Sony ChristmasA Fairy Tale
 Response To The Sony Crisis

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there lived a Storyteller. He was one of a great many storytellers there, as this land was famous the world over for its tales. The Storyteller traveled throughout this Land of Stories, going from stage to stage and spinning his yarns. Some were funny, some were poignant, some were about fear, some about courage, and some were better than others. Wherever the Storyteller went, he drew a small crowd. It was up to his audience to decide what they thought of his stories and whether they wanted to hear them again or recommend them to their friends. Sometimes the Storyteller was asked back to a stage the following night to perform again and sometimes one night was all he got. But he had the support of a Work Family—some of whom he worked for, some of whom he worked with—who helped pay for his journeys, temper his losses, and profit from his successes. 

Halfway around the world there lived an Evil King who hated stories. In fact, in his kingdom only one story was allowed and it wasn’t even a story because stories are living things and this was a dead form built of twigs and mud, shaped around a shape that had been thought up in advance. And this Evil King heard about the Storyteller in the faraway land. He heard about his latest story and didn’t like it one bit because he thought (as was his right) that it was offensive and mean. 

And so the Evil King sent Evil Spies to the Land of Stories. In the dead of night, these Evil Spies sneaked to the houses of the members of the Storyteller’s Work Family and turned the walls to glass so everyone could see inside. The Evil King hoped that once the people in the Land of Stories saw what they shouldn’t be allowed to see (what they had no right to see) that they would turn on the Storyteller and his Work Family and scare them into silence and the Evil King could kill the story he didn’t like. 

But the Evil King misjudged the people in the Land of Stories. They knew that nobody’s life could withstand this kind of scrutiny, that everybody in their private thoughts and private correspondences said all sorts of things. They knew that people sometimes said things that were kind and just. Sometimes they said things that were rude and irreverent. Sometimes they said things they regretted, things that they wished they could take back. Sometimes they said things that were wrong but that didn’t represent who they were, not completely, no more than the kind and just things they said represented who they were completely. They had the freedom to say these things because in the Land of Stories people were allowed to have more than one story. They were allowed to be imperfect and flawed and complex.

Everyone in the Land of Stories understood this. They held these truths to be self-evident. And so rather than gather to peer through the walls of glass, they went about their own business because they understood that they too lived in houses with walls that could be turned to glass. And they knew that in their own lives they too had made mistakes and said cruel or silly things and that they too (like anyone) could be misunderstood and judged harshly for things that they had said and done. They knew that they could very well be next and this didn’t scare them; instead it fired their resolve. They understood that forgiveness and empathy were more important than judgment or gossip. Most of all they understood that they too were part of the Work Family’s family because people in the Land of Stories understood what community was and they would back their own family against an evil king any day. 

When word reached the Evil King that no one was looking through the glass walls of the Work Family’s houses, he was very angry indeed. So he beat his chest and sent out a big and angry threat. He said that he would send his Evil Spies to destroy all the theatres if they allowed the Storyteller to tell his story, this story that he hated and wanted to kill. And he sat back on his golden throne halfway around the world and tented his evil fingers and waited. 

Now the people in the Land of Stories were scared. Of course they were. They were scared that they might lose loved ones. They were scared that they might lose money. They talked to their families and business partners as they should and weighed the risks of letting this Storyteller tell his story. These risks were real and the losses might be terrible. Stories of course are the most powerful things of all and therefore the most dangerous. The Evil King certainly understood that and these people did too. 

But these people remembered that their very land, this Land of Stories, was built on one right and one right alone: the right to tell their own stories. This right was won generations ago by the sweat and blood and sacrifice of their forefathers. And the people knew they had a responsibility. That responsibility had nothing to do with how good this particular story was. That responsibility had nothing to do with how much they liked the Storyteller or his Work Family. That responsibility had nothing to do with whether the Storyteller or his Work Family had ever said things that were unkind or thoughtless or cruel. 

And so they decided not to close the theatres. Instead they took to the stages and the village squares and the meadows and fields and balconies until they were a chorus of voices telling a story, a story of defiance and strength. Soon there were too many of them for the Evil King and his Evil Spies to target or hurt. Their chorus reached the heavens and spread around the world until even the Evil King could hear it and he knew then that there was nothing he could do because you can never kill a story. 

Soon enough, the people in the Land of Stories went back to their lives, telling all kinds of stories. Some were funny, some were poignant, some were about fear, some about courage, and some were better than others.

And the Evil King was left on his golden throne with nothing to look at but the dead form built of twigs and mud, shaped around a shape that had been thought up in advance. 

And he was bored. 

Gregg Hurwitz is the New York Times bestselling author of 14 thrillers, most recently, Don’t Look Back . His novels have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been translated into 22 languages.

He is also a New York Times Bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (Wolverine, Punisher) and DC (Batman, Penguin). Additionally, he’s written screenplays for or sold spec scripts to many of the major studios, and written, developed, and produced television  for various networks. He recently announced that he will be developing his Tim Rackley books for TNT/Sony. Gregg resides in Los Angeles.


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