Thursday, February 25, 2010

I was reading Donald Miller's A Mllion Miles in a Thousand Years and maybe I'm just a tool of an evil force that wants you to live boring and meaningless stories, but the fact that when he decided to live a better story, he decided to go and hike a trail in Peru threw me right off. I was feeling slightly bad because I am the sort of person who would choose to be in a story in which there are a lot of naps and any travel is leavened with many stops to eat in delicious restaurants, but then I read The Fantasy of Thin and thought maybe that Miller was just selling a different fantasy.

I think a lot of us daydream that if we just did something, whether it's decide to live a story or become thin or whatever, we'd find that our essential selves would want to do the sort of exciting things that others talk about, but I wonder if that's really true. To be a good story, do we really need to kayak in a river and then stay at the house of mysterious rich, white people? Or can our lives be a good story without the world spanning, life changing arcs that Miller wants from a story?

Yes, it's very exciting in a story for it to be raining blood as our heroes charge the bad guys, but in real life, we take pains for that to happen as little as possible, for obvious reasons. And having two or three passionate love affairs at the same time sounds great, but it probably is really exhausting instead.

I also thought that Miller's screenwriters, well, they were too focused on just one model of film making. Sure, there's a model where everything has to come out all right at the end, and you waste half the movie watching the hero doing boring things that are supposed to endear us to the hero[like some random heterosexual coupling they throw in for no reason], but there are many other ways to make a movie, and so there are many other ways to make a life.

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