Sunday, October 26, 2014
When I was young, trolls used to live under bridges and reach up and grab your ankles and drag you down into their gnashing-toothed depths. A regular song on the wireless ran, “I’m a troll foldy roll…”The symbol of the bridge is significant; a division between two realities, the every day and the otherworldly. Plato theorized about the very same. Do we truly exist in the every day or is life a fantasy and we are mere shadows on a cave wall? Today physicists posit whether we can exist in parallel universes, quantum beings with myriad identities?
Human beings tend to make realities out of their imaginings. We dream, we play with ideas, we invent. If we believe strongly enough in the possibility of something existing then it becomes, to all intents and purposes, real.
The metaphysical battles fought between philosophers over the nature of existence have paled as your average man and woman have embraced alternative realities. They live shadowy lives in cyber space. Under noms de plume they tweet, blog, buy and sell, and form otherworldly communities of similar taste and inclination from the virtuous to the visceral, from the moral to the perverse, from the mundane to the bizarre. Everything is possible out there in the ether.
The Internet becomes a cosmic therapeutic playground wherein its users enter via an airlock between one reality and another and create new rules and roles to be played out on landscapes as malleable as their earthly one are bound. In their Wonderlands they can unleash what has been repressed in them over time from overseeing parents to the policing of society.
And people believe they exist there with impunity. They become trolls and expect the bridge to protect them from visibility as they let loose their atavistic nastiness on the world that passes overhead.