Time, Joints and Conspiracies

The following is in response to Philip K. Dick‘s Time Out of Joint.


Central problem in philosophy. Relation to word and object…what is a word? Arbitrary sign. But we live in words. Our reality, among words not things. No such thing as a thing anyhow; gestalt in the mind. Thingness…sense of substance. An illusion. ~Time Out of Joint, pg. 50.

The most relevant film I can think of that mimics the crazy-good of this novel by Philip K. Dick (that’s Philip with one L mind you) is the movie The Truman Show. Just like Truman, Ragle Gumm’s reality is made up. For Truman, his reality is conceived to entertain the lives of others on a television show of which he doesn’t know that he’s the star. Ragle’s world is fabricated so that he can save the world; with our hero none the wiser of course.

Ragle doesn’t have a conventional job. Instead of a nine-to-five at the market, he compete’s in a contest in the local paper in which he guesses the coordinates of little green men. The truth is, the coordinates that he comes up with are not for sad fake aliens, but where the enemy’s next bombing will take place in a war he doesn’t know is going on. In fact, the creators of his reality have fooled an entire town into thinking that it is still 1959 and that everything is just peachy. And Ragle feels this way, peachy, until he discovers that ordinary objects in his reality are disappearing and are being replaced with strips of paper with words on them—the quote to this post’s image should be making a little more since to you now. Ragle Gumm has started to question the integrity of the reality that he lives in and, as the saying goes, it all goes downhill from there.

Marilyn Monroe, who is not supposed to be in Ragle’s reality, accidentally shows up in a magazine. I am reminded of the an occurrence known as the Mandela Effect. Wikipedia with all of its foolish reasoning will redirect you to Confabulation, which is describes as “a memory disturbance, defined as the production of fabricated, distorted or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive.” It just seems like the normal mumbo-jumbo of psychiatry, until you dig a little deeper on the web (http://mandelaeffect.com/major-memories).

The one that got me was about the beloved children’s books from my youth: The Berenstain Bears. Or was is Berenstein. It’s kind of creepy, but don’t worry kids. It’s just a book. Here’s another quote from Time Out Of Joint to get the old conspiracy-noodle going: “We have a hodgepodge of leaks in our reality, he said to himself. A drop here, a couple of drops over in that corner. A moist spot forming on the ceiling. But where’s it getting in? What’s it mean?”


About evinhughes

I am a graduate of Georgia Southern University. I have a bachelors degree in Information Technology and a bachelors in Writing and Linguistics.
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