March 29, 2005 – Reality TV vs. Hiking

By Dr. Xayyachack

This afternoon as Robert was helping me tidy my private laboratory, he remarked, “You know something, Dr. X? I think living here in the mansion is sort of like being in one of those reality shows – the kind where a bunch of strange people are forced to live together. It’s kinda cool.”

Mentally, my initial response was one of slight revulsion. To compare our creative venture to a cheap, mostly useless form of television programming somewhat denigrated our purpose. Yet, I understood why Robert made the comparison. The mansion indeed currently houses a colorfully odd association of people, including a bodybuilder (whose advances toward a certain female housemate lead to regular cold encounters), a jittery secretary, a young farm boy, a professional businesswoman, and an old, absent-minded professor. Our creative differences alone, aside from extra-sensitive situations like Lance’s wooing, would provide plenty of fodder for a juicy, dramatic reality show. Verbally, my initial response was, “Hmmm.” Since I tend to say that quite often, Robert didn’t feel inclined to continue discussing the topic.

However, after thinking the matter over this evening, I remain convinced that our work together as a writing troupe has greater significance than a simple reality program. Although we frequently have minor disputes to contend with, and though even after several weeks we are still trying to figure each other out, I feel the work we have done together in creative fellowship has made the experience worth the effort. I’m very proud of some of the writing that my fellow members have finished already, and I have little doubt that such works will be wonderfully beneficial to their readers.

Instead of using the reality TV analogy, I would rather compare everyone’s general attitude at the start of this project to that of an explorer who looks out on a stunning landscape and longs to explore every square inch in sight. As the explorer makes his way through the landscape, he may find his trail harder on the feet than he expected. The skies may fill with clouds and pour rain upon him so that the landscape loses its grandeur, and he may wonder why he should continue with the exploration. While I hope that none of my fellow writers doubt their place in the Story Project, I pray that they have found at least glimpses of delight in what they have seen and done along this trail so far. At the end of a hike, the value of having trodden through both the difficult and easy areas is made as majestically apparent as a nearby mountaintop.

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