What Makes a Good Story? (Pop Culture)


Robert Feduccia

(Trading Spots: This week, Robert takes on the Pop Culture Spirit Spot. Ken will handle Music Industry.)

Nothing beats a good story. Really. Nothing can take away from or overshadow a good story.

SpeedI was so excited when I was old enough to ride my bike to and from school. It meant I could get home faster than walking and get in front of the TV to watch the original Speed Racer TV show on WGNO out of New Orleans. For those of you who don't know me that well, I am HUGE Speed Racer fan. My avatar on AIM is Speed Racer. For my birthday, my brother bought me the three-DVD set of the show and I am now training my kids to be fans.

As a kid, I thought: "Why do I like this show? The overdubs are all out of sync. The voice-overs are just bad and the animation is simplistic." But I loved it . . . and I still do! I love it because it is good storytelling.

What makes a good story? Suspense. Leaving a question unanswered is the best way to tell a story. The Mach 5 was cool and equipped. Speed was smart and skilled, but would it be enough to win the race? I knew he would win, but watching him action; watching the Mach 5 in action. Man, . . . it was cool!

But as good as Speed Racer is, the Gospels are better. Jesus embodies the suspense of the entire human family. Ultimately, the suspense of the human story is "will we be saved?" Will we become the people we know we can become? Will our destiny as free people be realized. Atheist or believer, we all yearn for this freedom. In Jesus, the story of human suffering and the quest for authenticity reaches its true and happiest ending. The suspense has reached its conclusion and the conclusion is our own story in Jesus.

In his Letter to the Romans, St. Paul says that neither height nor depth, nor suffering or the sword [Insert: nor bad overdub or weak animation] can separate us from the love of Christ. It's a great story that ends with our winning the race in Christ Jesus. Oh . . . and enjoy the Speed Racer movie! :)

Go Make a Difference! What? You were expecting us to play "Go, Speed Racer, Go"??

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