I’m a big fan of The Office, and this short snippet really stood out to me the first time I saw it. In my life I personally prefer the “positive” of this, as opposed to the negative. “Do what <X> would do”. WWJD is kind of close to the mark (what would Jesus do) but I can see that going hilariously wrong — Jesus would walk everywhere, so so will I.
But I’d be happy with “Do what a child of God would do.”
I heard from a friend that Masterchef has entered it’s 4th season, and, not having a TV handy I streamed the first episode on Sunday night.
I think part of the reason Masterchef has been so popular is because of the stories. Every cook in the competition is asked why they entered, what background they come from and what they hope to do if they win. We hear about the struggles they faced to get in to the competition, we follow them on their journey, and we share with them in their pains and joy through our screens.
One story that really stuck out to me was not covered very much in the show at all.
Yukio was an Asian guy who we only got to see in the judging area, and all we saw was his reaction to the questions posed by the judges. They asked him why he entered, and he started crying and talking about how he could memorise recipes, but what he really needed was guidance and training and mentorship (probably not in those exact words) in order to get better at what he was doing. He was sobbing so much when they awarded him the apron that signified his worth, and didn’t stop thanking them as he left.
“I’ve never seen anyone want it, as much as that person.”
If he can be so passionate about cooking, and need so much more than memorising recipes, how much more can I be passionate about knowing Jesus instead of just memorising and philosophising about Scripture? In the game of life, how much more do I need training from a real coach, through a real relationship – not just theory?
And on that note, GO YUKIO
I am going to suggest that Spider-Man 2 is one of the best superhero films I have seen, and one of my favourite films.
Some might argue that Tobey Maguire doesn’t play Spider-Man well enough, that some of the lines are cheesy, and that looking back, many of the effects are dated. But it’s more for the story that I think it’s a great film.
The film follows Peter Parker as his life starts to fall apart, bearing the responsibility of being Spider-Man and also attending University, a part-time job and maintaining his friendships. He’s late for class, loses his job and is unable to find the time to see Mary Jane Watson’s performance in “The Importance of Being Earnest” which is a point of tension between the two characters. J. J. Jameson is continuing to further his reputation as a menace in the Daily Bugle. Aside from that, he’s late on his rent payments and his Aunt May is about to default on her mortgage.
He has way too much going on. And the stress takes it’s toll on him physiologically, as he finds his powers are no longer as reliable as they should be. His web won’t work. He needs to start wearing his glasses again. And he just can’t do everything, or please everyone.
So he stops.
He quits being Spider-Man at the advice of a physician who says, “Maybe you’re not meant to climb those walls”.
And it works.
He makes it to class, he rebuilds his friendship with Mary Jane, and he seems to have it all together. But the crime rate goes up by 75% in his absence. The greater good suffers for his own personal satisfaction, and he is reminded again that, “With great power comes great responsibility”.
And so, like every good superhero film, he dons the suit and saves the day, but is forced to reveal his identity to Mary Jane and the full weight of responsibility that he feels. The reason why he can’t be with her. The fact that as Spider-Man he has dangerous enemies who will use that knowledge to harm them both.
The film ends with Mary Jane running away from her wedding, to find him in his dingy apartment, making the decision to be with him and knowing full well the dangers that it poses. But maybe it’s time that someone saved him for a change. As they embrace, police sirens blare and once again, he’s off swinging through the New York city skyline followed by police helicopters.
And the final shot of the film is Mary Jane’s face, lines of worry beginning to creep in as the gravity of their situation sinks in.
I was planning to go through and explain the significance of the plot elements, but I’m pretty sure I can just leave it at this:
Sometimes we go through life and we think we can do everything. We were built for a purpose, and sometimes it gets hard. It’s easy to stand aside and say that it’s not our responsibility, that it’s causing us too much pain, and that we’ve done “enough”. But there is so much more at stake than our own happiness at all times. And we all need saving.
My goodness. Jayesslee collaborating with Cathy Nguyen in the offices of Wong Fu. It’s a bit of a YouTube worlds collide.
Very late on this one, but this song is really good.
The ultimate inspiration is the deadline.
This is a quote from Nolan Bushnell, inventor of Pong among other things.
Speaking from experience, I’d say he has a point. A lot of the time, I’ve been most productive when I have the least “free time”, simply because it creates a sense of urgency in my mind that usually isn’t there. And a lot of the time we need to be pushed.
On a similar note, for the creative types, I watched an interview by EatYourKimchi with Alex from Clazziquai where he said the time when he is most creative, is when he has to meet a deadline. Pretty challenging thought, especially since we often consider creativity as requiring space, and free time.