Being a student who goes to school that uphold Islamic law, it was mandatory once a week for me to have a Tahfiz lesson in my class. Tahfiz is basically a memorization of Quran verse, so most of the time spend during those lesson was either memorizing Quran or our teacher preaching us or motivating us to do better. But there’s one statement that always bugs me coming from my Tahfiz teacher.
During one of his preach, when Palestine was attacked once again by Israel, he mentioned to us to be horrified of what Israel done to the Palestinian and not be fooled or be sadden over drama on television that was crafted purposely to induce sad feeling because compared to those, this was a real event.
For some reason, that statement really got me thinking.
Well of course, the point of what my teacher was trying to say are more less to be more sadden over real life tragedy. But to a degree however, it does makes me pondering, is it a bad thing to be sad over a fictional tragedy? A tragedy crafted by writer that was solely purposed to induce grief over a made up event?
I’m not going to lie there hasn’t been any several instances where there are several moments/events in “fiction world” that touch me emotionally whether when I was watching anime/movie, playing video games or reading manga/novel. But when I was shown/told regarding the horror/tragedy in real life however, sometimes its just not “clicking” with me. That’s worrying for me to some degree.
But I guess, it all goes back to one of the reason why we read/watch stories for in the first place.
Storytelling are a way for us to directly communicate one and another. Through it we can articulate/communicate a messages about the nature of consequences and human condition. So in some ways, its not a strange fact that story/narrative are inherently emotionally manipulative because in order for those messages to effectively connect/resonates to us, story needs to be in some way emotionally resonates to us whether through writing, fully articulated theme, well fleshed out compelling characters etc. Because that way, the messages that is being imparted will have a lasting impression and have a sense of weight (“realness” so to speak) into it.
For example lets look at Madoka Magica. The series central theme are about “Finding hope in the uncaring heartless universe”. In order for the message to have a real meat to it, the series needs to articulate how easy it is for us to fall into despair at the face of our cynical cruel world. Which is to some extension, we need to feel the sadness over the suffering the magical girls are going through in order to truly understand the weight of the message and when we do understand it, the message will be strongly engraved to our mind and heart.
Despite all of what I’ve said in the above paragraph however, there’s still uncertainty for me whether or not fictional tragedy is desensitize us from real life tragedy. Instinctively I wanted to say no, because it’s almost the same argument regarding how violent video games are turning us into an aggressive person. However, I’m not knowledgeable enough in media to know.
So with that dear readers, what are your thoughts on this matter?