“Life of Pi” Forces Man To Have Thoughts
John Man, tummy-crunching philosopher, reportedly had a great epiphany while watching the film Life of Pi and has been shivering with vague existential delight ever since. His transcendental experience of profound enlightenment has turned his whole world view upside down, and he is now able to see things with a piercing clarity he has never known before.
“I was in the cinema enjoying the adventures of Pi and lifeboat and the tiger,” he said, “but when it came to the twist at the end I realised it was all just made up! I looked it up online later; they just hired actors and gave them a script and simply filmed them saying the lines from that script. Incredible!”
John Man was struck by this profound revelation about the nature of story-telling during one of the last scenes of the film in which the main character turns straight to the camera and helpfully explains a bland, preachy moral in the most absurdly patronising manner possible. “It certainly explained a lot,” said Man. “Last week I watched an opera and I was so frustrated by the way they all kept singing. I mean, how am I supposed to relate to something so unrealistic? It turns they are not really singing, because it’s not real.”
Man tells everyone he meets that they “simply must” see Life of Pi or even read the ebook, because it will “totally change your life. Who would have know that an author could use symbolic figures and literary conventions to convey an idea, rather than describe a completely factual sequence of events as if told by an implausibly reliable omniscient narrator? I have never thought of this before.”
Man is using this new revelation to help untangle a lot of the mysteries and complications that have plagued his life until now. “Just yesterday a child pointed his finger at me and said ‘bang! I shot you!’ I raced to the hospital but it turned out to have been a false alarm. The boy later claimed that he didn’t even have a gun! He was apparently just telling a story, whatever that means.”
Man is now going back to reread his favourite books with his new mindset. “It now makes sense to me. When a person in a film or novel says something about their past I just have to remind myself that it isn’t necessarily true. It was a bit confusing at first, but it does explain how Tim from The Office ended up in Middle Earth, and why Skynet built a dwarfish twin brother to accompany the Terminator in a series of comedic escapades that always seemed to me to be an unnecessary distraction from the main mission. Now I know how things work, I will never be uncertain again.”