WEIRDLAND: Dreaming, Fiction, Simulation, Jim Morrison as metaphor of the 60s

Monday, May 18, 2020

Dreaming, Fiction, Simulation, Jim Morrison as metaphor of the 60s

Dreaming, Fiction, and Empathy: Aside from the considerable evidence that dream content is related to waking social life, a further component supporting a link between dreaming and empathy is that the dream acts as a piece of fiction, which is explored by the dreamer and others as part of the sharing process, and that, like literary fiction (Oatley and Veltkamp, 2013), can induce empathy about the life circumstances of the dreamer. Veltkamp showed that empathy was increased for people who read a fictional story, in comparison to a non-fictional piece, but that this effect only occurred if the reader was fully immersed into the story, “transported into this narrative world.” The emotional response is greater with fiction than with non-fiction, because of the freer involvement with the characters and story, and because “the focus of fiction is primarily on eliciting emotions, rather than presenting factual information.” Drawing a comparison between dreams and literary narrative does raise two questions, on the measurement of the narrative structure of dreams, and on the difficulties associated with deciding what is literary about literary narratives. Nielsen et al (2001) quantified narrative progression in REM and NREM dreams using a story grammar tool to parse dream reports into their constituent components (actions, scenes, and characters) and to identify the causal precursors and consequences of the constituent actions. The two types of sleep did not differ with respect to the mere presence of story components. Episodic progression, that is, the minimal story unit, was defined as the occurrence of at least one character action for which both an initiating event and a consequence were also identified. A greater proportion of REM than NREM stage 2 reports contained at least one episodic progression, proportions were, respectively, 0.66 and 0.43. This significant difference was accounted for by the proportion of dreams with episodic progression being much higher (0.79) for late REM dreams of frequent dream recallers. On the question of what is a literary narrative, Mar and Oatley (2008) include in this category novels, films, TV shows, and theater, and they state these narratives model the human social world, with the viewer or reader undergoing a simulation of events. Some of these characteristics of literary narrative obviously do not hold for dreams, but the crucial characteristics that they have in common are that literary narratives and dreams are simulations of the waking social world, and that both can elicit engagement and emotion when told. The main basis for story production in dreams is detailed in Dr. Edward Pace-Schott’s study Dreaming as a story-telling instinct (2013).

The similarity between dreams and fictional stories is explored by States (1993), with dreams doing “much the same thing as the fiction writer who makes models of the world that carry the imprint and structure of our deepest concerns. And it does this by using real people, or scraps of real people, as the instruments of hypothetical acts.” States proceeds to describe “such narratives contributing to our formulation and recognition of patterns of experience,” and including scriptural violations or scripts in conflict. He compares dreams to two types of narrative, life itself, from which the dream borrows its content, and fiction, which is “waking dreams designed for other people,” and he cites Calvin Hall’s conclusion that people incorporated into dreams are those to whom we have mixed feelings, or some tension. In their paper The function of fiction is the abstraction and simulation of social experience, Mar and Oatley (2008) state that “Engaging in the simulative experiences of fiction literature can facilitate the understanding of others who are different from ourselves and can augment our capacity for empathy and social inference.” They conclude that “In much of literature, the author challenges readers to empathize with individuals who differ drastically from the self,” and they propose that narrative fiction represents “learning through experience.”

We emphasize that the functional SST (Social Simulation Theory) and non-functional William Domhoff views of dreaming both see the dream as fiction. Dreams are fictional because they have events that only very rarely copy waking life episodes (Fosse et al., 2003). Furthermore, in Vallat et al. (2017), an unknown dream environment occurs in just over 40% of dreams, and is significantly more frequent than an environment that is wholly or partly taken from waking life. In contrast, other characters in the dream are more likely to be known than to be unknown or mixed. Oatley (2016) in Fiction: Simulation of social worlds, states that people who read fiction improve their understanding of others, because fiction has complex characters and circumstances that we might not encounter in daily life. He concludes: “While some everyday consciousness can remain inside the individual mind and be externalized in small pieces during conversations, fictional stories can be thought of as larger pieces of consciousness that can be externalized by authors in forms that can be passed to others so that these others can internalize them as wholes, and make them their own.” The present paper is proposing that dreams can, like fictional stories, be passed to others who internalize them as wholes. But what is being said of dreaming consciousness could also be said of the scenarios and narratives present in waking consciousness. Source:

"We cripple ourselves with lies. In times like these we need men who can see clearly and speak the truth." -Jim Morrison, Wilderness (1970)

Patricia Butler: Oliver Stone wanted to use Patricia Kennealy's real name in the film. The only way she would agree to that is if Stone let Kennealy rewrite her character the way she wanted it. According to Jerry Hopkins, Kennealy then took what was hardly a scene in the film and blew it up to something like 15 pages of script, making it seem like she was Jim's "other woman", which she never was. Pathetic doesn't begin to cover it. Kennealy did first meet Jim when she interviewed him at the Plaza Hotel in New York City in 1969 and the only motivation I think Morrison had to make this liaision with a rock journalist was to promote his self-published poetry book The Lords & The New Creatures. Randall Johnson (who was the original writer of The Doors' screenplay) was very helpful to me throughout my research and he endorsed my book. And the Doors film Stone directed wasn't like the film Randy wrote. Seeing the difficulty of translating the intrincacies of Morrison's life to the screen, Stone decided to reduce his story to "a metaphor of the 60s."

