Dec 25 2012

The Hobbits’ Bilbo Baggins gives me courage


In The Lord of the Rings Bilbo warns Frodo that “it’s a dangerous business going out your front door.” In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure it’s also a dangerous business answering your front door. Gandalf sends thirteen dwarves to Bilbo’s home having told them that Bilbo is right for the job of the burglar.

Gandalf offers a couple of reasons for choosing Bilbo to take this adventure. The first is practical: Bilbo is small and light on his feet. Though he has never burgled anything, nor does he have the disposition of a burglar or an adventurer, Gandalf sees beyond who Bilbo appears to be and appreciates who he is and recognizes who he may become. But Gandalf’s choice of burglar was unexpected for the dwarves and, perhaps, a bit disappointing. Continue reading

Jul 16 2010

The Ultimate Reality – The Deadliest Catch Faces Phil Harris’ Death


More than any reality show I’ve seen, there is a sense that the captains and crews are living out their life stories in front of the camera, but they don’t seem to be doing it for the camera. Most of these fishermen are doing what they’ve done for years before camera crews set up on their boats. They do dangerous work in uncertain conditions. More than any other reality show, The Deadliest Catch feels like life rather than television.

Discovery Channel is currently running its tribute to Cornelia Marie’s captain Phil Harris, who died in February during filming. Most of the events leading to Phil’s stroke and subsequent death were documented on camera. The moments in the hospital between Phil and his sons may be some of the most personal, most universal moments I’ve seen on television. Death, like the massive ocean waves, makes us forget about cameras or entertainment. Death awes. Death is humbling, unpredictable, and unscripted.

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Mar 13 2009

Amazement takes a little humility


Everything’s Amazing, Nobody’s Happy YouTube Link

Commedian Louis CK did some comedic commentary on Conan O’Brein’s show recently about amazement and what he calls a generation of spoiled idiots. He contends that people who fly, instead of complaining about delays and inconveniences, should recognize the amazing fact that “You’re sitting in a chair, in the sky…” and can arrive at a destination in six hours on a journey that once took months. Instead stories of flying usually include complaints about the wait and the inconvenience. Continue reading