I've been a long time fan of The Fast and The Furious, despite the fact I strongly dislike driving and have never even been properly licensed. I like the first two movies most, they're sincerely good mid-budget action movies, but I'm also a meek but persistent defender of the rest of the movies (excepting the dreadfully boring Tokyo Drift). I've also seen the Twilight movies more than once, the first one at least half a dozen times. I've read the entirety of Twilight aloud to someone on a road trip.
I understand these things aren't good. But they aren't bad either, and I think a lot about this part of culture.
The strange thing is, I think there are two stories. Ones that explore feelings and ideas and people, in situations we'd never find ourselves in. And ones that explore who we might want to be, usually impossible to achieve. I think it's pretty common for the second category to be beloved, but it's much more commonly looked down on.
I'd like to think of myself as a pretty cautious person when it comes to social judgment. I'd like to take a moment and feel whether I actually dislike someone before I sneer at them. This is an exceptionally rare caution.
And I suppose that starts with myself. Because, many times, I have considered resolving myself to not enjoy any more fiction. I thought, this is my life, I should live it, here. Fill my days with adventure, I suppose.
And that does sound nice. But even in my travels abroad I've found it's not really to my personal taste. I don't like the ever-shifting terrain of adventure, not really. I'd rather build on what I have, maybe find newer, deeper relationships to build. I don't want 2000 Facebook friends. Just enough people that I think I could have a nice barbecue every weekend, and someone to share my life with.
And I think in that endeavor, fiction has helped me more than its hurt. It's hard to say for sure, but exploring ideas has always been a side-track. A diversion, to be sure, but never something I've reflected on more than they've asked. But a powerfully compelling fantasy, even one as silly as being an excellent underground street racer, can be helpful, even to someone who persists in not driving. They are like powerful magnets that can help remind you to look at your compass. Don't follow them, but be aware of them, know how they can draw people, and remember that there is somewhere you ought to go, a true North.
I'm a relatively ascetic man, I think adding desire balances me out.