Conservative Story-Telling

One of my themes here is about the nature of story-telling, how the human bias to understand things in terms of narrative is more widespread than we recognize, and how that tendency can blind us to an understanding of the real world that does not, outside human experience, operate in terms of beginnings and ends, causes and consequences.

Here’s an essay from Salon, by writer and producer Judd Apatow: Judd Apatow nails why conservatives make bad entertainment.

The essayist Gabriel Bell quotes Apatow and concludes,

And there it is: The conservative viewpoint indeed has difficulties admitting fault, admitting weakness, admitting doubt or any kind of internal battle. So much of what makes good television or movies hangs on character development, and — in many ways — the conservative viewpoint only allows characters to develop in one, mostly unquestioned way: toward faith and complete confidence. This may be why we get “Last Man Standing” instead of “Catastrophe”; why we get “Atlas Shrugged” instead of “Ulysses.”

So– there’s more drama in being non-conservative, in not thinking all the questions are already solved by ancient wisdom, and so on. People can change — the core element of story. Conservatives, by definition, don’t change. Can’t learn.

Interesting idea. Does this explain why those religious movies like “God Is Not Dead” get such terrible reviews?

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