I did something very out of character this week: I went to the theatre to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show… And, I dressed up for it. Most people, of course, tend to dress up to go to the theatre, however – for those uninitiated in the ways of Rocky Horror – dressing up for this particular occasion is somewhat different to, say going to see Hamlet by the RHS! I’ll say nothing more about my outfit, other that it involved suspenders, fishnets and a few wintry draughts in places I usually wouldn’t normally expose in public, (right now, I predict that at least one reader of this blog will be choking on his morning cornflakes at the thought!).
I must admit that, although my night out was a lot of fun and I did enjoy myself, I can’t honestly say that I felt 100% comfortable, and I was grateful to escape back home to the welcome embrace of my dressing gown at the end of the performance. Some people have little problem with throwing caution to the wind and going a bit bonkers – I am not one of those people, and to try something that is diametrically opposed to my usual sensitivities, and way outside my comfort zone is not particularly something I tend to relish or pursue too often, if I can help it.
Despite all the above, there is something deep-seated within me that just wants to throw off all my inhibitions, stick two fingers up at the rest of the world, and just do what the heck I want… And to hell with what people might think! If only. In that vein, there are some real, extremely profound truths buried amongst the bawdiness and mayhem of Richard O’Brien’s creation: Be yourself, whatever that might be… Live for the moment… Ditch the conventional… and, something that I’ve always taken to heart, even if I’m not particularly good at putting it into practice – Don’t dream it; be it!
I guess that’s one reason why I, and so many others, find SL as compelling as we do – the virtual world allows us to go beyond dreaming and permits us to be whatever we aspire too. Such aspirations can be as ‘mundane’ as running our own business or becoming a designer, or they can be of the esoteric and exotic variety… Taking the form of a dragon and taking to the skies, exploring apocalyptic wastelands, or building futuristic space station homes. In both cases, SL is the great enabler that turns dreams into virtual reality, and when we see the potential that SL can unlock, we stop simply dreaming and we start being instead.
And what a pageant of peculiarity we are! Whether we succumb to the allure of the Lycan, the fun of being a furry, the drama of the DJ, or the excitement of the explorer, there’s an us-shaped space in SL into which we will fit perfectly – and no matter what we choose to be, or how often we may change who exactly we might aspire to be, there is more than room enough to accommodate us. Unlike the real world, there really is little risk involved in throwing off the restraints – that’s not to say that SL people won’t ever judge us or show prejudice, we are all human beings, after all, but in my experience SL is far more tolerant of the differences that make us unique than the real world ever seems to manage. So there’s really nothing to stop us exploring those hidden character traits and suppressed desires once we log in; nothing that is, apart from ourselves – and my own experience is that it’s far easier to overcome our own fears and reservations inworld that it can be in RL.
It’s entirely possible that I may never find my way out of my own self-imposed shell in the real world – I can handle that, although sometimes that knowledge comes with a little wistfulness and wondering about what life might be like if I could, but for now that’s a life and a me that will – for the time being, at least – have to remain a pipe dream. However, as long as I have SL, I have an alternative.
And there I don’t just dream it… I can, and will be it!
Give yourself over to absolute pleasure
Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh
Erotic nightmares beyond any measure
And sensual daydreams to treasure forever
Can’t you just see it?
Rocky Horror Picture Show – Don’t Dream It – Be It