Chris Addison chats to Derren Brown on Radio 4’s Chain Reaction (UK listeners can get it for another few days).
From 19:30 Derren talks about his journey towards atheism. But then at 25:36 he’s back on magic and showmanship. What he says here is very revealing – not only about the stories we respond to, but the god he rejected:
Magic tends to be about people clicking their fingers and saying “Oh, this will happen” and then it happens. Which is a God-like whim and is therefore not dramatically very interesting. What’s more interesting dramatically is a Hero-story. All drama that interests us is about somebody who’s struggling with something and then goes through some journey but at some cost to himself, and so on. And that’s what we need more of in magic, people treating it as a Hero’s journey rather than as a whimsical God-like figure who could make anything happen.
Whimsical, struggle-less, finger-clicking Gods do not win our love. Struggling, suffering, journeying Heroes do. Very true.
But what if the true God is the Suffering Hero?
And on that subject, isn’t The Dark Knight Rises the most Christian film you’ve ever seen?? Astonishing!