Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tell me a story

Worried about the increasing number of people who love theories more than stories, filmmaker Ken Burns recently told the San Francisco Chronicle, “We are experiencing the death of the narrative. We are all so opinionated that we don’t actually submit to narrative anymore. That’s the essence of YouTube: Abbreviate everything into a digestible capsule that then become the conventional wisdom, which belies the experience of art.”

Stories are always more persuasive than beliefs. Which makes sense – wouldn’t you rather someone delight you with tales of their experiences than listen to them recite dogma.

Our assignment, dear reader, is to help reverse this damaging trend. Gush fewer opinions and share more stories. And let’s encourage others to do the same.

1 comment:

melanie said...

An incredible professor of mine told me something I will never forget. He said, "If you're not telling the truth in your art, you're making propaganda."

My entire college career I took writing classes that inspired and held dear the personal narrative. I struggled with silly categories and definitions like "creative non-fiction" and "essay" and was encouraged to share my personal truths through story-telling. There was never one "T"ruth. One event may take place, but there will be thousands of stories.

There is something very unique about the millennial generation-- we were taught and raised to share our unique voice and we have many vehicles to do so.

Now that we have this entire generation talking and writing--we should demand what we want to hear. We don't want propaganda--we want depth.

When I'm feeling surrounded by it--i remember back to the classroom where I struggled to find my voice--and think--it's easy to pretend you're deep when your standing in the shallow end of the pool.