Friday, May 18, 2012

Keeping it Real: sometimes lines blur when we ‘escaping’ from reality

         Good Day Humboldt County!

Fantasy and reality are clashing more every day. Theme parks transport people to alternate universes. Theatres offer more than just movies. Seats are built onto moveable platforms that coordinate movement (up and down, side-to-side) with what’s happening on the big screen. Monster sound systems coupled with 3-D clarity and graphics out of this world…and you have a surreal experience.

Entertainment often involves setting reality aside and just going with the story line. My column this coming Sunday – Coming Soon: A Superhero Near You - is about some people who are living their fantasies out by wearing superhero costumes and patrolling neighborhoods in search of crime.

One of entertainment’s dark sides is crazy fans. Actors, celebrities, and sports stars sometimes have to deal with people who worship and stalk them. Other so-called fans outright threaten them (and sometimes even their family) for imagined sins.

A recent example is what happened to basketball player, Steve Blake. He plays for the Los Angeles Lakers and comes off the bench. He missed a shot that could have won Game Two of the NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma Thunder Wednesday. Apparently some fans (immature idiots) felt they had to take their ire out on Blake’s wife and family!    

“Various fans sent messages to the Twitter account of Kristen Blake, Steve's Blake’s wife, filled with profanity-laced death threats toward the Lakers' guard and his family.

"It's pretty disappointing that there's a lot of hateful people out there," Blake said after the Lakers' practice Thursday at the team's facility in El Segundo. "You move on. I just don't appreciate it when it's toward my family. You can come at me all you want. But when you say things about my wife and my kids, it makes me upset." (Read the whole story here)

The line between reality and fantasy is a fragile one for many people in our society. It’s no secret we have mentally ill people living in the streets of every state in the Union. But, they also can live next door to you in an exclusive neighborhood. There’s a lot of reasons why we as a society feel the need to escape. Sometimes that need turns ugly.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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