The public is hungry for stories. The National Football League (NFL) is overwhelmingly successful because it tells stories. It tells stories leading up to games, and has plotlines that last throughout the season. How will the different abilities of Tim Tebow be utilized—or will they be utilized? Will Michael Vick live up to his immense abilities and secure success for the Eagles? Will TV celebrity Peyton Manning comeback from neck surgery? Will the New Orleans Saints survive the suspension of their head coach for the entire season? What’s the status in the league of the running game? How will rookie Andrew Luck to against veteran icon Tom Brady in tomorrow’s game?
Each individual game tells a story. The outcome is seldom known; often surprising. The game proceeds with dramatic ebbs and flows, from surprising scores to jarring injuries. The fans are emotionally invested in the plotline and the outcome of the story.
Everything in life is a story. What happens next? The recent election campaign was a story, albeit one that for some of us went on too long. It contained ebbs and flows, even one or two surprises.
What’s known in the culture and academia as “literature” lost its standing in the culture when it stopped telling stories.