We’re all attracted to stories. In books, movies, TV, music, and art. We write our own stories as we go. We create work that tells a story on some level, whether literally or in a more abstract form.
Andrew Stanton is an American film director, screenwriter, producer and voice actor based at Pixar. He has also directed 2 episodes of Stranger Things.
More or less in his words: Storytelling ideally confirms some truth that deepens our understanding of who we are as humans, affirmation that our lives have meaning.
After experiencing Aldous Harding at Laneways at the end of January, I’ve been unable to get her out of my head. The way she slouched on the stool, dressed in white with her white guitar, legs apart, scowling at us with a bemused disdain. Her voice. The theatrical performance, unpretty, powerful. I was given the album last week and spent a day listening to the whole thing over and over while arting, and then did what I always do when discovering new music, which is zeroing in on one song and listening until I have absorbed it. I feel intoxicated after listening to Horizon on repeat all day. And her performance on Jools Holland is everything. Terrifying, amusing, awe-inspiring, defiant, and beautiful.
I read this maybe 10 years ago and recently decided to read it again. It’s a novel that has it all: A princess and an outlaw (both redheads), love, pyramids, dynamite, and a pack of Camel’s.
This is my favourite passage in the book:
“How can one person be more real than any other? Well, some people do hide and others seek. Maybe those who are in hiding — escaping encounters, avoiding surprises, protecting their property, ignoring their fantasies, restricting their feelings, sitting out the Pan pipe hootchy-kootch of experience — maybe these people, people who won’t talk to rednecks, or if they’re rednecks won’t talk to intellectuals, people who are afraid to get their shoes muddy or their noses wet, afraid to eat what they crave, afraid to drink Mexican water, afraid to bet a long shot to win, afraid to hitchhike, jaywalk, honkytonk, cogitate, osculate, levitate, rock it, bob it, sock it, or bark at the moon, maybe such people are simply inauthentic, and maybe the jackleg humanist who says differently is due to have his tongue fried on the hot slabs of liar’s hell. Some folks hide, and some folks seek, and seeking, when it’s mindless, neurotic, or desperate can be a form of hiding. But there are folks who want to know and aren’t afraid to look and won’t turn tail should they find it — and if they do, they’ll have a good time anyway because nothing, neither the terrible truth or the absence of it, is going to cheat them out of one honest breath of earth’s sweet grass.”
Let me sign off with a bonus quote from Hugh MacLeod: “The best way to get approval is not to need it.”