Thursday, June 02, 2005

A Church of Stories



Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club, recently penned an essay entitled 'A Church of Stories'. This is the same Chuck Palahniuk whose own recent short story, 'Guts', has allegedly caused about 40 people to faint during public readings.

'A Church of Stories' excerpt:

Instead, now people go to therapy groups, twelve-step recovery groups, chat rooms, phone-sex hotlines, even writers workshops, to turn their lives and crimes into stories, express them, craft them, and in doing so be recognized by their peers. Brought back into the flock for another week. Accepted.

With this in mind: Our need to turn even the darkest parts of life — especially the darkest parts — into stories… our need to tell those stories to our peers… and our need to be heard, forgiven and accepted by our community . . . how about we start a new religion?

We could call this the "Church of Story." It would be a performance place where people could exhaust their stories, in words or music or sculpture. A school where people could learn craft skills that would give them more control over their story, and thus their life. This would be a place where people could step out of their lives and reflect, be detached enough to recognize a boring pattern or irrational fears or a weak character and begin to change that. To edit and rewrite their future. If nothing else, this could be a place where people would vent and be heard, and at that point maybe move forward.

It would be a forum safe enough for you to look terrible. Express terrible ideas.

Ironically, Chuck's call for free, communal, story spaces was published exclusively at Nerve.com as a 'Premium Offering', ie you have to pay $7 U.S. per month.

'Offering?' Like they're burning a pigeon for you.

The essay itself is being discussed in the forums at Chuckpalahniuk.net. 3 days ago someone had posted a full copy in an Ezboard post but it has since been deleted.

So for now I guess it's another religion with an EFTPOS machine at the entrance. Unlike Fight Club. You may recall Tyler Durden explaining to Lou of Lou's tavern that there is no money - the club is free to all.

LOU: Ain't that something?
TYLER: Yes, it is.

That aside, Second Life is a great place to build the first Church of Stories. As a virtual world, it is itself a story. So, who's game?

2 Comments:

Blogger Mark Wallace said...

EFTPOS? Is this a hemispherical difference, or just one of the many blind spots in my technological education?

Fri. Jun. 03, 03:02:00 am AEST  
Blogger Neal Stewart said...

Heh heh. I had actually Googled it, wondering if it was an Australianism, but ignored the results :) My bad :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EFTPOS

Sun. Jun. 05, 08:43:00 am AEST  

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