A Blog About An Asian Medical Student. Yes that's redundant.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What I Learned From Fiction: Prelude

aka This Was Originally The First Chapter of a Blog Post Originally Called "The Prisoner of Azkaban" 

I stopped reading fiction five years ago.

All fiction. Graphic novels or comic books aside, any story.

Two major reasons:

1) The lack of mandatory English courses stopped the unyielding barrage of Can Lit down my proverbial throat (perhaps creating my COMPLETELY HETERONORMATIVE FETISHISM OF MY LITERAL THROAT).

2) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Let it be known that that bastardization of the Harry Potter mythos single handedly ruined my desire to expand my mind with any written prose that claimed a fictional narrative.


The book is bloated, boring, artificially self important, and ultimately incredibly underwhelming in payoff.


I now know what it is like to date David Poon.


The emotion evoked from a disappointing fantasy (ex: every time I have tried picking up Asian schoolgirls) seemed odd, as the trivial nature of a supposedly non existant work should have little bearing on my reality itself.


Somehow my real world decisions are affected by my impressions of the fictional. Did I stop reading because my real world expectations of a book I got for 20 dollars were not met? Or was it the fictional world that made me despondent.

I remember the controversy that surrounded "A Million Little Pieces," an inspiring memoir that Oprah HERSELF felt was near gospel in healing a wounded soul.

Such a powerful story it was that millions of readers were galvanized to make something more of themselves. To be something more.


The story wasn't true.

The memoirs were fake.

And somehow, all the good the book inspired was undone.

People were upset that the improvements they made in their life, from overcoming addictions to building their careers, were all made meaningless as the purposed drive to a better life was ignited by a fake story.

Fiction can bring us to tears. Bring us hope, bring us sadness, change our perspective, make us angry, confused, passionate, reborn.

Heck, The Notebook has done that to every teenage girl in history.

And Twilight seems to permanently make my chances of doing a teenage girl history.

So why then the reaction to fake memoirs? If the response is real, why is the catalyst made insignificant?

Are we so skewed in our beliefs that only the real must change the real? That the fictional remain affecting only its illusionary constructs?

What about Religion? I like how South Park puts it:

"Look, maybe us Mormons do believe in crazy stories that make absolutely no sense... but I have a great life, and a great family. And I have the Book of Mormon to thank for that. The truth is, I don't care if (the Prophet) made it all up - because what the Church teaches now is loving your family, being nice, and helping people. And even though people in this town think it's stupid, I still chose to believe in it."

Irrespective of your Religious views, there's a point - a lesson, an example, can still be relevant whether it be real or imagined, unproven or lived.

What I Learned From Fiction will be a series exploring the retrospectively incredibly impact fiction has had on the life of David Poon. Ranging from Batman and Pokemon to the dark depths of Disney Princesses (how dirty sounding), it's reoccured to me often that many of my life lessons and values were from the damn Ninja Turtle education segments after each episode.

Or what He-Man showed me when no one else was looking...


I'm not gay.

I didn't watch Rainbow Brite.

- David

10 points to whoever understands why the Azkaban reference is relevant. Secret Harry Potter trivia and all.

1 comment:

  1. The way I see it, people read non-fiction to learn something. As I read The Greatest Show On Earth, Dawkins is giving me a deeper understanding of evolution than McCaw (Danm, I can't even remember how to spell the man's name. How embarrassing. I mean, I truly did respect him.) ever did.

    People read fiction to escape their lives. When I read The Hobbit every that seems so unsatisfying about my life disappears for a while.

    Of course, people may also sometimes read non-fiction to escape the boredom of their lives. I mean, perhaps not everything in Miles Davis' autobiography is true but most of it is exciting. And when we read Chuck Palahniuk's books we learn things about ourselves and see new things in the people in our lives. So we learn from fiction too.

    My point is, if I have one, storytelling is central to our species. I look forward to these reflections on fiction from you David.

    And I mean, if you thought Order of the Pheonix was unsatisfying... at least they did more than sit around in a tent.