Why do we really read and listen?

Koenig is very much in the same position that we all are as listeners, she’s in control of how the story is presented, but ultimately, the ending is completely independent of both author and listener. While we were discussing authorial intent we were critical of reality televisions and that they were not accurate in the way that they were being presented. Most agreed that their entertainment value outweighed the truths of both character and narrative. Well isn’t this true for creative non-fiction writers? To an extent the same applies to Didion and Thompson who are part of the stories that they are telling, they may, in some instances lead certain writers to change/manipulate their own lives for the benefit of their story or maybe something else…

Koenig has thrust herself into her very story, now she is integral to how it has ended. Has her presentation of the case exploited Adnan or simply aided him? Is our own interest in the case morbid or simply hopeful that a guilty man will walk free after nearly 20 years of rotting for something his former self did not do? What is so intoxicating about this case is the living outcome. Serial, while it may be presented slightly less biased than most things in our media, begs everyday people to make a judgment call. It is an analysis of evidence as much as it is of character. We want to know, need to know, how well we can identify someone who breaks all social contracts, and has the power to potentially jerk around Koenig and her entire population of listeners.

The focus of Serial is not like a CSI or a Criminal Minds, it is not about justice for the victim, but justice for the accused and (wrongfully?) tried. A person that may be the victim of simply an imperfect world. Creative non-fiction is a written gauge of events, we read and we make very real assumptions about characters and actions based on our own lives, and past activity of characterizing people around us. The only difference is that we are slightly distanced from the throbbing live parts of the story. It’s much like a choose your own adventure story with the safety of a binding holding us safely back from the repercussions of everyday events, truths, and failures. What we gain is intimacy through the help of authors and their presentation of facts, it is a chance to trust and I think Koenig works very hard at not betraying the trust of her audience (although her disappointment at possible innocent verdict creating evidence is very apparent).

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