May 4, 2011

In attempting to explain a particularly inscrutable dream sequence from his particularly inscrutable TV series John from Cincinnati, David Milch discusses the significance of cave paintings.  The general crux of his argument is that when those early humans scrawled a buffalo onto the wall, it was a signifier that there was a herd nearby.  When they added human characters with spears chasing them down, it became a narrative.  It was the first instance of humans using stories to organize the world around them.  Milch goes on to declare this is how we imitate and connect (and possibly create) God, but the general organizing principle is itself important.  The power of narrative and art to allow us to better understand ourselves and the world around us might be its most important element.

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