Truth is Stranger than Fiction?

18 Apr

If you are approximately my age, odds are you don’t have the time to read this. Assuming you actually make that time, you probably grew up with Star Wars as a part of your consciousness. Of course, if you didn’t like learning about “The Force,” there are countless other alternative realities with which you may be familiar. The great thing about this is we can have a whole different world in which you can imagine you live (and our friends know that same world).

It’s nice to be able to take our minimal imagination and still have an entirely fictional world in which we can live or think. Yet the fact that we all know the rules of our new world, does not mean that these worlds are really normal. Just because Lucasfilm is able to make it look good on the big screen does not mean it would either look good (or even happen) in real life. Fiction is created for the express purpose of putting us in a world where the impossible is possible.

The greatness of that escape is, in my opinion, one of the primary reasons that we love escaping reality for a while. The great part about parachuting into a world in which we do not really exist is that we can see when something that is about to happen and either warn the potential victim or just not feel permanent repercussions. In the real world, we occasionally see impending doom and just can’t stop it. Sometimes we fret over what might happen for weeks on end.

Good fiction will keep the person captivated for a while, but at the end of the day, only people with mental problems invest as much in fiction as they do in reality. The fact is that we have grown so used to fiction that we can often predict what will happen, whereas real life is usually unpredictable. Some try to predict. Some are good at it. When real people are trying to adjust outcomes in different ways, life is unpredictable.

I guess that unpredictability is why we actually say and think that the truth is stranger that what we see, read about, or hear in the fictional realm. Nevertheless, fiction is created to be strange. We have determined a world where we think mere unpredictability is strange, and I think that is bad. We should relish the unpredictability. We should be excited by the fact that as we go through our world, we do not know what will happen.

I believe that the world in which we exist is strange, largely because we think it is weirder than these sub-real worlds we create. We create “reality” TV that has writers. At any rate, I think the world is filled with capricious people and we never know what might happen. Relish and enjoy it, because if you ever attempt to entertain yourself with fiction, eventually you’ll get to the point where it all seems redundant!

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5 Responses to “Truth is Stranger than Fiction?”

  1. PCBO April 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    Help me Obeywon, you're my only hope!

  2. Cristiane July 26, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Really good post! I will link to this at my blog.

  3. Jenni April 3, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    First, I LOVE the word "redundant." Second, Will Ferrell's movie Stranger Than Fiction is one of my all-time faves. The narration at the end makes me weepy. šŸ™‚ I love this message in your post!!

  4. AskThePhatMan April 4, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    OK, now I need to hear this narration (or at least get a transcript).

  5. Jenni April 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Here is the transcript, but without the context of the movie or watching it, it probably won't be as effective. Even though I find it to be wonderful writing, you should totally watch the movie for the full effect. I don't typically love Will Ferrell, but I really, really liked it…As Harold took a bite of Bavarian sugar cookie, he finally felt as if everything was going to be ok. Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren't any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true. And, so it was, a wristwatch saved Harold Crick.

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