One of my theories about the classic gangster television series The Sopranos is that creator David Chase recognized an important truth about the structure of TV storytelling. In normal stories, a protagonist is placed in a situation that uniquely challenges his character so that in traveling through the arc of the story he is transformed in comic or tragic ways. But in a TV series, the hero’s character is never really transformed — because otherwise the series would end — and he is doomed to repeat the same actions over and over without surcease. In short, he is in Hell, like the sinners in Dante’s Inferno who must repeat the same actions forever. Or like Tony Soprano.
Nowadays, watching the news, and reading social media, I feel a bit like Tony Soprano myself. A story breaks — a prominent person dies or there’s a mass shooting, for instance — and the exact same reactions appear on news media discussion panels and social media as the last time such a story occurred. Then these reactions fade away as we grow weary of hearing about the event. Then a similar event occurs and we all become embroiled in the exact same conversation. We never learn. We never change. We just do it again and again and again.
We get a few minutes of thoughts and prayers[.] Then the screaming starts over the Second Amendment. The nation’s media can’t even give the families of the dead one lousy day to grieve in peace before they are at each other’s throats.
Then the screaming fades. The news and social media move on. Until the next time, when it all starts again.
Andrew gets to his point and it’s a very good point, but the above preamble leads to mine.
It illustrates why I want to get off my backside and go visit my country and my countrymen. I’m tired of the social media treadmill, but not tired of the connection. So, I figured that it was time to do something that I hadn’t tried before. Personally, I think we could all benefit from some movement. Take that any way you wish.
Four more days and I’m on the road. If you want to help out, go here.
Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!