The capacity to form new ideas, concepts, stories or poetry, music and new methods of dealing with problems, and outwardly doing so out of nothing. That’s imagination.
Growing up, when I wasn’t bothering my siblings, running around outside or collecting newspapers for recycling, imagination was a constant in my life. So much that I was a hair’s breadth away from becoming a poor copy of Walter Mitty.
Daydreams fueled by science fiction centered on excitement and being more than the person I was: if not a hero, at least important to the make-believe mission. Sure, I consumed the usual television shows: The Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, Tom & Jerry, the obligatory Sesame Street and Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood, The Jetsons, Johnny Quest, the craziness of Sid & Marty Krofft (H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville, The Banana Splits, Land of the Lost, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters), and nearly any other late 1960s or early ’70s shows that you might recall.
But sandwiched into my television viewing was Thunderbirds, one of my favorite shows and likely the root of my partiality for science fiction. (This would later lead to mass consumption of shows such as Space: 1999, The Six Million Dollar Man, the original Battlestar Galactica, reruns of the original Star Trek, The Prisoner, Logan’s Run.)
Despite this list of shows, I wasn’t always stuck in front of the boob tube. (American slang during the 1970s and ‘80s for the television, not something scandalous.)
A lot of my time was spent with a briefcase full of Legos. The original Legos. The ones that were rectangular or square of varying thickness. No curves. Then one year Lego launched bricks with a slope to one side. It was amazing.
A small niche of the interwebs went a bit crazy yesterday with the launch of the Lego Creator 10252 Volkswagen Beetle. Don’t get me wrong, I really like it. I owned a 1971 Standard VW Beetle.
But it worries me. Beyond the basic definition of imagination is the ability to see something that’s not quite there.
My Lego version of Thunderbird 2 was cubist by nature of the materials at hand. But I imagined it into being the Thunderbird 2 through which I lived out many adventures.
I can’t help but wonder if the Lego Creator 10252 kit and others like it go too far in removing the need for that aspect of imagination.
June 15, 2016 at 11:35 am
I must have been a deprived youngster. I didn’t have Lego’s. There were Lincoln Logs (not mine), Lionel Trains (not mine), so I spent as much time as I could at the beach. Swimming, fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving when i was old enough to by my own tank. OK, you can Boo now.
June 15, 2016 at 12:42 pm
Much of the same for me, minus the scuba, but good times. Did have my own Lincoln logs and a train. Did those Lincoln logs last forever or what? And no batteries!
June 18, 2016 at 11:58 am
What great things to think about. Coming from a family with 3 other boys, we had (and had to share) Legos, Lincoln Logs, Erector sets and Lionel trains. Now mostly lost to time and replaced by Smart phones.
June 20, 2016 at 1:58 pm
It used to be that when I was fishing in the Sierra foothills I could legitimately tell folks that I would be out of cell phone range…not so much anymore. A bit too much progress for my taste.
June 23, 2016 at 9:05 pm
My first vehicle was an Avocado Green VW Bug. Years later I got a modified VW bug with a roadster front end (fiberglass) and sealed back windows. I primed and painted it to a Cream color body and Maroon fenders. I miss the simplicity of my VW Bugs. I see them every so often here in the PH.