“Reverie”, A Bold TV Series About Virtual Reality And Those Who Never Want To Leave It

What if you could escape into a virtual reality (VR) world that felt so real and was able to contain anyone or anything you want? Would you ever want to leave it? That’s the premise of a new NBC show that began just over a week ago that’s titled “Reverie”.

It’s no secret that I am a science fiction/fantasy nut, especially when it comes to movies and television shows and “Reverie” does not disappoint in that genre. While current VR technology in the real world today only allows for a bulky headset to be placed on one’s head for one to become immersed in another dimension, this series takes VR a huge leap further, as people can receive an injection of a living piece of software that essentially becomes the VR headset itself. It then can become active by stating a mere voice command while the software is running on a computer or tablet in front of the user and once activated, the consciousness of the user is immediately transported into a realm they’ve fully created from uploading whatever they want into it from any of their social media. Unfortunately, more and more people are falling into “user comas” and not coming out of the VR realms they’ve created for themselves, which can be left by simply stating a voice command. Enter former detective Mara Kint (Sharah Shahi), someone who specializes in human behavior, when she is asked by her old police boss, Charlie Ventana (Dennis Haysbert), to help rescue those stuck in their VR realms.

In the first episode, a man who lost his wife in the real world, has created a VR existence with his wife still present and does not wish to ever leave it, even though he has a life waiting for him outside of it, including a daughter. After watching this first episode, I began to wonder if I too would be someone who’d get stuck in a VR realm if indeed this technology existed in the real world. Chances are I would solely because of my addictive nature and given the amount of pain and suffering I’m still facing on most days. I’ve attempted to escape my life far too many times already over the years through a number of things like alcohol, drugs, sex, money, etc. Thus, it’s not much of a stretch to think about how addictive it would be for me to create a world where I don’t have to be in pain or limited by an ailing body or where my parents are still alive and didn’t die by their own hands or where I didn’t feel like a nobody. So, yes, I definitely think that if the “Reverie” VR software actually existed, I, and probably countless others, would most likely fall prey to the actual premise of this new series in that we wouldn’t want to leave a world that doesn’t have to be filled with any of the pain and suffering that the real world has dealt us.

Regardless, I honestly believe that technology like this isn’t too far off in our future and I shudder to think of how it could become the greatest addiction any of us have ever seen on this planet if it existed, even beyond the current drug epidemic that’s continuing to sweep our nation and our planet for that matter.

There have been a number of great tv series and movies over the years that have depicted the potential of this reality happening including Black Mirror, The Matrix, Inception, Total Recall, Tron, Ready Player One, The Lawnmower Man, The Thirteenth Floor, and more. With so much pain and suffering on our planet that only seems to be on the rise from year to year, why wouldn’t many of us desire the ability to create a world where none of this is present and where all the things we’ve lost or feel we are lacking can still be present. Ultimately, it is this very thought that has led me to believe why so many are currently getting wrapped up in drugs and plenty of other addictions these days.

Nevertheless, “Reverie” is a bold TV series about virtual reality that will most likely leave you asking yourself the very same question the show itself begs to ponder, that being of whether you would ever want to leave another realm you could enter, that isn’t filled with any pain and suffering and instead, contains everyone and everything that has ever meant anything to you…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Free Speech Comes With A Price These Days, Just Ask Roseanne Barr…

Roseanne Barr definitely committed a swift career suicide recently when she tweeted a racist statement during the wee hours one morning about Valerie Jarrett, an African-American woman who was a senior adviser to Barack Obama throughout his presidency and considered one of his most influential aids. Her tweet said that if “the Muslim brotherhood and the planet of the apes had a baby, it would be Valerie Jarrett.”

Ever since her tweet, her highly rated and well-watched revival series “Roseanne” got cancelled by ABC, her talent agency, ILM, separated ties with her, and all the television stations showing syndication of her original show made the decision to promptly remove it from the air.

While I’m all for free speech, I do believe it tends to come with a price these days, especially for those who hold some level of fame and notoriety in this world. So many people are on high alert and extremely sensitive right now with everything from racism to gender equality that it doesn’t take much to negatively sway the majority of the public’s opinion, which is precisely what’s happened with Roseanne ever since her offensive and insensitive tweet.

What’s even worse for Roseanne was her blaming her tweet on the effects of a drug she was taking to help her sleep, that being Ambien. I absolutely applauded the company behind Ambien when they promptly released a statement that said “Racism is not a known side effect of Ambien.”

In all honesty, it’s because of things like this that have frequently come out of Roseanne’s mouth, that I’ve never been one who really enjoyed watching her show. Her abrasive and judgmental personality both in real life and on the show itself has always bothered me. And even though my partner regularly watched the reruns and the revival series of her show in our home on many-a-days, I couldn’t’ stomach it because frankly, I don’t want to support anyone who’s going to make negative statements about someone or something that carries hurtful, racist, and segregating connotations.

