Never mind that this article by David Wong was published in Cracked. It speaks the truth. And it says a lot about storytelling and how stories affect us in ways we’re not aware of.
“So there was a mass shooting during a Batman movie and, goddamn it, it turned out the killer owned a Batman mask and called himself “The Joker.” By now, several talking heads have come to the conclusion that the movie somehow triggered the massacre, or whatever. You know the game at this point — sadly, we’ve seen this whole cycle play out more than once.
As always, this knee-jerk reaction by old, scared talking heads will predictably result in most of our audience scoffing and saying that movies can’t influence people to do anything, because movies are make-believe and every non-crazy member of the audience knows how to separate fact from fiction.
Well, the thing is … that is equally wrong. But not for the reason the talking heads think.”
David Wong’s five points, abbreviated:
#5. No, you can’t separate fact from fiction.
#4. Stories were invented to control you.
#3. The writer of a story always has an agenda.
#2. You were raised — and educated — by pop culture.
#1. Everything in your brain is a story.