An Imaginary Life: Where Do Dead Imaginary Friends Go?

An Imaginary Life: Where Do Dead Imaginary Friends Go?

My Imaginary Friends

I usually very frequently post articles about Barack Obama. In fact, my articles here about him go way back to when he first published The Audacity of Hope. I ran across Barack when he was doing a book signing at one of our neighborhood bookstores, 59th Street Books in Hyde Park. Immediately afterwards, I went home and began writing my first and second articles about Obama. One of my last articles about him was posted here upon the emotionally stunning occasion of Obama’s election to be President of the United States. Subsequently, almost all of the media attention has been focused on the quotidian details of speculations about who Obama might select for senior staff positions in his administrations, and about how and how well various potential candidates might perform. And media pundits’ quarrelsome bickering about all of that. I have decided to refrain from joining in on the daily dramas of the media “guessing games.” For now, Barack is gone; he’s been very busy in a bunch of secret meetings, hidden away behind closed doors. And for the time being, that leaves me feeling a bit sad, like my imaginary friend has faded away.

So then I began to think more about imaginary friends. It’s hard for me to remember having any imaginary friends. Never did. Ever. That I can remember, anyway. Well, now that I’ve thought about it some, I did meet up with some imaginary friends when I was a youngster. I liked them a lot, too. I met them through books. You see, nobody taught me how to read, but I was already reading books when I was just five-years old. Robinson Caruso was my first imaginary friend, though he was always a bit fuzzy and cluttered up by all the pictures of the flora and fauna on that lush tropical island, as well as by the various colorful characters he encountered. Anyway, I didn’t stick with any one imaginary companion very long, over the years running through uncountable adventures of the the Bobbsey Twins (mostly Bert), Dorothy from Oz (but mostly The Tin Man and The Scarecrow), Black Beauty, The Lone Ranger, Rocketman and Lassie. Oh, I certainly can’t forget this one, and I had a dog that was really my bestest-ever-ever imaginary friend. I rescued him from a situation of terrible physical and emotional abuse, and we immediately became inseparable. But then he died (actually, got run over). All of them ended up just fading away from me. But part of me still wonders: where did all of my dead imaginary friends actually go?

About Imaginary Friends

For much of the first-half of the 20th century, experts about children either relegated or attributed imaginary friends to an immature stage of “magical thinking” that children needed to outgrow, or else the very notion of the existence of imaginary friends was just plain darkly dismissed.

But nowadays, an almost exactly opposite perspective prevails about imaginary friends. Studies in the area of child development have found that far from being done with imaginary companions at the age of four, older children (as well as some teenagers) report having imaginary companions. Research now suggests that imaginary friends can provide emotional stability, feelings of competence and a sense of enhanced social perception. Once again, “wholesome fantasy” is alive and well!

But what happens to one’s imaginary friends when childhood imaginary companions fade away, are rejected or dismissed when real-world opportunities for social interaction become more available and appealing to the child? Where do the poor little imaginary friends go when they die? Are they really gone or dead, or are they still sadly hanging around down here, watching as the real world goes around and passes them by? The following animated short film addresses that very question. At first, the film seems to be a light-hearted and humorous one, but the issues with which it deals are universally serious topics, matters of rejection, life and death.

Where Do Dead Imaginary Friends Go?

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The World Honors Nelson Mandela: Madiba’s 90th Birthday Celebration

The World Celebrates Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday

Mandela’s Campaign Against South African Apartheid

On August 5th, 1962, Nelson Mandela was arrested after living in underground hiding for seventeen months, and was initially imprisoned in the Johannesburg Fort. He was imprisoned after being charged with involvement in planning armed action and a conspiracy to help other countries invade South Africa. The arrest was made possible because the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tipped off South African security police as to Mandela’s whereabouts and disguise. Mandela was later imprisoned on Robben Island, where he remained for the next eighteen of his twenty-seven years in prison.

In March 1982, Mandela was transferred from Robben Island to Pollsmoor Prison, in part to enable discreet contact between him and the South African government. In 1990, State President F.W. de Klerk reversed the ban on anti-apartheid organizations, and announced that Mandela would shortly be released from prison. Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison in Paarl on February 11th, 1990, an event that was broadcast live all over the world.

South Africa’s first multi-racial elections were held on April 27th, 1994. The African National Congress won 62% of the votes in the election, and Mandela, as leader of the ANC, was inaugurated on May 10th, 1994, as the country’s first Black President, with the National Party’s de Klerk as his first deputy. As President from 1994 until 1999, Mandela presided over the transition from minority rule and apartheid, winning international respect for his advocacy of national and international reconciliation.

Mandela’s leadership was recognized when he was awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.

Mandela’s London Arrival for the Birthday Celebrations

Nelson Mandela arrived in London on Monday, June 23rd, 2008, for a week of events to celebrate his 90th birthday. Mandela met with Queen Elizabeth II, as well as with a number of other high-profile celebrities who included Gordon Brown, the former U.S. president Bill Clinton and the talk-show host Oprah Winfrey. The outdoor concert in honor of the former South African President was scheduled to take place at Hyde Park, London, on Friday, June 29th, with performers including Amy Winehouse, Josh Groban, Annie Lennox, Leona Lewis, Queen and the Soweto Gospel Choir.

Celebrities Greet Mandela’s Arrival in London

Celebrating Mandela’s 90th Birthday: The 90th Birthday Concert

40,000 Fans Pay Tribute to Mandela

Will Smith charmed the huge 90th Birthday Concert crowd, and Amy Winehouse wowed them with her performance. However, Nelson Mandela proved to be the biggest star of all at the concert Friday in honor of the South African statesman’s 90th birthday.

Acts including Queen, Razorlight, Leona Lewis and a host of African stars joined more than 40,000 music fans for the outdoor show in London’s Hyde Park. Josh Groban and the Soweto Gospel Choir also performed at the event, which came 20 years after a 70th birthday concert for an absent Mandela at London’s Wembley Stadium. Mandela, an anti-apartheid activist, had at that point been imprisoned in South Africa for 25 years. He told Friday’s crowd that that concert made a big difference in his eventual release and the fight against the racist system, which was dismantled in the early 1990s.

Your voices carried across the water to inspire us in our prison cells far away,” said Mandela, who received the biggest cheers of the night. “We are honored to be back in London for this wonderful celebration.”

But even as we celebrate, let us remind ourselves that our work is far from complete.”

Mandela Speaks at the 90th Birthday Concert

Amy Winehouse Performances: Mandela’s 90th Birthday Concert

Josh Groban Performs at the Birthday Concert

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