Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Happily Ever After

At the secret core of many stories lies the promise of a happy ending.  And they all lived happily ever after.  I call this the pastoral promise — it’s a promise of a world set beyond the action that gripped us as we read.  Once these words are written those tensions that have maintained the story, the ones that propelled us along, have dissipated. A curtain descends and we are to learn nothing more of our heroes.  The prince and the princess have wed, the wolf is dead, the evil witch perishes, the children are restored to their parents, and all is well with the world. In perpetuity.  Never-ending happiness, impossible in our everyday lives, though we may crave it, exists as a private world beyond the limits of the page, even in the best of stories. Can we ever be happy?

1 comment:

  1. Well at best the world has one major environmental problem, climate change, but the main problem is feeding all the people, and oh yeah, energy. Furthermore the problems "can all be fixed by technology". At what point will this relatively rosy future be seen more realistically as the juggernaut it really us, with:
    -ocean acidification and overfishing;
    -global warming;
    -flora and fauna reductions hence lack of resilience in a time of problems;
    -habitat destruction leading to biodiversity loss;
    -pollution and EDCs;
    - global soil decline;
    - water problems from damming and other factors; and
    - desertification.

    Can't believe there is such global malaise. Waking them all up would make me very happy.