Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner


Originally posted on August 24, 2012

Confabulation” as I learned about it almost 50 years ago is a neurological condition (when it’s done flagrantly) in which people are not obviously demented, but will immediately spin out a plausible story, a pseudo-memory, and sincerely feel that it happened. What occurred to me some years back is that (1) this is what happens all the time in dreams; (2) authors of fiction learn to tap into this potential and structure it so that it’s plausible; and (3) seemingly normal people create pseudo-memories about their own lives and do so quite unconsciously, sincerely believing that their very selected and shaped “memories” are true reports. Sometimes these serve the need to believe that the past was rosy (the good old days), unlike the more mixed present; or that the past was tough (we had to walk to school 4 miles in the snow barefoot), so they could feel proud of their past stamina and victimhood; or that everything wrong is due to whatever scapegoat supports one’s political prejudice, etc. These are all confabulations, if you look at them carefully and recognize the spectrum of illusion that operates in the world.

To illustrate this, I dared to publish online on my website a number of webpages under the category of Confabulations: A Journal of (Very) Speculative Philosophy. It’s a bit of a satire. I was deeply influenced not only by MAD comic book—later a magazine—but the whole comic-cartoon tradition. Indeed, this pseudo-online-journal is a thinly-veiled sublimation of my doodles, rationally explaining them as if this were a “true” explanation. Huh, doggone it if the explanations don’t make some sense!

My journal is also an indirect way to spread some of my philosophical musings that are still pretty half-baked. I don’t bother to fully bake them, just spew them out with the doodle-cartoon-illustrations that, along with the commentary, present “philosophical speculations.” When you call them that, they have more status than pure drivel or flagrant blather.

But in another way, it’s all a bit of fun! Or a kind of art form! I mean, these doodles have to mean something! Of course they do—they are “channeled” messages from the guiding sprites (sic) (not spirits, but sprites) beyond this dimension who ornament my life. They would yours, too, if you would invite them to do so, but there are few of us tapping into this rich psychic resource. Ah, that’s enough for now. I’ve said too much already. They’re gonna come and take me away. (To where?) To the booby hatch! (You fool, to remind you of a line of the comedian Mel Brooks playing the role of Doctor Hollywood on a comdey record around 1969—the Two Thousand Year Old Man—I, a highly qualified actual official high-falutin’ psychiatrist—I am the guy who gets to say who’s crazy and who’s just “foolin’ around!) Can you do that? Hey, I’ve just done it!

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