January 9, 2014

The Super Hero Craze, Part II


Read Part I

Even the quickest google search on humans and storytelling will materialize reams of fascinating information covering everything from the history and evolution of the process to how a story affects our brains and why. To me though, the interesting thing has always been why we tell stories in the first place. Why is storytelling so central to the human experience? All that research shows our brains are hardwired for stories on an evolutionary level. I mean, no other sentient being on earth tells stories. And, without even realizing it, you’ve probably told several yourself today or used information you remember only because of a story someone else told you.

I think, at its most basic level, telling stories has always came down to three things working in concert:

1.) Understand something
2.) Convey Information
3.) Entertain

If you stop and consider each of these, you can trace them both through the broad experience of humanity, cave-fire to boardroom, and the individual experience of a human, birth to grave, in whatever form a story takes.

But I think there’s a deeper purpose fueling those three and I think it’s has to do with comfort.

Stop and consider it. Really think about it. Because I think I’m right and I think, other than money, that’s the other reason for so many superhero movies right now. En masse, we need a little comfort from our modern gods.
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