A really thoughtful blog over on Ferrett’s livejournal. It’s particularly relevant to us writer types, who are constantly looking for “story” in the everyday.
I agree with his analysis and would even go one step further to suggest that this need for story, this seed of psychodrama, is one way we are manipulated. Politicians, priests, advertisers and even newscasters are well aware that narrative compels the majority to (varying degrees of) action. He or she who controls the narrative controls the issue… unless the masses are aware of this lever and can effectively disengage it from their impulse to act. And no, this is not a call to arms against the machine (that would be ironic, wouldn’t it?), but a simple observation. Writers, in particular, need to be aware of motivational drives in people.
The difference, of course, is that we writers only use that power for good. (Is my face straight?)