In 1970, American psychologist Abraham Maslow presented the amended version of his Hierarchy of Needs pictured here. For a number of reasons — like, for example, how slowly retiring Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter hadn’t even been born yet — the work was dismissed as the product of senility. Maslow would die of a heart attack in June of that year, the original iteration of Hierarchy the only one to outlive him.
A black-and-white Gatorade commercial released today, however, confirms what was obvious to the prescient Maslow four decades ago and has become ever more clear during the Captain’s 20-year career — namely, that there seems to exist a deep and pressing need to render into glowing narrative terms the works and days of Derek Jeter.
With a view, then, to helping the whole world perform this vital act more ably, the editors of NotGraphs have produced the following — that is, a summary of Ronald Tobias’s 20 basic plot structures featuring Derek Jeter’s name inserted into all of them, with a view to increasing both the quantity and quality of Jeter narratives of the future.
Derek Jeter searches for something, someone, or somewhere. In reality, he may be searching for himself, with the outer journey mirrored internally. He may be joined by a companion, who takes care of minor details and whose limitations contrast with Derek Jeter’s greater qualities.
Derek Jetergoes on an adventure, much like in a quest, but with less of a focus on the end goal or the personal development of Derek Jeter. In the adventure, there is more action for action’s sake.
In this plot, the focus is on the chase, with one person chasing Derek Jeter (and perhaps with multiple and alternating chases). Derek Jeter may be often cornered and somehow escape, so that the pursuit can continue. Depending on the story, Derek Jeter may be caught or may escape.
In the rescue, somebody is captured, who must be released by Derek Jeter. A triangle may form between Derek Jeter, the antagonist, and the victim. There may be a grand duel between Derek Jeter and antagonist, after which the victim is freed.
In a kind of reversal of the rescue, Derek Jeter must escape, perhaps with little help from others. In this, there may well be elements of capture and unjust imprisonment. There may also be a pursuit after the escape.
In the revenge plot, Derek Jeter seeks retribution against the person or organization which has betrayed or otherwise harmed him or loved ones, physically or emotionally. This plot depends on moral outrage for gaining sympathy from the audience.
7. The Riddle
The riddle plot entertains the audience and challenges them to find the solution before Derek Jeter, who steadily and carefully uncovers clues and hence the final solution. The story may also be spiced up with terrible consequences if the riddle is not solved in time.
In rivalry, two people or groups are set as competitors that may be good hearted or as bitter enemies. Rivals often face a zero-sum game, in which there can only be one Derek Jeter — for example, where they compete for a scarce resource or the heart of a sexy kind of lady.
The underdog plot is similar to rivalry, but where one person (usually Derek Jeter) has less advantage and might normally be expected to lose. Derek Jeter usually wins through greater tenacity and determination (and perhaps with the help of friendly others).
In the temptation plot, Derek Jeter is tempted by something that, if taken, would somehow diminish him, often morally. His battle is thus internal, fighting against inner voices which tell him to succumb.
In this fantastic plot, Derek Jeter is physically transformed, perhaps into a beast or perhaps into some spiritual or alien form. The story may then continue with the changed Derek Jeter struggling to be released or to use his new form for some particular purpose. Eventually, Derek Jeter is released, perhaps through some great act of love — like from a sexy kind of lady.
The transformation plot leads to a change of Derek Jeter in some way, often driven by unexpected circumstances or event. After setbacks, Derek Jeter learns and usually becomes something better.
The maturation plot is a special form of transformation, in which Derek Jeter grows up. The veils of younger times are lost as Derek Jeter learns and grows. Thus the rudderless young Derek Jeter finds meaning or perhaps an older Derek Jeter re-finds his purpose.
The love story is a perennial tale of Derek Jeter and a sexy kind of lady finding one another, perhaps through a background of danger and woe. Along the way, they become separated in some way, but eventually come together in a final joyous reunion.
15. Forbidden Love
The story of forbidden love happens when Derek Jeter and a sexy kind of lady are breaking some social rules, such as in an adulterous relationship or worse. The story may thus turn around their inner conflicts and the effects of others discovering their tryst.
In sacrifice, the nobler elements of the human sprit are extolled as Derek Jeter gives much more than most people would give. Derek Jeter may not start with the intent of personal sacrifice and may thus be an unintentional hero, thus emphasizing the heroic nature of the choice and act.
The discovery plot is strongly focused on the character of Derek Jeter who discovers something great or terrible and hence must make a difficult choice. The importance of the discovery might not be known at first and the process of revelation be important to the story.
18. Wretched Excess
In stories of wretched excess, Derek Jeter goes beyond normally accepted behavior as the world looks on, horrified, perhaps in realization that “there before the grace of God go I” and that the veneer of civilization is indeed thin.
In the ascension plot, Derek Jeter starts in the virtual gutter, as a sinner of some kind. The plot then shows his ascension to becoming a better person, often in response to stress that would defeat a normal person. Thus he achieves deserved heroic status.
In the opposite to ascension, Derek Jeter descends to the gutter and moral turpitude, perhaps sympathetically as he’s unable to handle stress and perhaps just giving in to baser vices.
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.