The Ideal Imperfection of Humanity

A guy my wife works with gave me a Charlie Parker CD that he burned…from an album. It was completely cool because I am totally into Bird and Be-Bop. Every so often, I would hear it — the pop or click of the old albums. I was amazed knowing that was something that was acceptable back when I started listening to music.

Audiences today are jaded. I look at the original King Kong or The Wizard of Oz and I am blown away by the special effects, recognizing just how it was impressive back then. Now, we think of how drab and unrealistic they aware because of our computer generated brilliance.

When I started reading as a child, I paid no attention to Point of View or Active vs. Passive language. These were concepts I would learn in school. All I cared about was story and character and setting. I wanted to be swept along by some fascinating tale in a colorful and intriguing world peopled by strange and unusual characters. Along the way, I got smart and that just about ruined everything for me.

I am not suggesting to any writer that you ignore the noble concept of craft or that you disregard hundreds of years of literary history. It is just as important to remember that we are, in essence, nothing more than story-tellers. We must captivate our readers/audience with tales to bewilder and amaze. And if there is a choice to be made between craft and story, choose story, as long as it is strong enough to carry you through the potential criticisms of perfectionists.

That CD, the Charlie Parker album, makes me feel like I’m in the 50’s or 60’s, a hip college kid discovering jazz for the first time. If I allowed myself, I COULD declare that the recording is flawed. But I love Bird. And it’s just about perfect to me.

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1 Comment

  1. myrickeaton said,

    May 14, 2014 at 9:31 am

    H.B., sometimes we need to step back and realize what we have lost from the past. Our human-ness continues to disappear, along with the freedoms we enjoyed back in the 50’s. It is as you say. A little imperfection seasons the pot. America could do with a little more ‘Do Unto Others’.

    Like


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