I mentioned the other day that I had an idea brewing, but I was a little tire to get into it. Here goes.
I think I may have figured out why I enjoy spending so much time watching movies and television, reading books and playing video games: They’re easier than real life is. Let me explain, because that sounds weird and possibly concerning.
Fairy tales are something a lot of us are exposed to very young. Every society has different versions, but a lot of them are still similar. Quite a few even come from the same basic source: The Brothers Grimm.
Monument to brothers Grimm on the market place in Hanau. (Hessen, Germany) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Most of these fairy tales are designed to communicate something to us as children in an easily digestible fashion. Many of them are structured very similarly; The prince, who is handsome, brave and righteous gets the princess by saving her from something bad. They’re all trying to show us that by doing the good things, even if they’re difficult, we’re in the right and will be rewarded.
This is kind of an oversimplification, but it sort of applies to all of the things I mentioned before. The good guys, get the girls and the reward by defeating the bad guys, even though it’s hard to do. That’s what makes them so entertaining to watch ,and so dangerous at the same time. Most of our everyday lives aren’t anything like that.
or the average person, the most courageous thing we do all day is getting up and going right back to work. It could be to look out for your family, it could be due to a sense of responsibility, or maybe you just need the money to get by. There are no dragons to slay, no wizards to defeat and no armies of evil doers to fell in battle. Entertainment is easy.
All these forms of entertainment make everything so easy and clean. It’s simple to see the good guys win when it’s a battle to the death between ancient enemies. It’s easy to see who is good and who is bad when the good guys are the ones you root for the whole time and the bad guys are looming large over the heroes. That’s also what makes them dangerous.
All these stories don’t prepare us for the basic living that most of us do. I may want to be a hero, because that’s what I see during my leisure time. I’m not trained to be a hero, and I am also not going to come across moments to be a hero in my everyday life. Entertainment has given me a false sense of things.
It isn’t like I didn’t know that this was the case. It’s easy to see that life isn’t as grand as the stories we tell. That’s why it’s easier for some of us to live the entertainment. Staying wrapped up in a good story where evil is vanquished is nicer than vanquishing the evil of unwashed dishes. Getting on the computer and slaying evil minions is simpler than slaying the grass with the lawnmower.
We live our lives, and we sometimes do great things. Sometimes the things we do that aren’t so great are still us doing what needs to be done. Sometimes, we just have to sit back and let the simplicity of a story tell us what it could be like. Maybe if we lived a different life, in a different time or a different world.
We need that escape from time to time.