Mr. Raven Q & A VIII
Q: Can you speak more about the world of Virtual Mirrors? Specifically, how did humanity abandon the physical connection to love and intimacy.
A: That’s really the heart of Gemma’s quest. We learn early on that she was mentored by Emma, her Grandmother. Through that education, Gemma is aware of a history that the current ruling powers have almost succeeded in erasing. The loss of freedom that accompanied the authoritarian rule of the New World Order was the final nail in the coffin of the intimate dynamic between consenting adults.
Q: Maybe we should start with that then. What exactly is authoritarian rule?
A: Authoritarian rule is the final evolution and product of those who seek control of their surroundings. Sooner or later, most of us will encounter “control freaks” or “micro-managers” at work or in public. The latest incarnation is the use of the term “Karen” for a person who is compelled to intervene in another's business. These are only just a small taste of what I would propose is a very broad pathological condition. Often mistaken for leaders, they are really only trying to satisfy the discomfort they feel when they lack control. When folks like this get power, they can’t understand why they are still uncomfortable, so they seek even more power and authority, hence authoritarianism. Every aspect of your life comes under their scrutiny. Those afflicted with this control pathogen may not even be aware of it. They can’t help themselves, but to them it’s all justifiable. Obtaining lofty positions only solidify the notion that they have a superior intellect, and therefore know what’s best for the underlings below them.
Q: So if a “Karen” becomes a CEO, or a politician?
A: Your life soon becomes miserable. C.S. Lewis was noted to say, “Those that torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” In Virtual Mirrors, the control freaks have won and occupy the very highest levels of worldwide government. Everyone is tracked and watched, but with a new generation growing up under that system, very few citizens question the norm. Population is tightly controlled, and permission is required for everything. It’s easier to escape into Virtual Reality for a sexual outlet than it is to apply for a license to procreate. Even then, the conventional act of sex would not be preferable to this freshly indoctrinated and coddled version of humanity.
Q: But there is clearly an elite level of society that doesn’t play by those rules, isn’t there?
A: Yes, as we see with Gemma’s interaction with the wealthy celebrity, Doug Johnson. There are two sets of rules: One for the masses, and another for the powerful. But this brings up another aspect that killed human intimacy. Mr. Johnson could get away with almost anything due to his social status, but he has been conditioned by his surroundings. Gem is a stunning natural beauty, but to his eyes she is quite “plain”. He has become callous by substituting virtual sex partners with wild appearance and abilities. He also mentions the threat of litigation and entrapment by Gemma. The natural act of lovemaking has become associated with violence and assault, and even he doesn’t care to push the limits of his protection that far. The combination of laws, social stigma, and lack of desirable and willing male partners, Gemma’s chances to find a mate appear almost impossibly small.
Q: But Gemma has even more wealth than Doug Johnson doesn’t she?
A: Yes, but she escapes the gilded cage that surrounds her. At the start of the story it is clear that she is on an elite tier of society. She could easily remain living in apparent luxury for the rest of her life. However, in her mid-thirties she has mental and biological urges that she can’t ignore. Her grandmother’s books, gifts, and teaching is the final key that unlocks her desire for a lost freedom, and the courage to find a mate that matches her passions.
Q: Her pathogen is passion?
A: Yes, I think so!