Summing up our little exercise of applying Narrative Design to the Corona Virus
this is what I learned
- that we have a long way to go, a long way….people are seeing that more clearly now
- we are approaching the end of the Beginning on the grid
- that means we have not even got the middle yet, that the problem- the virus is in the creative zone and we are not – we have not even begun to fight
- that means we are not even at the beginning of the response, that so far, all we are doing is trying to get over the shock and using denial as our cover- we have not moved from a reaction to a response- that comes in the Middle
- it means that the energy so far is diluted and not focused, because leaders are not worrying about meaning but more about being mean
- our leaders are setting up contradictory frames by which we the people can make meaning- is it a conspiracy, is it China’s fault????
- the numbers and the deaths and other nations have not hit us yet, so we are living in delusion as evidence by Cherry Blossoms and Central Park and Bondi beach
- the preparations need to be long term but there needs to be some immediate action now that sets off a different story track than the one we are on- if it cant be effective, it can at least be symbolic to create significance
- the lack of trust of leadership is chronic to the Polis but is a distraction to this crisis
- it does not matter who is leading, what matters is the efforts to act efferctively and urgency- even a criminal leader can save his people.
- we have let the contamination of character assassination get in the way of our response
- the audience so entrapped in the celebrity/reality TV are hypnotized by the lead characters on the screen but they are hardly relevant- this story right now needs Plot and the audience to get off their asses and act or not act but to get into the story and not stay as audience to the drama. CAP analysis
- We do not know where this reality is headed but we know where the meaning is most likely to end up unless we offer stories that offer an alternative NOW
- the meaning we are making now if it continues will mean we will experience ourselves as failing, insecure, not leading, blaming, divided, and as someone said, our Suez moment- that dint in self-confidence will linger like Vietnam if the casualties are large,- See malaise speech of PRESIDENT CARTER
- if we story it now as the battle between Dems and Repubs, or the President as Doctor Evil and us as victims, the chances of healing after this are less and less because we will experiernce the virus as dividing and not uniting us. the high emotion locks that into the memory-with intensity
- we need to go soft, slow and simple, not hard, fast and complex
- Disasters are human events, not political events. President Trump or President Obama or Jesus would both be struggling to contain this and searching for blame is the wrong story right now- it is a waste of energy and resources better used on Plot- meaning the story calls for action. Urgent and effective and if not that, then symbolic,
- We are not aligning our attention to our intention which means that the story is distorted and we are getting in our own way. We have lost focus
- Instead of hearing the Presidents pivot to getting back to business as a storywise moment, we interpret it as evil and dangerous which means we are making the president’s power divisive and ineffective. We are giving him too much attention and the virus too little attention. Trump is not the virus. What WE give meaning to, we give power to.
- If the press stopped going to press conferences with the President, that would help us be less distracted. How do you distract a narcissist, you give him a microphione and a camera and lock him in a room.
- The press need to own their impact on the story they are selling us. it is not so much fake news but fear news. if it bleeds it leads- they need to examine their role
- the consequences of this on the election, on education, on health are likely to be dramatic and not all bad
- this might be the start of unprecedented actions -not by the virus but by the government to re-enforce its power- see Crisis Capitalism and the people to re assert theirs. Revloution might be in the air and as people are buying as many guns as toilet rolls- holy shit
- history has something to teach us–Solnit
- we should be choosing what stories we inhabit to see us through this
- the story of could be bad could be good is one story, and the Nasrudin story of preaching, that both sides talk to each other.
Looking for more commentary like this that takes a narrative critical look at politics and the election? Here is the StoryWise Manual for Presidential Elections. THE PRESIDENTIAL PLOT- get your copy here