Friday, May 10, 2013

Our Favorite Cliche: A World Filled With Idiots - David Brin

" Hence the Iron Rule. Society never works. Along with its corollary. Everyone is stupid. By making these twin assumptions, you can prevent your hero from getting any of the help that would dry-up all the drama. You can blithely and easily keep your protagonist in danger until that final satisfying explosion sets the credits rolling. — # — Want the simplest example? We’ve all seen it in Grade B movies. A dozen spoiled, giggling teenagers enter a haunted house. The lights go out. Someone screams. Then we hear the famous line. “Hey, gang. Let’s split up!” Why? Why do kids in these films deliberately choose to do the stupidest thing imaginable? Because if they don’t split up — if they behave like intelligent people who pool their resources and march out of there with linked arms — the author might actually have to exercise some imagination in order to keep up that precious jeopardy for 90 minutes. But if you start with an assumption of stupidity, the script almost writes itself, hurtling from one gruesome decapitation to the next. " 4 out of 5