With the amount of television programming available nowadays on so many stations, networks, and platforms, an actor or actress, no matter how good they are, or how great their shows are, or how high their ratings end up being, truly doesn’t have the freedom of speech like they might once have had not too long ago.

Nevertheless, with so many being on edge these days, it’s easy to quickly get turned off when a famous person has one of those moments where they spew out verbal diarrhea that’s hurtful towards anyone or anything. Roseanne Barr is just the latest causality of this in a long line of well-known individuals who’ve done something similar. Just ask Kathy Griffin, who not too long ago posted a fake picture on the internet of Donald’s Trump’s bloody head on a platter and watched her career swiftly go down the tubes. Luckily though, Griffin has been on the rebound with her career as of late, but I’m not sure Roseanne will be able to experience the same good fortune.

With Roseanne having been such a polarizing individual with astoundingly strong opinions, political views, and agenda, especially as of late, I judge that a large portion of her remaining fan base is going to be gone for good now, like my partner who agreed this was her final straw.

In the end, yes, we as a culture and a country, do have free speech like I do right here in my blog on a daily basis. But, unlike Barr, I look for the good in everyone and everything and do my best to unconditionally love and accept each and every individual in this world no matter what. And when I make a mistake, because I do, I always promptly make an amends from my heart, which doesn’t seem to be something Barr has gotten in touch with yet.

That’s why I believe Roseanne must face the consequences of her actions and realize she’s living in a world now where free speech comes with a price, a price that networks aren’t willing to carry and a price that people like me aren’t willing to support either.

So, while I believe Barr, like anyone, deserves forgiveness for her insensitive tweet, she and others who verbalize strong statements with racist tones need to learn the value of keeping those opinions off of social media and instead just keeping it all to themselves, as nothing good is ever going to come out of it these days other than a strong price to be paid by them…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

A Fond Remembrance Of My Father Through The Glenn Miller Orchestra…

There are a few things that really remind me of my father, Glenn Miller being definitely one of them and thanks to the Glenn Miller Orchestra performing in Tiffin, Ohio last Friday night, I was able to spend a few hours fondly remembering my Dad.

When I was growing up, my father regularly played Glenn Miller’s music in our home, all on vinyl. And whenever he did, he would tend to wave his finger and bop his head to the tunes, usually leading me to the incessant rolling of my eyes, wondering how anyone could like the Big Band sound. You see, at the time I was mostly into hip hop and rap music, so the idea of listening to the swing melodies of something like “In The Mood” or “Pennsylvania 6-5000” totally bored the heck out of me. Yet, years after my father’s passing, I began to notice that anytime I’d hear Glenn Miller’s music anywhere, like in a store, a restaurant, at a friend’s house, in a movie, or on a television show, I’d frequently smile and wave my finger and bop my head to it, just like my Dad once did. And that’s precisely why a guy like me, who usually listens these days to nothing but electronica and house music, found myself utterly excited when I saw that the Glenn Miller Orchestra was actually coming to Tiffin, Ohio, just an hour away from my home in the middle of May. But, even better was when my close friend Frank, who’s actually from Tiffin, informed me I didn’t have to buy tickets to it, as he was given four of them as a gift from someone he knew. It’s then I wondered if maybe I was in alignment with the Universe for a brief moment, given how far off I’ve felt lately from the Divine alignment of things.

Regardless, when the night of the concert finally arrived, I decided to invite my father’s Spirit to join me that evening, as I couldn’t imagine him not being present with me for such an event. And in all honesty, I couldn’t remember if my father ever got to see the Glenn Miller Orchestra during his lifetime, so for me this was a special occasion that I really wanted my Father’s Spirit to somehow be with me.

Not too long after that silent prayer and invite, I took my seat in The Ritz theater in Tiffin, along with my partner Chris, Frank, and another friend I invited named Kyle. As we all looked down upon the stage, I saw the setup just like it appeared on some of the Glenn Miller vinyl albums I inherited from my father and felt my heart flutter a little. I also experienced some goose bumps at the same time and for a swift moment, I felt as if I was probably making my father proud for going to see and hear something he once loved so much.

When the concert began shortly thereafter, it started with a song titled “Moonlight Serenade”, which was one that my father loved to slow dance to with my mother. From there it picked up quickly into many of the tunes that my father used to play oh so often. And while I might have cringed over and over again in my younger years during all those moments when the needle on those records played Glenn Miller’s songs throughout our house, I instead smiled in my balcony seat and felt a few tears well up in my eyes, as I experienced a fond remembrance of my father.

And for the course of almost two hours that evening, I waved my finger and bopped my head just like my Dad once did and could almost see him sitting there next to me doing the same. But you know what, I actually think he heard my silent prayer and invite that night because I truly believe he was there that evening, as my heart went home that night feeling quite full of love for someone I truly miss and will always love…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson