I read somewhere that wisdom is hidden, wrapped up in the blanket of cliches. It is fortunately or unfortunately true.
On the upside it means that all you have to do is look up a list of cliches or read “Poor Richard’s Almanac” by Ben Franklin and have your life made.
On the other hand, we all know that is bullshit. We have passively imbibed enough platitudinal fluff from inspirational posters of the 90’s to know that any edifying effects are close to non-existent.
So where does this leave us? Well, you can agree with my sentiments thus far and say “I’m no rube. Take your elementary wordspiration and shove it” But I think that is like leaving the sponge only partly wrung out.
Creators, more specifically, writers are professional straw graspers. Anything that pokes it’s head out from the ordinary is fair game to smash with our blunt tools of insight and harnessed to carry us one more day. It’s not pretty, but hey, here we are together.
What I propose, if you are ever stuck is to peruse the cliches that stick out to you and ignore their vapid context. Take the meat of the wisdom and find ways to apply it to your frame of reference. What have you directly experienced that speaks to truth?
Don’t expect for it to be the first time the earth has ever been blessed by such intuition and wit. Whatever your message may be, I can almost guarantee it has been broadcast before. If every creative let that fact get them down, we would never discover the .00000001% that is actually new. It is somewhat akin to throwing soldiers into the breach. Ugly, horrifying, terrible, and necessary to overcome the tyrants of mediocrity.
What I desire to see is old messages presented in fascinating wrapping, think about the original Star Wars versus every new dumb iteration of The Arthurian Legends. George Lucas took ancient mythology encapsulated by Joseph Cambell and created a literal galaxy of characters and stories to tell the tried and true hero’s journey.
I can’t imagine what these hacks still pumping out another iteration of the almost six-hundred-year-old “Le Morte d’Arthur” think their doing. Actually, I do know. They’re selling sex, violence, and dragons, following a deeply rutted path of film dogma.
Let us enjoy their fruity and lascivious creations for what they are. Head filling guff.
You and I have another task. To discover the unknown. The greatest plot of them all: The Journey.
I’ll leave you with the classified ad Ernest Shackleton posted looking for people to explore the Antarctic circle with him. It is parallel to our mission of delving into the world of ideas.
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.