People who don’t believe in faeries aren’t worth knowing. - Tori Amos
I know the true world, and you know I do. But we needn’t let it think we all bow down. - Christopher Morley, The Dark is Light Enough
So I was hanging out over in the Pit, and bumped into a thread called Damn You Weird Earls, in which an honourable member claims to be ‘scarred for life’ due to seeing a website by a guy who likes to dress up like Peter Pan, containing his insights on life, religion, and his desire to stay childlike.
I came to his defense. What we have here is a guy with an active fantasy life; maybe even what we used to call a “hobby”, when time was. He doesn’t even seem to be holding any opinions which the herd of scientific rationalists hereabouts would be pleased to call “delusions”. (This notwithstanding, I had the same opinions of Mrs. Berlin Wall who showed up on 3F the other year.)
At any rate, I also brought up how I’m working on a worldbuilding project, making a website on an imaginary country, which when complete will include information (and drawings, and digitally-altered photos - good ones, if I say so myself) on its history, culture, geography, religion, politics, philosophy, and language.
So our honourable Coldie asks, “But… why, Matt? A made-up kingdom with its own language? I can relate to it, in the way we used to make up our own ‘country’ when we were kids. But it seems… somewhat weird coming from a very much down-to-earth, adult, guy like yourself. With that I mean politically engaged, mainly.”
I have to admit I find such a viewpoint baffling. Does my attainment of the age of majority and involvement in politics mean I am no longer allowed to have fun and use my imagination and make believe?
Am I right in my impression that there seems to be a prejudice against adults who make believe for fun? If so, what are the origins of this prejudice?
An initial thought was that people with an active fantasy life can be accused of really believing their fantasy to be fact, but I don’t think that accusation can really be made of the Peter Pan guy, and it sure as hell can’t be made of me (he said, making preparations to head out to the protest on medicare and education cutbacks).
Is it simply that old refrain, people ridicule and fear what they don’t understand?
Why are social weapons like ridicule used against people who harmlessly use their imaginations for fun?