Story – Robert McKee's Creative Storytelling Magazine Issue 005 – Drew Carey - Page 36

MCKEE INTERVIEWS MARK WHITNEY RM: It suggests to me a kind of mind. MW: It’s about the questions. RM: It suggests to me a kind of mind that looks at the totality of it and begins to see a superstructure, begins to see an abstract form that holds all of this together and then goes to fill it in. I think that’s genetic— most people don’t think like that. MW: There are people that say that. I’ve read stories about that—people who have letters after their names and study these things and believe that the need to really get down to what it is and understand what it is. I’ve read that mostly in the context of entrepreneurs, people who start companies, people like Charles Ferguson who produced Inside Job—why does he wake up someday and decide, “Jesus, these people blew up the world and I’m going to make a documentary about it.” What is it that makes him want to do that? RM: There are two ways to think, basically: induction and deduction. Most people think inductively. This happens, that happens, this happens and that happens—da da da da. Therefore, and they draw a conclusion or they try to make sense out of things. Other people think deductively. They have a premise—the law works this way in a democracy under the constitution, right? Now, is that the case? This bit, that bit, this bit, that bit, this bit. It seems to me that you think deductively. You start out with a premise, you have a big idea, and then you start to fill it in, as opposed to what most people do which is just let experience slap them across the face enough times until they finally get it. MW: With the law, I want to know how it’s meant to be, not how it is. RM: Yes, that’s the premise. MW: That’s what I want to know. It’s like my show is all about how things were meant to be in contrast to how they are, and that’s what’s at stake in my show. There’s a set of intangible ideals that are at stake that can’t be measured by mathematicians and scientists. Ideals that defy measurement and the ideals speak to the core of individuality. That’s what at stake to me, and as an artist, as an entrepreneur, and as somebody who has spent 30 years creating things from nothing, I don’t want to see that lost. That is so upsetting to me to see that lost, you know. When I see people dressed up in Story Magazine // Issue 005 powdered wigs and throwing tea over the boat talking about how they ’re afraid of “Sharia” law because they care about the constitution—I’m like, “You couldn’t find a fucking constitution if it was in your ass! You worry about Sharia law—why don’t you learn your own fucking law first, okay? Why don’t you tell me, you fundamentalist asshole, what the first amendments is, okay? Tell me that. Tell me you know that and then you can lecture me about Sharia law.” It’s like cognitive dissonance. So I live in this alternative universe as a result of my experience. RM: You start with the ideal, and then you find all the really upsetting exceptions to that. MW: Exactly. RM: How do you know this is funny? A lot of people—once again, they don’t think like you do. But there are people who think like you do, but they don’t find it funny. MW: There have been people that have had some tremendous influence on me in terms of that. People who have given me permission to do what I do. If you start with the world of stand-up comedy in Southern California, it’s a poisonous world. You go down to the Comedy Store on a Sunday night and you throw your