Once Upon a Time, There Was a Person Who Said, ‘Once Upon a Time’

… Last summer, President Obama conceded that he had failed to “tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism.” …

The underlying and more ominous question is whether the story of our species — the greater human narrative — has simply become too enormous, too confused and terrifying, for us to grapple with. This might explain why so many of us now rely on a cacophony of unreliable narrators to shape our view of the world and ourselves.

Whether they arise from the precincts of advertising, politics, religion or the news media, these voices deal in the same commodity: a fraudulent folklore whose central aim is insulate us from the true nature of our predicament, to manipulate our anxieties, to goad us into empty consumption or snag us in cycles of grievance and panic. [cont.]

Steve Almond, New York Times Magazine