Movies make it seem as if life is a sequence of grand moments. A perpetual state of high excitement, where very decision carries enormous weight.
The hero finds herself in a dilemma, mulls over it, then cuts the rope and enters the future. She may not know what the future brings, but she’s positive it will be grand. Audiences watch captivated. No one’s talking. Breaths are being held. The air crackles with anticipation.
After the movie, we daydream… what it would be like to live a life of such excitement? Such importance? But, it’s an impossible life. For the sake of an engrossing narrative, the movies omit entire decades when nothing much happens.
They paint an illusion of a grand life by cherry-picking only the most exciting bits, like social media profiles.
I call this grand momentism - a fixation on the grand and a fear of the everyday. And yet, grand moments depend on the everyday. On the random boring Tuesday, when there’s nothing to do and no one to do it with. Movies don't have to deal with this, but we do.
This reminds me of the space exploration. Every astronaut wants to reach for the stars, but must first navigate the vast, monotone space that stretches in every direction. To navigate, they must choose high-quality decisions over the easy ones, every time. But it would be so much easier to turn on Netflix and watch imaginary characters reach for imaginary stars.
The only way to reach the grand is to be at your best in the bland.
Why do we need so much distraction?
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