Ok, I’ll try to keep this as short and making as much sense as possible, but here goes with some random musings.
I’m not a big fan of rap music. Some of this has to do with repetitive musicality, but moreover a lot of it I just don’t find that pleasant lyrically. I did, however, have a roommate for a few years who was a big rap fan. Listening to his music didn’t turn me around on the genre, but I was at least exposed to to more of it. Simultaneously, I was taking a class in which we were studying Psalms. There are some psalms that are theologically challenging because they talk about how God has abandoned the psalmist and brought different calamities upon him. We were taught that these psalms, as Hebrew poetry, were better understood as reflecting how a particular situation felt to the psalmist rather than how things actually were. And it struck me one day: I bet we can see a lot of rap music in the same way. It helped me gain a lot of respect for the genre, even if it still isn’t usually my go-to music.
And I was thinking today: that’s really true with a lot of art, specifically, with a lot of stories. The stories we tell are rarely objective, rational accounts of things that happen. There’s plenty to suggest that such objectivity is humanly impossible. Stories, therefore, represent a person’s interpretation of events as much as they represent the events themselves. Often, a story can talk about the way an event felt to a character.
Then I got to thinking: You know how a lot of people blame popular media, especially movies, for giving people unrealistic ideas of the way things work? Love stories get blamed for this a lot. I’m not suggesting we completely absolve Hollywood for a lot of the ridiculousness that goes on, but we do tell the stories we tell for a reason. What if some of these artificially accelerated and intense love stories are told the way they are because that’s a reflection of how these things feel? I mean, we eat them up. There has to be something in them that resonates at true to real life. We just too often confuse it as the way these things actually occur.