A Thought: Once Upon a Time in Reality

Know this: I speak of nothing in particular, but I address Americans as a whole.

Growing up I was told that all good stories begin with “Once upon a time.” That line was THE memorable quote to any story, the beginning at least. The phrase created this excitement in me to WANT to hear the stories being told. When stories were adapted into film, movies began creating their own memorable quotes. Once upon a time became, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away,” or, “You can’t handle the Truth!” to even, “There’s no place like home.”

The idea here is that storytelling has evolved from “let me tell you about these myths, legends, and fantasies,” all the way up to “these aren’t just myths and fantasies anymore.”

Why am I telling you all of this? I’m telling you because a large percentage of the narratives I come across nowadays are not myths or legends anymore. They are not made-up stories. Many of them depict our reality, so let’s be real.

I cannot open any monitor or screen on any electronic device I own without seeing reports of violence and terror, reports of corrupt government systems, and reports of general and specified hate. It’s 2017 and if you can name the evil, you will find it.

The first time I realized this, I woke up one day and found a hole in my heart. I went searching for a whole answer. Unlike once-upon-a-time stories, these stories are not whole. We were never whole to begin with.

You see news channels reporting negativity like it’s mandatory. You see your friends on social media supporting movements. You see movies are no longer fairy tale stories. Everything has a reference to contemporary issues in our waking life. Wake up because you are no longer in the Matrix.

No voices are silenced. I’m troubled these platforms have become overrun with current events, so much so that the issues at hand are unavoidable. Wherever you go you will hear about injustice. Yet, that troubled part of my mind cannot compete with how proud I am that people are speaking up and utilizing those same platforms to extend their voices.

Even in an article writing for Global Pop Culture, I feel I am obligated to write and address these findings rather than write a fantasy of my own.

So, what do we do?
Is there a hole in your heart?
Is there a “whole” in your eyes?
Is this part of the ‘educate yourself’ process?

Once upon a time…


  1. Good article.
    I feel there will never be a “whole”. The older i get the more i realize how fast things change and that time stops for no man. If I see myself as a representation of mankind in it’s current state, the hole in my heart is huge and overwhelming and I would/should want to do something about it. But I am just me and the hole is barely noticeable; and because of that, I am ashamed to say, I do nothing. Would it be right for me to wish this hole is bigger so I can feel more compelled to do something meaningful? Does anyone really wish for something like that? Keeping in mind the holes in our hearts change size frequently, my opinion is that each individual, who knows himself best, should know if they need to do something. In the meantime, i’m going to overpay for soda and popcorn and find joy in a fantasy movie simply because time stops for no man.

  2. Ah, I love the poetic structure of this. You are speaking to my idealistic self. What we do is write the story of the future we want to see then make it into reality. That’s my belief anyways 🙂

    • Thank you, Nate. I truly am starting to believe in creating one’s own world so that subjective futures may become objective realities.

  3. I mean, billions of dollars still run through industries of commercial fiction like Hollywood.

    Would you say the cinematic and televised narratives, or “modern mythmaking”, of highly-attended franchises like Marvel and DC, among plenty of non-geek oriented subculture-based franchises and properties, don’t have some role in how people as viewers spar with big and complex themes that sometimes non-fiction can’t deliver in a focused and at-scale way?

    Would like to hear.

    • I really appreciate that perspective. I would say that they definitely provide a huge role when it comes to how people view the complex themes non-fiction can’t deliver. If anything, it provides both that overlying theme for audiences to connect with as well some sort of facade. The type of facade or barricade I am talking about here is the moment when a movie-goer would go sit in on a Marvel or DC movie and simply enjoy it without expressing concerns for that character’s reality. It’s a movie, after all. However, someone a bit more expressive may absolutely worry about said character’s reality, character’s struggles, and when they leave the theatre, still have those same expressions for their own reality.

      The difference here is — whereas non-fiction pieces may lose the interest of many, sometimes it takes the road blocks of a fictional piece to deliver meaning into one’s reality.

      Does this make sense?


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