Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The story (oops, sorry the horror) of story-telling

When we watch these movies with insane twists and turns, heart-tearing agony and mind-numbing gore, in spite of the the happy endings, if we ask a question: what if we have to go through stuff like this? Phrase it differently: given any chance, would we have our own stories unfold like this?

Not that we have any more chance of controlling our life than that rock falling off from a cliff one fine day...

Come back to the questions. What if? Would we?

Difficult to nod in the 'yes', no? Mighty difficult. And yet we continue to hear and watch such stories like crazy, making these movies claim 'record breaking collections' in every other ad.

Perhaps thousands of years back, to watch someone else die, to watch someone else brutally torn to pieces meant that you were the one alive. The lucky one. You were the one to whom those things didn't happen. And you were the one wishing for those things never to happen to you.

And indeed, if you witnessed such events, you had to tell them to your village as a precautionary measure. The only way to tell was to act them out in full horror. But even in your wildest of dreams, in spite of the rampant possibility of such events unfolding, you wouldn't wish them to happen to you. Nor would anyone in the village would wish those things to happen to them.

So while you would feel the horror (empathize) judging from the enactment of horror, and feel it necessary to make use of every single chance to watch the horror (information for self-defense), you would never want the story-with-the-happy-ending to unfold in your life.

The security of a job has a similar explanation.