A history lecturer once told me that an argument holds its water only if it examines all the relevant points and counterpoints in one go, analyzing them to equal measure, painting a fair and balanced picture of what’s happening.
Then I started dabbling in fiction, realizing that people don’t care about facts so much. What we’re crazy about are stories.
Stories that are rooted in facts, or at least in reasonable arguments, offer good insight, but they’re not necessarily the better stories. Sometimes we prefer the made-up stuff. There’s a reason legends drive our history. We like to make up things, to exaggerate and distort events.
But stories rooted in some kind of truth are useful. Information that holds its own is invaluable. At least we’ve learned something. Juicy as our fabrications may be, a little fact goes a long way.
Telling a fair and balanced story is tricky, if not meaningless. There’s no such thing. Objectivity is a subjective term. One can’t weigh all points of view in one sitting. In no way can a manuscript, especially a short one i.e. the kind on which our social media thrive these days, cover all the angles, at least not consistently. Sometimes our pieces run out of time and space, unable to be spherical and all-rounded. They lend themselves to partial presentations and interpretations. One has to trust the author’s overall intention — that what he or she says is not the comprehensive truth, and that he or she knows that. That he or she will cover the flip-side in future writings. One has to trust the author to cover the field over time, not in a flash.
In similar fashion, the author has to trust the reader’s ability to read without expecting the world in one serving. Sometimes the author needs to take a chance, focusing on just one angle, two, tops, saving the omitted points of view for later writings, trusting the reader’s capacity to piece the information together gradually, in instalments. Disregard the voice that compels one to write for everyone at all times. Write what feels right for a particular piece, follow it up with an opposing/supplementary/complementary point of view, let the readers join the pieces in due course, in processed discourse.
The same applies to the audiovisual arts.
This video, for example. A great piece of art! Peculiar, artistic, evocative. Controversial perhaps, in a subtle way — perhaps even sexist, misogynistic (look at the violence associated with women’s beauty products), all so violent in a smart, glossed-over manner. Probably disturbing to all those suffering from OCD-related issues (don’t crush the smooth lipstick bar!), and yet most satisfying for the very same reasons (look at the way the chunks peel off, forming new clusters! Bliss!).
‘Tag a girl to ruin her day,’ adds Charlie Sheen in the captions, sharing this video on his FB timeline.
And the setup is complete. The context is armed, the content ready for perusal.
Part 2 to follow
For the video, see below
Tag a girl to ruin her day! By: ProvidrVia: DADA Beauty – 다다 뷰티 / https://goo.gl/usWORl
Geplaatst door Charlie Sheen op Woensdag 31 mei 2017