Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Chocolate Volcano and other mindjams

This comes from the inimitable Matthew Echert:

I had this dream last night in which you and I were writing an "Awesome" musical. It was so vivid that I actually, in my dream, consciously made the decision to wake up so that I could remind myself to remember the dream and send you an email to tell you about it.

The story took place on a fictitious island in the Mediterranean somewhere off the coast of Italy. (I'm going to switch to present-tense for the rest because that's far less annoying to write and to read.) This is a poor, rural, island. It is idyllic and peaceful, and very beautiful, though not in a way that attracts a lot of visitors. The people there don't have a lot, but they live simply and are relatively happy even though they don't realize it because, of course, when idyllic and peaceful are the norm you get used to it and little things start to seem like big things because there are no actual big things to worry about... and so forth. So life is good in its simplicity, or at least Pretty Ok.

Until: One day there is a cataclysmic seismic (literally) shift in the sea just off the coast of the little island, and up pops a massive, angry, Mt. Vesuvius-sized volcano, but instead of fire and ash, the new volcano spews Really Very Excellent Chocolate That Not Only Tastes Good But Is Also Good For You (And Also Cures Or Palliates Many Common Ailments). There are avalanches of chocolate-covered malt balls. Sometimes it rains chocolate milk. Mass public ebullience. Cultural renaissance. The supply of Really Very Excellent Chocolate seems to be endless. And it's so Very Excellent that it actually causes a shift in the global economy. It disrupts existing supply chains and makes this island a worldwide destination, as well as a financial, scientific/medical, cultural, and touristic center. Like, there's New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, this place. But overnight. Of course, a few people try to hang on to the old, idyllic pace, but they're completely bowled over by the wave of new enthusiasm and vigor. Most of them leave or retreat to the hills.

Then, of course, things start to go wrong. There's more at stake and more people in the same small space, so there's more crime. Infrastructure starts to be overwhelmed. The government of unworldly locals quickly becomes corrupt and ineffective. And finally, lo and behold, the Chocolate Volcano just stops. Dries up.

It's a story about how things that are idyllic and small can disintegrate under a withering spotlight. It's a story about learning to recognize the things that you should appreciate *because* they are simple and slow. It's a story about taking advantage of fortuitous opportunities wisely when they arise. It's a story about how unchecked greed can poison even the best and purest of things in the world. It's also a story about how really good chocolate is. We had also composed part of a song in my dream, which the band was rehearsing. I wish I could remember anything at all about it. David Nixon was singing.

My most recent "Awesome" dream involved us creating of a traveling contraption. Components: 40 crates with eggcrate cushioning, 40 volunteers wearing gorilla masks, and a small dog that resembled Dogbert. Without the use of any connective parts, the 40 gorilla-masked volunteers sitting on the 40 crates, arranged in the correct pattern, would hover above the ground. The Dogbert creature would then pull the mysteriously-light-as-a-feather contraption at the speed of a slowly-loading Pole Position. The beauty of this machine is that it could pass through other cars like a ghost. I think this dream was inspired by 2 things: (1) Being sick, and (2) David Nixon's Escher-esque image of The "Awesome" Cycle.


Basil said...

Yeah, but mine are all dirty. And they all take place in a Space Church.

flamingbanjo said...

Dirtier than a chocolate volcano?

Christopher said...

"Vulcano di Cioccolato"

I would pay money to see that!

Rob said...

That is a spectacular dream.