April 26, 2011

Greg Mortenson

What could be the motivation? Well, good stories sell. Novelists and storytellers have all the freedom in the world. Screenwriters even in biopics do not mind using a bit of artistic license to imagine a scene.

If you can use reality as the base and add some embellishment and fine tuning and a dose of heroism and sacrifice to make the story appear more heroic and more emotional, what's wrong with that?

The world is a bit too crowded with heroes and tales of heroism. So, it's a bit tough to stand out if one sticks strictly to the truth and nothing but the truth.

So, who are the heroes? Well, creating an appropriate image is incredibly important. Bill Clinton is living proof of that. Mother Teresa and Diana are dead proofs. No matter how convincingly Christopher Hitchens is able to demolish myths of heroism and saintly qualities around these personalities, the public perception is so strongly rooted in the manufactured image that it's very difficult and nearly impossible to change that image.

Did Greg Mortenson get inspiration even from 4-year-olds? Or, may be the parents of the 4-year-old heaven-returned kid took inspiration from Greg. Either way, their stories appeal very strongly to people as they want to feel reassured that in a world of Bernie Madofs and other assorted charlatans, there are still heroes around. And who does not want to go to heaven after death rather than just stopping to exist for ever.

Mark Twain did not have any trouble with the idea of just ceasing to be after death though. In fact, I think he would have enjoyed if he were around today. The art of stretching is being practiced by ever more talented individuals and the cunning employed continues to dazzle us all.

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