Popular Character No Longer RealFeb 9th, 2011 | By Paul Moth | Category: Arts
Linguists, psychologists, biologists and fabulists from around the world have been meeting in Shangri-La, India, for the past fortnight at the Norem Peale International.
This conclave meets every seven years and discusses matters of truth, perception, reality and travel prices.
“What is, is,” says Dai-wan Magnalingam, spokesprophet for NPI, “what is not, we seek to change. Or vice versa.”
NPI defines the “possibilities of what can be,” North American paranormalist Abel Kane says. “We rely on it. If NPI says something cannot be, for example, then we, as scientists, have no option but to take our cue from us.”
This year, NPI passed a resolution that removes the designation of “person” from Popeye, the Sailor Man.
“Popeye can no longer be thought of as a human,” says Magnalingam. “We reached this understanding after debate, meditation and a sweaty game of dodge-ball.”
“We know some people will be upset,” says Kane, “but we can no longer live under the illusion of Popeye’s humanity. We are poorer if we believe Popeye is, but richer when we reach the awareness of his non-personhood.”
Indeed, to confirm Kane’s fears, disappointment is evident around the globe. Children are in tears in the streets of Manchester, Calcutta and Sydney (Australia).
Popeye joins a growing list of people who, according to NPI, are not real.
In 1969, Santa Claus became the first personage declared not real by Norem Peale International. He was followed by the Easter Bunny, then the Tooth Fairy and, in 1997 by Mr. Peanut.
“We do not reach these conclusions lightly,” says Magnalingam. “We realize there will still be people who believe in Popeye and Santa Claus. But really, come on.”