Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dramatic Human Experience, or A Typical Day

I've been watching the documentary, "The Human Planet" on Netflix. While I enjoy the glimpses into other cultures, as usual, the over dramatic narrative has me cracking up. It's no wonder we Westerners are xenophobic idiots!  

As a way to put this into perspective, I wrote a sample of dialogue using my own middle-class American family as the subjects of a similar documentary, trying to replicate the feelings these people must have when they watch the show about themselves and hear the narration about what to them is a typical day in a normal way of life.

"Matthew is a Pacific Northwest man living on the edge of survival in the Idaho wilderness. Every summer, he packs up his family to make the perilous journey down to the next river town. Just last week, two people died on this road when the conveyances they use crashed into one another. On the way, they pass fields of a crop they call 'wheat' that nearby farmers export to keep their families alive. 

By sheer luck, Matthew makes it with his children to the river town where they will trade his hard-earned currency for a rare delicacy they call 'chocolate chip cookies.'

While he is away, his wife desperately signals him with the primitive iPhone devices used by this people group that a tragic loss occurred at the community's water hole. One of the children has forgotten to bring home a tool they call a 'kick board' and may never learn to swim, thus losing this ancient tradition forever. 

Luckily, with ingenuity and the survival skills passed on from generations that went before him, Matthew is able to retrieve the board, and the family can keep alive this flickering flame of ancient culture."


(Another hilarious example: the documentary "Alaska: The Last Frontier" about the poor millionaire Kilcher family trying to survive nine miles away from a grocery store. I love documentaries!)

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