Life as a Movie

We are an audience. Our feet rest on the chair in front of us, a bag of popcorn buttered and salted just so, hand to mouth. Don’t think, just stare at the screen and be entertained, soak it all in. The story tellers have done the work for us. We seem more than happy to let them tell us what to believe and so we take their cues. Sitting in the dark, we follow what has been directed, scored and backlit just so for us. The plot has been well-crafted, and we have agreed to believe. Truth and reality are suspended as nuances in the story line, music, sound effects, dialogue and scenery reinforce a premise. Upbeat dance numbers, gritty fight scenes, heart-melting romance, gripping tragedy, and heart stopping pain bring us to where they want us. Words, circumstance and emotion wrap around us creating a “feeling” for the characters, building sympathy or righteous indignation so we will want what the writer wants us to want. It doesn’t take long for the lines to blur as we soak it all in from our comfy spot in the pitch dark.We become easily engrossed. Sensory tethers are baited with just what we would most like to take a bite of, and they lead us to their hook of a conclusion. These people are professionals. Most of us don’t stand a chance.

As an audience we are trained. False clues are given center stage and dressed up just so, so that we’ll follow. They lead us to suppositions which will surprise us when the truth is unfurled at the end.

The carefully crafted images, music and incidentals are like a hand on our backs kindly helping us along to where the story teller wants us to go. We trust and we go along willingly. So we dutifully worry about the guy with the limp who’s always sharpening knives when the real villain is the unassuming little old lady next door who volunteers helping children and animals.

Since the same ones writing movies, TV and music are the ones writing the narrative of our culture and the premise of the day, I would like to suggest that maybe we, the audience, ought to wise up and get a clue. Just because you stepped out of the theater doesn’t mean they aren’t working their magic in every web ad, google search find, school, kids’ show, “news”cast, yahoo, aol or gmail story. Life isn’t a movie, much as we would like to suspend common sense and believe.

He who tells the stories rules the culture.

Don’t look now but we are being RULED.