Passion, Design, and Top Gear

I just finished watching Top Gear Uncovered, a production of one of my favorite television shows. Not only is the writing brilliant, but the show’s presenters balance the comedy of cars with the seriousness of exceptional driving machines.  I think the episode helped me realize a few things about passion and design.

First, I realized that–allow although I like the show’s antics, wit, and comedy (because I am human and enjoy a laugh now and then)–what keeps me coming back to the show are the show’s serious moments.  Let me explain.  It is precisely when the silly smirk on a Top Gear presenter’s silly face becomes properly stoic that I sit up in my seat and unconsciously assume a perfectly erect posture, Continue reading

Joe vs. The Volcanoe

So I was watching Joe vs. The Volcanoe, a movie that appears to be pretty silly on its surface, but a fair amount of wisdom was built into the movie’s script.  Here are some of the things I noted after watching the movie:

  • We don’t learn how lucky we are to have the life we have until it is in jeopardy.
  • We don’t start taking risky steps towards living our dreams until we realize our time on this earth is limited.
  • Interesting idea/quote: “Power makes you paranoid.”
  • Don’t sellout because you are too afraid to follow your passion.  In the movie, Tom Hanks sells his life for $300/week, because he was too scared too live.
  • People are mean because they are upset with themselves; and people get angry when they are scared of something.  Think about it; it is true.  For example, why do parents get mad at their child when he disobey parental requests?   Two reasons come to mind.  The first is that parents are scared the child will put themselves in harm’s way by not following the rules they have tried to impart on them (e.g. “Do not cross a street without looking both ways.”).  The act of disobedience alone could cause parents to worry that their child will grow up to not obey authority figures and rules, such as laws, the act of which would obviously put their children in harm’s way.   The second however could be that the parent fears the child does not love or respect them enough, and since this would obviously hurt the feelings of the parent, they get angry.
  • Feeling the furry of nature’s energy can cause people, who are feeling depressed, to come out of depression. Nature’s energy can be intoxicating, because of the way it makes us feel: alive.   It reminds us that we are alive, and that this is the gift.  Feeling alive feels so good that one can find meaning in the pursuit of this feeling, and maybe that of nature’s elements (e.g. the rain, sun, cold, heat, wind, hardness of rock, textures of plants).   And boom, one escapes the depressive state and into life!    AND love, like nature, can be an equivalent source of this kind of enlivening energy.  In effect, nature can awaken our senses and the mind to reality: that, for the most part, life is good when we can enjoy simple pleasures like a laugh, a good book, a jog, feeling attracted to someone, etc.

By the way, there is something genius about headdresses made from orange soda cans, and Willy Wonka music being played in background while they prepare for the feast; but I can’t put my finger on it.   If you know why this scene, and part of the script, is so genius, please do share!

Kseniya Simonova sand art

Below are videos of Kseniya Simonova’s sand art performances.  I think Performance 1 and Performance 2 are better than Performance 3.  If you watch one, watch Performance 1.  Kseniya was the Ukrania Has Talent’s 2009 winner.  It isn’t so much the story she is telling, but how she tells it.   There is something about the effects she is able to create with the backlit sandbox that allows her to perform a drama.   Do you think the music is critical?  Comment below.

Performance 1:

Performance 2:

Performance 3: