Monday, August 13, 2012

hiding behind the bones of a dead super

So that article was irritating.  I don't want to summarize it, but here it is if you want to go read it, and then come back for a discussion. 

I've harangued most of the people I know about this already, so I apologize if this is old territory for you.  I'm a big believer in hard work, and my brother-in-law used a great quote when we talked about this concept recently:  Effort is a strategic substitute for ability.  I'm not a stupid person. I've read Outliers, and I agree with a lot of the stuff in it.  But this nonsense about how Michael Phelps used ability and not effort is pure bull.  He is tremendously gifted.  He's also worked his fool head off for pretty much the entire time he's been alive.  So let's not be acting like the last four years when he put in a tiny bit less time in the pool is somehow cheating Ryan Lochte (a fratty, arrogant buffoon) of an Olympic medal that he deserved because he went out and flipped tires or whatever.  Michael Phelps is that rare person who has natural talent and works anyway, so even if he did scale back, he's still spent years perfecting his craft, and he's still going to swim circles around everybody.  That's why he's the greatest swimmer in the world, doofus.  I get pretty darn tired of the idea that any two people who put in the same amount of effort will end up equally proficient at a given task.  Not true.  Talent is a real thing.  But effort is an imperative factor, because, as John and I say to our kids, the world is littered with talented nobodies who never learned to work.

The other day I was reflecting on the different movies "inspired by" Dr. Seuss books, and it reminded me that a number of years ago I saw Katie Couric interview Jim Carrey before the release of that awful Grinch movie, and she was saying what a great movie it must be, because he was able to get Audrey Geisel's blessing to do the movie, and Audrey Geisel is supposedly terrifically protective of her husband's memory and never gives her approval for anything.  But from where I sit, it looks like Audrey Geisel gives her approval for pretty much any bastardization of Dr. Suess's intellectual property that crosses her desk.  So either she's not really that protective, or she has a price, or that was just Katie Couric making crap up.  Could be a combination of all three.  An apt response to this came from Rainn Wilson, who tweeted alongside a link to Lorax-themed pancakes at IHOP:  "Dr. Seuss would vomit into his hands." 

You should see how shiny my goats are right now.  I've given them one dose of the hard-core three-day wormer, which you intersperse with the weekly wormer, and I cannot believe the difference.  They are so glossy.  Maybe I'll try some myself.  I would enjoy shinier hair, not to mention lowering my parasite load. 

Ugh, it's almost time for school and I haven't fully appreciated my summer!  I have done a good job of eating shaved ice, though. 


Sarah said...

You title makes me laugh. "I'm still geekin' out about it!"

Tori said...

Poor Ryan Lochte. It's really too bad they don't hand out medals for not eating Skittles.

Nate, Claire & Norah said...

Very truhe (even though I'm not a huge Micheal Phelps fan.)