Consequences of Pursuing Your Field of Dreams

Movies have a history of influencing reality, especially those that give us titles and one-liners that reflect exciting lifestyles. Field of Dreams, a 1989 film about baseball starring Kevin Costner, is a classic example. The line "if you build it, they will come" has somehow echoed across American business culture as a biblical proverb, for those whose subconscious religion is based on a mix of Hollywood and greed. That's the hypnotic vision that caused cartoon character Barry Stumber to abandon his family potato farm in Idaho to chase his dreams of going to L.A. Dodgers baseball games and moving to Hollywod to pursue an acting career.

He moved to Los Angeles in 2017 and attended several Dodger games, only be let down that they lost the World Series in Game 7 to the Houston Astros. Then in 2018 he was double-bummed that they lost the World Series again, this time to the Boston Red Sox in just 4 games. The most humiliating matchup was Game 3, in which the Dodgers were up 4-0 in the 7th inning, then lost 9-6 in the 9th inning.

Meanwhile, over the weekend the L.A. Rams went undefeated 8-0, but he didn't care because he doesn't think football reflects American values the way he feels baseball does. He was raised to believe the cliche that America is about mom, baseball and apple pie. He also loves hot dogs, which is among the most unhealthiest processed foods on the planet, but since it's packaged with baseball, he eats them right up.

Barry has also found himself going nowhere in his acting career. Despite taking expensive acting classes in L.A., he hasn't made the proper connections to land any type of TV or acting roles. Instead, he works around the clock at three different fast food restaurants. To make matters worse, he's bummed that he had to make a deal with his boss to scrub toilets for a week in exchange for watching the World Series.

The Field of Dreams concept that lured Barry and many other unsuspecting Americans into a pit of depression is similar to a mirage in a desert. The idea that all it takes to be successful is a great idea and lots of passion, is, well, just a dream. Many entrepreneurs start with the premise that a great idea is the answer to pulling themselves out of debt or a bummed out lifestyle. In reality, over 90% of all startup businesses don't last long and never make a profit.

You can't completely blame Hollywood for planting these time-wasting fantasies into the minds of a severely brainwashed culture, because most of the responsibility falls on invidivuals who decide to pursue their dreams. Yet, you also can't ignore the fact that the movie industry is a machine that manufactures and sells illusions that inspire other illusions. What people forget is that big screen imagery costs millions of dollars, which is something most people cannot access on their own.

"Build it and they will come" is a myth because it presumes that great ideas automatically attract audiences, which isn't the case. Every great film, song or product has relied on marketing through big media or expensive communications to reach a mass market. That type of marketing costs millions of dollars. At one time American businesses were built from the ground up, but it usually required existing wealth or big loans to pay for the equipment to convert a dream into reality. Now we live in an age where big players define and control markets, which requires even more money to shake up markets if you really want to compete in almost any industry.

As for movie careers, most of them begin with who you know and what you look like, rather than how well you can act. Barry Stumbler hasn't made the right contacts yet, and even if he did, he'd have to sell his soul and do things he might have to compromise his morals in order to advance to the next level.

Like a subtle hint from a Twilight Zone episode, he's learning the hard way that it takes more than dreaming to make dreams come true. His most logical course of action should be to pick a more realistic goal within his reach that he can achieve without the permission of gatekeepers. He may reach this level of awareness once he finally learns that the movie biz is extremely competitive and that the biggest stars tend to be people who were born into connected show biz families. Not to put down Los Angeles as a city, since it's one of the most important business hubs on earth, but let's not forget it was built on a desert, which by nature can create fantastic mirages that fool the mind.

Everyone has the power to dream, but not everyone has the money to build an empire. That's why it's best to not dream of owning empires. It's better to dream about how you can affect your community in a positive way. The more you surround yourself with like-minded people, the more likely you will each help each other acheive your individual goals.

Created by Alex Cosper