I was sleeping, dreaming and having visions of shipping conditions in the South China Seas and moral codes about leadership and… can’t remember the third thing. I felt like I was in an episode of Flash Forward except I wasn’t getting pictures of my personal future but of some unconnected global occurrence. If you haven’t seen Flash Forward, it’s a television show where the entire, probably American, population falls asleep and each person gets a glimpse into their future. All of a sudden it came to me – the show is an experiment about the collective power of suggestion. Some Machiavellian is sitting in the background concocting futures for people. A bit like the Greeks and their belief that the people were all pawns on the gods’ chessboard.
It was John Steinberg who tried to tell us in the Grapes of Wrath there are only so many human stories and we keep playing them out – sometimes with slightly different nuances – but they’re the same. Bit of a leveller that, considering we all want to believe our suffering, joy, experience is greater, different. Point is it isn’t – it’s just personal – what makes it different is who it’s happening to!!! There is a lovely children’s book called Caught in a Story that suggests if you can identify the story you can change it. Does it then become just one of the other Steinbeck stories… I wonder???