So, it’s been a while since I updated the blog. Real life intervened, stepped on my neck and told me to call it daddy. After getting it put in the hole for a while and buying myself a few days before it comes back to make me regret ever dropping the soap, I’ve decided that it’s time to update the blog again.
It took some thinking, I needed to come back with an idea of what to talk about after all. But after a few weeks of being exposed to different forms of cultural and literary commentary from across the board I’ve come to an understanding: We writers are the makers of time capsules. Think about it for a moment and you’ll understand what I mean. In this day and age, with so many forms of expression and so many aspects of our culture, it’s hard to believe that in the future we’ll be judged almost purely from what we’ve written. And yet that’s exactly what is going to happen.
Someday, when your hard drives burn up, your DVDs melt and you realize it was probably a bad idea to light that firework so close to your entertainment center, everything you’ve amassed will be gone. But somewhere out there, someone’s got a printed copy of something that may eventually survive whatever drunken cataclysm befalls the rest of information from our society. It’s happened since the beginning of civilization. We only uncover the things that survive whatever fires we’ve set, from cave paintings to rare copies of books that hardly anyone has heard of. And, let’s face it, the human race has a great love for fire ever since the first man to rub two sticks together until there was a flame figured it out. More than likely he was very frustrated and was picturing great violence at that moment, possibly he (or she) was in a long term relationship.
Nothing causes fire starting rage like your spouse or partner.
Anyhow, point being, I’ve realized that what we write eventually becomes a piece to study for future generations. This is a good thing…to a point. After listening to enough discussions about why some literature professors are insane, I’ve realized that interpretation is greatly skewed by time. Sure, today a story may be about a simple set of cute fuzzy animals saving their forests. Tomorrow that same story will be interpreted as a public cry for help from someone molested by a logger. Yeah, it sounds extreme, but it’s pretty much what happens all the time. How else do you figure some university professors come to the conclusion that Red Riding Hood is a story about prostitution?
There’s a lot of studies into things such as bible codes and so on that has shown us that people are capable and willing to find anything that they want to find within a work. You think that there’s a code in the book that tells you what to do with your life for a happier future? Regardless of whether it’s true or not, you’ll do it. This was also quite colorfully demonstrated in a recent episode of South Park where the boys wrote the most offensive book of all time and people began to analyze it as if it were the greatest piece of art ever. It’s going to happen, they’re going to search for meaning in our works…but what meaning will they find?
So that’s the goal I’ve set out for myself for at least the next week or two. I’m going to take what I’ve gathered from the many interpretations I’ve seen over the years and apply it to today’s literature, especially the stuff most likely to survive. Considering some of the crazed interpretations I’ve heard, it’s going to get colorful. First up: Harry Potter. Stay tuned!
And, keep in mind, for those reading this who figure that our modern literature isn’t the best representation of who we are…remember this:
It could be much worse.
Maybe one day someone will over think my books. But before that can happen, buy my books?