there is a framework that capably functions through a series of dice rolling and statistics, to simulate random events. As Dungeon Master, I narrate a story (ours, particularly, is one of renewal and redemption) and everyone plays out the story. That’s it. No evil, no raping and pillaging, just 5 guys that sit around, eat chips and travel through time. With swords. And sidekicks. It’s nerdy, but not evil.
For more information on our game, see our Wiki, http://willkinchlea.com/dnd
Sorry for the lack of updates last week, we had a banquet at school.
We had a great time – a wonderful end to 16+ hours (and that was just me!). Christine enjoyed herself too, since she got to wear one awesome dress, that I also spent 11+ shopping/buying/tailoring/picking up for. All worth it.
I’ll get back to posting something of more substance soon, until then:
Christianity is based on community and relationship. You can’t do it alone – in fact there’s little you can do on your own at all, let alone well. Value your friends, family, bosses, workers, teammates – Christian or not – they all help shape you. I wouldn’t have survived this semester without all the people pictured above.
I absolutely love the television show, LOST. J.J. Abrams may well be the greatest producer of all time. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cruz are the greatest writers to every fall upon the television and film industry, combined. I’m that involved with this show. Every off-season, LOST puts on what is called an ‘Alternative Reality Game’ (ARG); I played last year’s (which dropped some great clues about the coming season), so I played this year’s, which was all about joining The Dharma Initiative. In the interest of non-spoilerisms, I’m only showing my recruitment assessment off to those who are into the show.
Psychologist, peoples! Anyone surprised? It’s not like I was going to get into the construction field.
Bee Tee Double Yew, I’m also going to use this as a debriefing platform after every week when we start Jan 21, 2009, season 5!
Hallowe’en. Apparently this is the worst day ever for Christians, the Anti-Holiday. Having grown up in the culture that makes hallowe’en what it is in Canada, before spending any time in the Christian Sub-Culture, I’m always interested in people’s views about it. Some are vehemently against it, while some don’t see the big deal.
I understand the fear behind Hallowe’en. It has pagan roots (from Samhain, a druidic holiday from thousands of years ago), it seems to glorify evil, and a whole slough of other problems. I understand that since the 80′s, with reports of Satanic Ritual Abuse (with all reports that have been put forth seriously being found fraudulent) and the evils of Dungeons and Dragons (seriously?), Evangelical Christians have put their foot down and decided that Harvest Festivals are the way to go. May I give an alternative solution?
Our current Hallowe’en consists of dressing up in costumes and adorning our houses with jack o’ lanterns and at times, attempting to scare each other a little. Ghouls, Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves and their ilk, as we know them, exist only within our imagination, as archetypes for monsters – the unknown. Monsters aren’t real – they help teach and give kids tools to imagine. While the kids may dress up as a vampire one night, every other day they imagine fighting the vampire instead. These archetypes hold no evil over us. Simple as that. And just because Jack O’Lanterns have their roots in Samhain, to ward off evil spirits, it doesn’t mean you can’t carve some wicked cool pumpkins.
Obviously, I don’t want to downplay the real evil in the world, nor will I say that witchcraft and demons don’t exist – but the reality of these is so far removed from Hallowe’en that there is a substantial disconnect between the two.
Obviously, it’s your choice in what you will do tonight – I’m going to party dressed as a classic, 1990′s Emo (real emo, not the goth-pop-punk rampant today – see Copeland, Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World, the Juliana Theory) – just make sure you do it because of what you believe and not what Christian Culture told you to do.
Have a Mad Monster Party.