The Crucial Importance of Storytelling That Is Being Lost
Greetings, Violet . I appreciate your very well-articulated response. Thank you.
I can tell you that I am not nearly as pissed off anymore. Why? Because I’ve given up — not totally but I have given up by about 95%. I’m still working on the other 5%.
The fight to save the arts and humanities seems utterly futile in light of the fact that the internet is controlled by young billionaires who are hopelessly stuck in the left half of their brains and hopelessly consumed with their quest for profit and total dominance. They have become too powerful.
Young billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Ev Williams , who speak and think in the language of numbers are so locked in to their visions of ‘scale’ and total dominance that they cannot be reached through words. If literary fiction or poetry or other art forms don’t produce the requisite numbers then they simply have no value.
And nothing we do can change that. We can jump up and down and get as pissed off as we possibly can about Ev Williams’ apparent aversion to literary fiction and other art forms but it is all wasted energy because we cannot change his thinking. Only he can.
And it is becoming obvious that he has no intention of doing so. And why should he? Short fiction and poetry just don’t produce the numbers, the green hearts, that How To Become a Billionaire By Adopting the Bathroom Habits of Famous Billionaires articles do. Ev Williams became a billionaire by following numbers, not by supporting arts and humanities.
Yes, the younger generations seem hopelessly lost in the left half of their brains and in the language of numbers and in the insatiable quest for status and wealth. It’s scary to think what that is leading the world into. It seems so hopeless.
But I have not completely given up hope. Why? Because of two little girls (ages 6 and 3). They are my granddaughters and ever since they were old enough to be read to I have visited them on a regular basis and every time I visit I read to them. (And now the oldest granddaughter is proudly reading to me!) I have earnestly tried to instill in them a love for books (real books, not ebooks) and a love for stories. I have encouraged them to use their imaginations and make up stories of their own. To my utter delight it seems to be working.
But these two delightful girls are still rooted in the real world. They haven’t gotten cellphones yet. They have not yet been sucked into the pseudo reality of the internet with its left-brained focus on numbers and status. I am hoping that their love of books and stories isn’t lost once they get sucked into that fake reality. I hope their love of storytelling isn’t destroyed by the billionaires who run the internet and have such strong aversions to storytelling.
It is with my granddaughters’ generation that there is still some hope. The couple of generations that came before them seem hopelessly lost in a fake narrow left-brained reality, disconnected from nature, disconnected from traditions, disconnected from imagination and intuition, disconnected from art, and disconnected from reality.
I am hoping that it is my granddaughters’ generation that reconnects back to real things. I hope when they grow up that they wake up to the fakeness of a fake world focused exclusively on numbers and status; a world of billions of lemmings all scrambling over each other to become billionaires. I hope they are the generation that finally puts down their cellphones long enough to realize that there is a wondrously beautiful real world out there…. and that a beautiful part of that world is the art of storytelling. Perhaps they will tell stories to their children and maybe humans will develop a balance between the halves of their brain and realize the incredible importance of storytelling. Perhaps they will realize that numbers aren’t everything.
Instead of trying to reach closed-minded billionaires, which is like ramming our heads against a brick wall, it may be best if we put our energy into reading to small children. It may be the only hope to save the planet and humankind.