Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is a concept that I am gradually getting a grasp of. Years ago as a little boy, we referred to people who lived in different worlds as illusional or delusional. Today, people can step from the tactile world into a world filled with phantasmagorical landscapes — surreal, psychedelic, even illusory.

In my mind, locked into a 1950s white middle-class upbringing, virtual reality bordered on the acid trips with LSD my radical friend Gerald related to me. He repeatedly asked me to join him. I declined fearful of a bad trip.

“What’s it like?” I asked him.

“Man, it’s like being vacuumed into a painting by William Blake.”

Gerald was far too cerebral for me. I was part of the TV generation. Leave it to Beaver. I love Lucy. And Twilight Zone. Every morning I ate a bowl of Wheaties, the Breakfast of Champions. I was the product of America’s mind numbing advertisers and TV programmers.

Gerald strayed from the flock. He read books by George Orwell, C. Wright Mills, Mao Tse Tung and Mad Magazine.”Ever see William Blake’s Divine Comedy Illustrations?”

What could I say? The only comedy shows I watched came on TV prime time. Ed Sullivan, Dean Martin and Bob Hope.

“Well, that’s what it’s like for me when I drop acid.”

William Blake’s Breathtaking Drawings for Dante’s Divine Comedy, Over Which He Labored Until His Dying Day

Gerald’s description has remained in my mind. “Virtual reality was like being vacuumed into a William Blake painting.”

Then I became a grandfather. My grandchildren seemed quite at home  in cyberspace. They played games, of course, which their mother restricted. More dramatically, they could made use of virtual reality to complete homework assignments. They explored Egyptian tombs, combed the depths of the ocean, observed dinosaurs in their natural habitat and even strolled through art museums featuring the artwork of William Blake.

Well, it didn’t take me long to appreciate the advantages of virtual reality. The articles in National Geographic take on heightened interest for me when the editors add interactive and occasional virtual reality scenes.

Bitten by the bug,  I tried my hand at virtual reality combined with reality. Tap the white arrow to start the slide show.

What I like most about VR is I don’t have to drop acid to step out of my tactile world.


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One Reply to “Virtual Reality”

  1. Brother Kermit! WOW! YOU lead the pack and are always ahead of your time…except when you aren’t and that isn’t very often!
    “What’s it like?” I asked him.

    “Man, it’s like being vacuumed into a painting by William Blake.”

    Turn your vacuum cleaner on…if you don’t end up in a painting you can always stop by Big Steve’ place and have a hand at those wasp!

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