Stone basically took Randy's script -- which, by the way, was far more honest and did use Jim and Pam's relationship, their real relationship as a focal point, and he ripped it to shreds, creating his own little fantasy of Jim the bad boy of 60s' rock. Randy Johnson's original script was really quite good and would have made a far superior movie than Stone's eviscerated version. "There was never a question of my not meeting Jim. I knew it was going to happen the instant I laid eyes on him, long before I got the job at 'Jazz & Pop' magazine," Patricia Kennealy said in 2013. This suggests an obsession towards Jim Morrison before their "fateful" meeting. It almost sounds like a fan laying siege to their favorite rock star, rather than a self-described "intellectual" or an "accomplished author". It seems the great, self-professed trailblazing feminist's true motivation for taking the job with "Jazz & Pop" was to sleep with a rock sex-symbol, after all.

Kennealy started her bohemian lifestyle in SoCal dancing as a go-go in roadhouses while she studied journalism. She experienced with a lot of drugs, too, and she yet has the nerve to criticize Pam Courson's choices. Each chapter begins with a variation of "Jim and I we were having dinner with others..." She, very conveniently, never names "the others". This is pretty much the gist of this book. Claims made by Kennealy, claims that cannot be verified by anyone else but her alone. Who were "the others", Miss Kennealy? Why do I get the feeling there was no "dinner" and therefore no "others" involved? Her book contains claims by Kennealy that only be verified by Kennealy herself. Despite having 50 years to do so, Kennealy has never produced one iota of souvenirs she claims Jim Morrison "showered" her with, she has never identified the minister who, according only to her, performed the "ceremony" and only has a "marriage certificate" with a lot of redacted information on it with a signature that does not look like Jim Morrison's handwriting. Regarding that picture of Jim Morrison's childhood friend Tandy Martin? There appears to be something of a backstory concerning that picture, from "Tiffany Talks. Patricia Kenealy: Your Ballroom Days Are Over Baby!", by Janet M. Erwin: "She's at it again. She left Jim a valentine today, a big black and white picture of her with Tandy Martin, his high school girlfriend. Stuck it under the windshield wiper on his car. She says she's going to keep doing things like that 'to make him crazy'." Very creepy. It's the same with so many other sad cases I've encountered hovering around the Morrison periphery: they were looking for attention and a perverse sort of "respect" from people not bright enough to know better, or so desperate for someone to worship in lieu of Jim, they'll believe almost anyone who claims to have met him. Simply read "Your Ballroom Days Are Over" by Janet Erwin, and will get a much more accurate telling of Patricia's fake relationship with Jim Morrison. When confronted with Erwin's memoir, Kennealy acted like a blinded deer in headlights and never mentioned it. Something unusual, indeed. Janet Erwin corroborated about her relationship with Morrison: "I dated Jim Morrison around 10 days in two weeks. About what most of his girlfriends had. In other words, Jim really was true to Pam in his own way. All I know is that Jim loved her the best." Even all his other girlfriends will admit this, except Kennealy.

As Danny Sugerman recalled in 1993: "Pamela was a beautiful lady. Jim continually returned to her above all others. Pam was Jim's cosmic mate. Although I saw him with other women, I never heard him speak about any other woman except Pam. And I never considered he was with any women other than Pam. Pam was the one with the power as Jim's woman, no other woman ever possessed that power."  Sugerman fell in love with Pamela but he was not reciprocated. Pamela's last boyfriend was Randy Ralston. Pam called him and she asked him if he wanted to go with her to a concert at the Palladium. Randy Ralston went with Diane Gardiner to pick up Pam. Randy recalls: "She was all dressed up and looked unbelievably gorgeous. It was bizarre. Diane would be whispering in my ear as people came up to pay homage to Pamela, the rock and roll princess." At one point Randy and Pam went to Las Vegas and they talked about getting married: "We always were really very enamored of each other, but I don't think anybody could fill the boots of Jim Morrison. I don't think there was any guy who could do that in her life for her." In December 1973 Randy and Pam were preparing things to make a camping trip, they were very happy until Pam talked about her family. Pam felt so hurt about her sister Judy's remarks about her and Jim, she decided not to spend her last Christmas with her family. Randy tried to convince Pam to go with her family but she made the decision of staying with him. Source:

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