Friday, 20 March 2015

Stories

I rarely go back to the US but when I do it's often the case that I can't follow the conversations people are having around me because they are about television. Reading Wendell Berry's latest work for The Atlantic I found an eloquent description of my unprocessed response to that awkward social situation.

Reading his work I realize that the disinterest I have for TV and pop culture stems from a deep rooted existential lack that I feel for the modern developed world. As he says in his article "When people begin to replace stories from local memory with stories from television screens, another vital part of life is lost."

Being lucky enough to live in a relatively in-tact rural community while growing up Wendell Berry still got to know the importance of story, which has shaped how he sees the world. "I have my own memories of the survival in a small rural community of its own stories. By telling and retelling those stories, people told themselves who they were, where they were, and what they had done. They thus maintained in ordinary conversation their own living history."

Have we sold our meaning as people and communities? Now we welcome our collective meaning to be designed by TV producers and advertising agencies.

Perhaps it is time to welcome local story back into our lives.

Read Wendell Berry's latest work for The Atlantic:

http://m.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/03/farmland-without-farmers/388282/
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