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    Your inclusion of Donald Sutherland’s ideas about revolution were interesting; I hadn’t heard those before. I think that there definitely seems to be (in Western Society) a tendency for people to weigh privacy against safety–often opting for safety. The Hunger Games certainly breaks down this binary to reveal just how unsafe a lack of privacy can be. If we allow the evolution of the panopticon to continue, we are enabling our viewers to have a hand in controlling us. It would be awesome if a young adult franchise like HG were able to spawn a revolution, but my hopes are low… perhaps I’m just being pessimistic.

    Dystopias in Contemporary Hollywood: A Young Adult Revolution

    Seriously: fantastic article! I have been trying (admittedly with minimal effort) to discover why this season of AHS just didn’t do it for me. Thank you for articulating these frustrations so eloquently—everything you said is spot on. “It came to the point where the viewer could say, “Ah, someone’s having sex with his grandmother after murdering her. Must be Wednesday.’” Ha!

    I wished they had focused the story, rather than continuously introducing more and more elements into it.

    5 Reasons the Spell Wore Off on American Horror Story: Coven

    Funny; my fiancé and I came to this same conclusion! (about the need to be binge-watched).

    5 Reasons the Spell Wore Off on American Horror Story: Coven

    Thanks for the read! I think that surprise is most definitely storytellers’ secret weapon, and also one of the driving contributors to the evolution of storytelling. When attempted surprises become predictable, the best storytellers will search for new means to surprising. I loved the quote you included by Philip Pullman “Stories are the most important thing in the world. Without stories, we wouldn’t be human beings at all.” When we place this idea—the idea that the human experience is rhetorically constructed—and consider it alongside ideas about the evolution(s) of storytelling, we can glean telling thoughts on the potential evolutions of the human experience, I think. Good stories, as you write, can “destroy limitations,” and I think that this destruction is necessary for expanding the limitations of our reality experience.

    The Element of Surprise: A Storyteller's Secret Weapon