Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fictional Drama and Real Life

Over the last six months, I have heard several different friends make similar comments to me about no longer being interested in reading or viewing certain types of fictional drama, because of the drama in their own lives. Each of these friends had very different types of drama playing out in their own lives and different types of fiction that they eschewed (while continuing to embrace other forms of fictional entertainment).

 It is important that people act in ways that are true to their values  and when some form of entertainment is counter to their values, or causes distress in their lives, they should remove it from their lives. I commend my friends for excising things from their lives that were not contributing to their well-being.

 The problem I have with these pronouncements is that whether consciously intended as such or not they have come across to me as a form of condescension, not to me so much as to other people generally. It seemed to me that  these friends were saying  that anyone who witnessed or knew real tragedy, death, pain, drama would not wish to immerse themselves in the fictional kind whether it be movies, TV or books;  the corollary of that (never spoken but implicit) was that people who did immerse themselves in fictional drama did not really know real tragedy, death, pain or drama--something not only condescending, but demonstrably false.


Anonymous said...

I think the friends that took this view have a rather simplistic idea of how people cope with stress, for one thing. Sometimes to immerse oneself in fictional story, watch a movie...can not only be entertaining but therapeutic too. I know it's worked for me many times and I've had my share (and then some) of drama and tragedy in real life.

Maggie May said...

yes, I tend to agree with you there.
People should not stereotype people. Nothing is completely black or white. What about all those shades of grey?
Maggie x

Nuts in May