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A Thousand Words
Ceci n'est pas une lettre
Hey! Do you recognize this?
Possibly some late 19th or early 20th century masterpiece. The artist, inspiration, and location lost to time as memories fade.
Yet the emotions still strike a chord.
Whether my feelings match the original intention matter little in the end. Anachronistic or nonchalant, the tastes and colors mean something.
The Treachery of Images
Even though I didn’t make it into the final 32, one of the best parts of Buildspace has been meeting new people and learning from their perspectives.
I selfishly began the journey looking for nothing more than connections that would help promote Besnowed. A way to further my career as an author while wasting little mind to projects that deserved more.
Shifting my preconceived notions has helped ease the transition into more realistic cooperation. I have ended up finding incredible value in the interactions with others who pursued such a foolhardy imperative.
A great example can be seen in Justyna’s latest newsletter.
Her words sparked a flurry of thoughts around the expectations built into entertainment.
I particularly enjoyed this excerpt:
This means that emotions or coping mechanisms portrayed in movies, books, or songs, don’t necessarily mirror real-life experiences. They are often amplified and distorted to enhance the plot and make it more thrilling.
Not only for the insightful commentary, but also because it asks a tangential question.
Should realism be the default for entertainment?
The Son of Man
The trend for modern cinema and storytelling in general is to follow a script of unashamed realism. Suspension of disbelief being held only if the acting and the effects can meet the high bar of a culturally established par.
I don’t think that’s always been the case.
The way it’s sometimes talked about there is almost an unstated rule demanding all fiction to be a quasi-documentary. Exaggerated events only holding merit if they’re grounded in founded facts.
A bad prop or a poor performance can be more detrimental to the message than what is actually being said.
The paradox of charisma wherein perceived perception is more impactful than defined definitions.
If you’ll allow one more colorful comparison, the fruits of labor are less savory than their concentrated extract.
The struggle then becomes how to deal with the futility of betting against the house unless you’re willing to risk it all on a pair of loaded dice.
Man in a Bowler Hat
These feelings of unrealistic expectations are built on the back of realism and frame a growing conversation around identity.
The self-made man or the puissance of impotence, racing thoughts end up lapping emotions as the human behind it all lags behind.
Ask the stranger, he knows who you really are
Behind the mask, face stay dark, no boring willy star
- Daniel Dumile
I am not immune to these trends.
I am of my time and a part of my culture. As such, I share a similar view of how realism affects the effects.
However, I love living in the space between worlds and lines. Finding a way to fit the unexpected within the benign. Questioning expectations while maintaining beliefs.
I’m not afraid of fantasy but do not want to be 𝓯𝓪𝓷𝓽𝓪𝓼𝔂.
The Human Condition
I find the most difficult bits of living life lie in making sense of the nonsensical. The improper props used to define a good career and a meaningful existence.
In other words, establishing a proper image of reality.
There are no strict rules for saying who we are. The laws governing all interactions are locked into place by a social contract with no frame. The punchline falls on how the scene is ultimately irrelevant to the easel.
Yet that doesn’t mean it is all for naught. We can still be loved and love. There is hope even in the darkdest of despairs.
So in conclusion, I would like to ask my opening question once again.
Do you recognize this?
A masterpiece that is none other than a photo my dad took with his phone last week.
My parents and my oldest sister looking out a dirty window on a train traveling down the coast of Washington state.
Until next time.
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