To illustrate what I mean, here's what I think is a fairly straightforward example: When is the barrel of a gun pointed "right between your eyes" not a clear signal of threat? One and only one instance comes to mind. That is, when comically play-acting.
The point of play acting itself is to convince the watchers or viewers that the perceived reality is real even though it's simultaneously understood that the "reality" perceived is somehow, at the same time, a fiction.
That's paradoxical, yes; but to break the argument down further, comic play acting pokes fun at the implied reality. An entertaining example of the paradox can be seen readily, as one of the charming conceits of a series called Slings and Arrows, made in Canada featuring Paul Gross (well worth one's time). It nicely emphasizes how "a play within a play" is always "a play within a play within a play;" because - life itself is also a kind of play.
As the Bard put it: All the world's a stage; all its men and women merely players.
A friend in New Denver reminded me recently how important it is to authenticate feelings. Not just one's own but other people's, those of all the people: the feelings of all the people around one.
Tall order, you say? Maybe so. Does that make it less important? Less meaningful? Less valid as a cultural imperative? How are we to proceed as social beings without pursuing that?
Moreover: How can anyone answer that question without an experience of society? And then: A society. What is that?
Arcosanti began with a dilemma: to construct architectural forms for an urban experience, an urban experiment, an auto-less eco-environment, without any preconception about its social construction. Therefore, its beginning was undefined socio-economically as well as undefined city-planning-wise. The architectural vocabulary, the vocabulary of form was all that should, could or would be definitely prescribed.
In other words: "A building plus an idea."
Can an idea stagnate? If so: How? Moreover: What prevents an idea from stagnating?