Saturday, 6 July 2019

AJR's Dream

On the evening of 5 July 2019, I had a telephone conversation with AJR where I told him about the dream I had (same date) from my sleep the night before - Dream 1003 - 'Amalgamaze'

AJR has never shown any real interest in dreams - he usually just humours my 'weird' interest in them. He has said that he has experienced some lucid dreams in the past, but rarely tends to dream at all. I have told him that it is not that he does not dream, but rather than he has poor dream recall. 

AJR was excited to tell me that the previous night (so either 4 or 5 July) he had woken up from a dream and remembered having it. He did not want to get out of bed and put on the light to find a pen and paper, so just repeated the dream over and over in his mind to consolidate the memory so that he could tell me about it when we next spoke (this is a technique I often use, with varied results). I did not contemporaneously record AJR talking to me about his dream, as I was not prepared for this while on the phone (calls from prison landlines are expensive and time-limited, so I did not want to stop the conversation to then get my mobile phone for voice recording etc). Therefore this account of AJR's dream is from what I remember from our conversation, as close to how he described it as possible. 

AJR said the dream was set in a time in the future. He referenced a movie which he thought starred Sylvester Stallone, who got 'frozen' and woken up in the future, where society is different. AJR could not recall the movie or if he had recalled it properly. He could not describe the state of the society other than it was authoritarian and oppressive (he did not use those words, he used synonyms, but I have a clear recollection of what he meant). He said me and him existed in this future. We were in some kind of large building and I left - someone informed him I had left. He said I had not really left - then said, I had left, but it was really an ambush for him. He was worried for my safety having left the building alone, so he went to follow me. Then he was ambushed. He said a group of men jumped on him and began beating him violently. He was tasered in the back. He was unable to move or fight the men off and felt the shock of the taser repeatedly. When the men stopped beating him, he was laying on the ground, frozen and unable to move at all. He said he could not get up. The taser was still in him (I think he said it was sticking into his back) and still shocking him repeatedly. He could feel the pain in the dream. He said while he was laying there, unable to move, it felt like days passed in the dream, but could not describe this (I know what this dream time passing feels like). Eventually he was able to get up and move. He spoke to a man (I cannot recall how he described this man). AJR asked where I was, worried about my safety. The man was mocking him. He told AJR that I had been tasered too - and had 'screamed like a bitch'. He then made some comment about my ass (AJR's favourite physical feature). AJR pretended to accept the comment and walked away, but this was a trick. He wanted to seek revenge on the man for hurting an disrespecting me, and also for how he talked about me to AJR (who referred to me as 'his missus'). AJR then secretly got a large knife, which he used to stab the man who had been mocking him.
  • Having done some research into the movie AJR was referring to, it appears he is thinking of Demolition Man (1996), which does in fact star Sylvester Stallone
  • I had wondered if this dream was about AJR being released from prison - he did not seem to think the dream was related to prison, but rather avenging my honour. However, having read the synopsis of Demolition Man, it appears that the movie did influence AJR's dream more than he perhaps appreciated (given he only had a vague memory of the movie and wasn't entirely sure he'd remembered it correctly). I have included the plot synopsis below - and cannot wait to tell AJR what I discovered about the movie which influenced his dreams in more ways than he was aware of:
In 1996, psychopathic career criminal Simon Phoenix kidnaps a number of hostages, and takes refuge with his gang in an abandoned building. LAPD Sgt. John Spartan uses a thermal scan of the building; finding no trace of the hostages, he leads an unauthorized assault to capture Phoenix. Phoenix sets off a series of explosives that demolish the building, and the hostages’ corpses are found in the rubble; Phoenix claims Spartan knew about the hostages and attacked anyway. Both men are incarcerated in the city's new "California Cryo-Penitentiary", where they are cryogenically frozen and exposed to subliminal rehabilitation techniques.

In 2032, Phoenix is thawed for a parole hearing and he escapes. Lieutenant Lenina Huxley has Spartan thawed to help stop Phoenix. She explains to Spartan that San Angeles - a metropolis that combines the former Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Barbara - is a peaceful utopia, and the police are no longer equipped to deal with violent crime. Spartan finds the new future depressing and oppressive; human behavior is tightly controlled, physical contact and swearing are illegal, and anything else deemed 'bad' is also banned. Likewise, others on the police force find Spartan's behavior brutish and uncivilized.

Spartan anticipates that Phoenix will attempt to secure firearms. He and Huxley head to a museum and find Phoenix already there. Phoenix escapes with the weapons and encounters Dr. Raymond Cocteau, the evangelistic pseudo-pacifist who has been running San Angeles since the 'Great Earthquake' of 2010. To his confusion, Phoenix finds that he is unable to shoot Cocteau, who reveals that he had orchestrated Phoenix's escape all along. As a safety measure, Cocteau implanted a command that prevents Phoenix from harming him. Cocteau wants Phoenix to assassinate Edgar Friendly, the leader of a resistance group called the Scraps that resists his rule.

Spartan and Huxley witness this exchange on security cameras and review the cryo-prison records. To their shock, they find that Phoenix's rehabilitation program has been replaced with combat training programs and the information necessary for his escape. Spartan meets with the Scraps in time to ward off an attack by Phoenix and other criminals who have been thawed out of cryo-sleep to help assassinate Friendly. Phoenix taunts Spartan, revealing that he had killed the 1996 hostages before setting off the bomb, meaning Spartan has spent 36 years in prison for no reason. Phoenix escapes, and Spartan arms himself with help from the Scraps.

Phoenix returns to Dr. Cocteau with his men, and has one of them kill Cocteau. They return to the cryo-prison and begin to thaw out more convicts. Spartan enters the prison alone to fight Phoenix, heavily damaging the facility in the process; he uses the cryogenic chemical to freeze and kill Phoenix. Spartan escapes the prison as it explodes. The police fear that the loss of Cocteau and the cryo-prison will end society as they know it, but Spartan suggests that they and the Scraps work together to combine the best aspects of order and personal freedom. He then kisses Huxley and the two go off together.
  • AJR is facing a Parole Hearing next week after serving 16 years in prison on an IPP sentence, which is considered to be an unjust and inhumane sentence, abolished in 2012
  • I have been telling AJR about changes in society since he has been in prison - especially the rise of political correctness. AJR will also be under strict licence conditions upon release, which prevent him from certain conduct which does not pass the threshold of unlawful

What do you think about AJR's dream? Do you think it reflects his anxieties about leaving prison and being released into a society which had changed drastically? 

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