My friend Lee is the kind of guy that knows how to get a party started:
“Aristotle believed that plot was greater than character. In our modern times, we’ve come to the opposite conclusion, but I disagree with the modern view.”
It was Friday night, and we were headed out for the evening, two badass motherfuckers looking to tear shit right the fuck up.
“No,” I replied, giving the eye to the fine-ass bitch in the car next to ours. “I don’t believe in the idea that stories must run like trains, on a schedule where you know what’s coming by the amount of time that’s elapsed from the story’s start.”
Lee pulled a deep drag of chronic into his lungs, releasing it with an appreciative cough. We were cruising down Padonia, on the side of town where you can always get into something.
“Certain archetypes have existed for millennia because they work, Andrew. If you’re utilizing the dramatic form, you have a responsibility to the audience to entertain first and foremost. If your work is too cerebral or intentionally obscure, it is unsatisfying.”
I raised the paper bag holding my 40 of Natty Bo and took a drink. Lee was talking about the late Joseph Campbell now, so I rolled down the car window and poured some brew on the curb. A moment later, I heard the whoo! of a police siren. We were being pulled over.
“Lee, you can’t treat characters like some kind of piece to fit a need in a machine. That’s what a hack like Robert McKee would do.”
If the officer had not recently put the cuffs on us, my friend would have cold-cocked me, a mix of middle-aged middle-income rage and PCP-tinged fury. As it was, he thrashed around, angrily shouting until he was tased into submission. I sat, enjoying my triumph, wondering how long it would take my wife to show up with bail money.