The entire genre of “happy ending” entertainment could be tainting the way humans view the world.
I have never been one for movies and books with a happy story. I have a strong desire to feel intense emotion and to learn when I am consuming media rather than getting that warm bubbly feeling that so many others seem to prefer.
That’s not to say I am a negative person, I just don’t consume entertainment media purely for a good feeling. I like to walk away from a novel and know I have taken a serious message from it more than I like to just feel good.
I am a thinker. I want to consume media that makes me think, and the more people turn to movies and books to disengage with the world around them, the less they are thinking until people like me are the only thinkers in a world of ignorant bliss.
When I realized these facts about myself, I was in the process of reading Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451.” It may sound crazy, but we aren’t too far from the world he describes. One of the quotes that stuck with me was this:
“The zipper displaces the button and a man lacks just that much time to think while dressing at dawn, a philosophical hour, and thus a melancholy hour,” Bradbury writes.
I began thinking how our technology keeps advancing to make our lives easier and more efficient and we are losing the small moments of contemplation. I don’t want that to happen to me, so I just never stop thinking, dreaming and imagining.
I don’t particularly agree with entertainment as a form of escapism. There are too many horrible things happening in the world that we need to acknowledge that I personally don’t feel right about only consuming media that is uplifting.
I don’t read or watch television and movies to escape my own life into a fictional one that will lift my spirits and let me forget the horrors of the world for a while. This is why comedies and happy tales are not my first choice.
I don’t feel comfortable forgetting the problems of the world for any amount of time at all. Too many people who intend to tune-out of the struggle for 1.5 hours end up tuning out forever. I want to tune in.
I want to be constantly reminded and informed of suffering world-wide — child abuse, censorship, troubled relationships — they’re all happening in the world and I seek out those tales to better understand and to help.
Life doesn’t always have a happy ending — that’s reality. Millions of people are reading and watching for entertainment, not to make the world a better place. I have vowed not to be one of those people.
I only want to consume media I can take something away from, and it just so happens those are usually tragic stories, but even when I pick up the occasional light-hearted book, I want to learn.
Jocelyn Gibson can be contacted at [email protected]