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The Plot Thickens

Photo: Taelar Pollmann ⋅ The Sentry

What’s in a name?

Last summer when trying to decide on a title, I was stuck between a couple options: “The Lateness of the Hour,” “The Human Condition,” and “The Plot Thickens.” 

“The Lateness of the Hour” idea came from my favorite singer Alex Clare. It’s the title of his debut album, an LP that semi-defined the last bit of my middle school experience. I also thought it would be funny to title my column that since we produce the paper on Tuesday nights and I had a feeling I would probably be writing my columns at the last minute, late at night. Little did I know how accurate that would tend to be.

“The Human Condition” is a term that gets thrown around a lot in the film department. I first encountered it on day one of my introductory level screenwriting class. According to my professor, a story is “an engaging and illuminating commentary on the human condition.” Essentially, the human condition is a term which hereby means the struggles of being human, being alive, and being social and emotional creatures. If that sounds very philosophical and kind of like a term that is used to describe something people cannot really put words to, that is because it is.

Lastly, there was “The Plot Thickens.” The idea of a plot thickening is when a plot suddenly becomes more. Perhaps it is more complicated, or perhaps it simply becomes more interesting because the stakes have been raised. It can mean kind of whatever you want it to mean, which is part of why I liked it. I planned to relate (almost) every column or story I was telling back to another work of art. Specifically movies, if we’re honest. Since movies, books, and music are sort of what my life revolves around (and movies and books are what I’d like to spend my life creating) I figured why not talk about how my problem relates to the plot of something else.

I’m not sure if that idea always translates, I know I don’t always stick to it. Still, I like telling myself that I’m not alone in what happens to me. People have been where I am and have felt the need to share that experience with others. It’s about connectedness, something we all need. I suppose that’s comforting.

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