Written by Shetland Gal

Friday, 13 February 2015


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image for Is the End of Storytelling the End of Humankind?
Which would you rather have? Government or storytellers?

A prominent member and spokesperson of the Trans-national Storytelling League has spoken out against all future planned governmental actions saying, 'I'm warning you, it will be the end of storytelling which is equivalent to saying, it will be the end of humankind.'

Sufficiently aroused by his outburst, we sent in Simon Lingtorpe to interview Mr.Muse at his London home.

S.L: Mr.Muse, which government plans are you upset about?

M.M: Anything that regulates our behaviour really. Shoplifting, addiction, well, take those ADHD drugs that so many kids are on these days, fidgeting, day dreaming, not being able to keep still is something natural to children! Messing around with people's genes so the addictive gene is bred out of humans, my God - can you imagine the future? No drunks staggering home, no crooners, Billy Connelly didn't get where he is today without taking the piss out of the way people behave!

S.L: That's not really a good argument, I don't really see how this will affect storytelling, can you elaborate?

M.M: Certainly, certainly. First of all, what is Billy Connelly? A humorous storyteller! OK, let's imagine it's the 28th Century. Children are perfectly behaved, like robots. There is no war, no domestic violence, no obesity because everyone will be the perfect weight due to government banning sugar and fat products from our diet. Can you see how dangerous this is?? There would be no need to tell stories to illustrate moral dilemmas!! My God! Children in the 28th Century won't even understand the word addiction or rape, or mugging!They won't know what it feels like to overcome a huge problem and become a changed person!!!

S.L: Calm down Mr.Muse, there's no need to get upset...

M.M: (in a low, menacing voice) Don't you see? Humankind has existed because of story! That's how important we storytellers are! We hold the world together - we are the glue of society! The very fabric of what it means to be human! Without story tellers there would be no religions...

S.L: That wouldn't be a bad thing...

M.M: I'm sorry but if we didn't have religion what would we replace it with? Anarchy?

S.L: But won't it be a better world with no violence or health problems? Surely storytelling will become defunct because the world is finally fixed - isn't that a good thing?

M.M: Simon. Can I call you Simon? Life exists in a balance. Good and bad. Right and wrong. Storytellers and government. My God, we would all look and think the same. We'd be like, like, BORG - those hive mind creatures from Star Trek. That's just EXISTING. It isn't LIVING! My God! Can't you see how dangerous this is? To never have an original thought?

S.L: Well...

M.M: Answer a simple question Simon, do you read books?

S.L: Well, yes, of course I do.

M.M: Tell me, why do you read books Simon?

S.L. Well, I suppose to experience what it feels like to be in another's shoes?

M.M: Exactly!To learn.

S.L. Yes! But if everything was put right...

M.M: Simon, do you watch Star Trek?

S.L. Yes, I do actually.

M.M: Doesn't the idea of one queen ruling over a hive mind people scare the living hell out of you?

S.L. You might think me strange...

M.M: No, no...nothing phases me.

S.L. Considering how loneliness affects a large proportion of the human population, I think it might be somewhat of a comfort to be like everyone else, to have a common goal. We would feel complete.

M.M: So, you think it might be a positive thing to not need storytelling in the future. To be ruled by one person, that they decide on your future?

S.L: I'm beginning to think that looks very agreeable...

M.M: In Star Trek, the Queen is only interested in assimilating other life forms? Is that right behaviour?

S.L: Well no.

M.M: Can you see now how important the story teller's role is? We help the human race to learn, evolve...

S.L: Evolve? All we seem to do is to learn how to hurt one another better, nuclear weapons...

M.M. In fact, we are more careful with those hideous weapons we have created because there is no winner in a nuclear war... we learn from our mistakes one way or another... it may take time but it is ultimately a very HUMAN trait, to create and to destroy and to understand what that means.

S.L: Are you talking about Philosophy now?

M.M: Even Philosophers use story to get their ideas across. You are interviewing me to tell a story for your newspaper. Now do you see?

S.L: Yes, yes, I see. To be fully human is to be flawed.

M.M: Indeed. Anything else is slavery or brainwashing. Storytelling, well - let's put it this way - without us their is no free will, you know, free choice, and that is the one thing given to us humans not to the animals.

S.L: Are you a religious man?

M.M: It so happens I am.

S.L: You are kinda saying you are like Gods.

M.M: No, but in a way we are AS important in our creations, or creational abilities. It's what makes us different from the animals, that we can create with our mind. If the society allows the future government plans we will forsake our humanity for comfort.

S.L: Thank-you Mr.Muse for this stimulating and thought provoking conversation, can I ask one last question? Do you have a bucket list?

M.M: No. Everything that I could want to do can be done using my imagination, I can write a story about skydiving.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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