© 2014 ellathompson


Week 11. Looking at Bec’s blog post.

Bec questions what this subject has been teaching us about narrative and its supposed constraints.

She writes:

“Sometimes in this class, I feel like such an old timer, fighting for the recognition and in defence of the traditional narrative structure.”

I’m with Bec on this. If I hear one more time some 60-Minutes-esque degrading and sensationalising of the dark and deadly narrative and its uselessness in this age and all of its RISKS and DANGERS and how we’re all going to be eaten by this villain, narrative, I’m going to hit someone. Not really. But I might hire writers to ghost the Integrated Media teachers and perform an ongoing commentary of their daily lives. Narrating all of their actions and thoughts and moods and mysteriously implying potential forthcoming events. That would be fun.

Bec specifically discusses the disrespect for conclusions.

“I get that this class is focusing on non-linear structures… but at the same time, I wish the discussion in lectures wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss traditional linear structures, as if they are wrong or only believed in by people stuck in the past.”

I hear ya, Bec. Although I’ve learnt so much about the appeal of nonlinear structure in this day and age, nothing will quite compare with narratives that reach conclusions. We need that sense of closure. As people–as humans–we crave that sense of closure. That’s why we don’t stop scrolling through our newsfeed. That’s why we find it hard to walk away from Tumblr. We’re looking for something. Something to signal the end. Something to make us feel content and satisfied and accomplished. That’s what narratives–with ends–offer that things without conclusions don’t. There’s nothing like the pull of a narrative. There’s nothing like story. Things are never, ever going to stop being created around story. Stories are in our history. One of Adrian’s first ever lectures talked about the way people used to remember things through song and story. Very long ago. Because they couldn’t store information. There was no writing. No books. There were probably cave drawings and whatnot… but there was also story. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of nonlinear stories. Nonlinear media. It’s extremely exciting and full of possibilities. But don’t even dare to downgrade traditional story. There is little more powerful than those stories with a beginning, middle and end. The evidence is everywhere. Unmissable. You’d be incredibly ignorant to ignore this. I mean, just look at Disney. Look anywhere.

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” – Albert Einstein.

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