God Among Men, or the Village Idiot?

Posted on 13/09/2011 by

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Do you ever do that thing where five seconds after you’ve seen something or read something you love it to bits, and then your brain wakes up and tells you all the things that were wrong with it?*

I do it all the time. I mean I do have some standards, even in that moment — there are movies I can get bored of while watching. But you give me a good story and emotional resonance and I’ll go bibbledy. I’ll forgive you plot holes and poor acting and cheesy special effects and radical leaps of logic. Movies are bite sized, story chunks delivered in a dark room, straight into the vein, and I’m like a junkie on a narrative high.

And just for a little while, just in that moment I will love every bit of what you offer me — like a mother bear with her cubs.

But give me ten minutes, an hour, a couple of days and I’ll turn around and eat my young.

I’m like that with my writing too. Five seconds after I’ve written something it’s the most brilliant, clever, original thing ever. A week later it’s idiotic. A month later I can have a balanced opinion about it. This is why it’s important to give a draft time to rest before rewriting. If I ever look at something I’ve written and think I’m a god among men or the village idiot I know it’s the wrong moment to get anything useful done with it.

Cause you see, it takes me a little longer to fall in love. I have to get over the denial that follows the infatuation and acknowledge that I love this thing in spite of and maybe even sometimes because of the things I rail against.

Every work is flawed, like every person. But we choose to overlook those shortcomings in the ones we love. We’re aware that their cheesy dialogue or dated costumes are part of their charm. That their ridiculous pseudo-science and unreasonable coincidences are merely catalysts for the beauty of their story telling or their hilarious dialogue.

In fact, sometimes that emotional resonance is all there is. You connect with this thing for no logical reason that you can discern. You go back to it over and over, defend it to its critics, or sheepishly hide it and indulge where no one can see. Because it makes you feel… something.

 

* This is commonly known as the ‘fridge door moment’. You’re home, half an hour later, and you go to get a drink and all of a sudden, as you standing there, you think, Hang on a second —

 

Posted in: Kandace