Known Johnson

June 13, 2007

The secret of bubbles

Filed under: General — Tom @ 11:50 pm

A key moment for me in Knocked Up came when family-man Pete (Paul Rudd) and expectant father Ben (Seth Rogen) watch kids playing at the park and discuss the trials and tribulations of parenthood. Ben expresses amazement when the kids all freak out over bubbles and Paul, with a tinge of sadness, states, “I wish I liked anything as much as my kids like bubbles.” Ain’t that the truth?

What is it with “growing up”? Why do we stop loving things like that, like kids love something as simple as bubbles? Bubbles give way to computers and cell phones and cars and homes, but none of it is really any fun, is it? I know when I buy something for my computer, it’s just a part. A tool. Not a toy, nothing to have fun with. Even if it aids me in getting things done, it’s still a boring thing. Why do we abandon our “bubbles” – whatever it is that makes us truly happy – as we get older?

I’ve tried not to – I’ve tried to stay stupidly childish and in that respect, I still get stupidly excited about music. Maybe it makes me seem ridiculous, but it’s one little thing that I can look forward to that isn’t attached to any big agenda in the world, isn’t something to get me ahead in life, and doesn’t do anything in any tangible sense of the word. No, it’s not the same as when I was 16 years old, anxiously awaiting the release of some new album. I hate to say it, but as open-minded as I try to be, I’m jaded simply by exposure to thousands and thousands of albums in the past 20 years. But I’m a lot more open-minded than most people are.

What confuses and concerns me as I get older is watching people give up things they love, like music, books, and movies, and instead focus on things they think will get them ahead or better them somehow. This, in many people’s eyes, is “growing up,” becoming an adult. And with it comes some strange need to follow bizarre philosophies churned out by people who never needed the help in the first place. There’s The Secret – I’m not even going to bother linking to it because I think it’s pretty gross that someone can actually make money off of something as simple as “think positive and good things will happen to you,” the “good things” in this case for most of the people interested being dollar signs. And there’s all those Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus type things that try to help you solve problems in your relationship by reasserting archaic cliches about men and women that we’d just about broken down. You know, there’s no better way to solve an argument than to suggest the opposite sex’s brain just doesn’t grasp things the way you do. Somehow, this guy has sold millions of books simply by suggesting that we understand the other sex’s mental shortcomings. There was a time that was called “sexism,” but now it’s called “understanding.”

I have a suggestion for the two groups of people buying these two tomes (and I suspect there is a big overlap of the two): the path to financial enrichment is littered with the mines like these books. This is a test. You will find yourself richer in all aspects on the other side if you simply ignore the books and follow two (or maybe three, depending on how you look at it) pieces of advice: “be good and happy” and “listen to each other.”

And along with that, I think everyone should have their own “bubbles.” Funny enough, it’s a notion first suggested in another Judd Apatow (Knocked Up director) vehicle, the wonderful but short-lived NBC series, Freaks And Geeks. In the first episode, drummer Nick excitedly shows his soon-to-be love interest, Lindsay, his huge drumset. When she expresses dismay at it, he enthusiastically explains that everyone needs their giant drumset, or whatever – just something they can be excited about, even if they’re not great at it. It’s just something to distract from the tedium of daily life, but really becomes a reason for living, even if it’s something simple. Adults so quickly slip into the doldrums of work schedules and all of our stupid gadgets that keep us tied down to things that really mean little in the long run. So don’t be so adult. Don’t give up on bubbles or your giant drumset, whatever they may be. Maybe it won’t get you rich, quick, but you will be richer.


1 Comment »

  1. […] Remember I mentioned The Secret a short while back, about what a joke the whole thing was? Of course I’m not alone but it seems opposition is quickly building to try and stub out the ridiculous blooming sales of this, frankly, bullshit. Like they say in the article, the book/DVD claims people are responsible for the situations in their lives – so the Jews in concentration camps actually were responsible for that happening in Nazi Germany, not Hitler and his henchmen, and people with terrible, incurable diseases are responsible for those because they just didn’t think positively enough. It just disgusts me that people like this get so much attention and make sales for their stupid products – and very few of the people who buy them think deeply enough to contemplate anything further than “what can I get for myself.” If the power of the this Secret is true, then I’m going to concentrate all my positive thoughts on ridding the world of horrible people like this – in the worst, most gruesome ways possible. Let’s see how it works out. […]

    Pingback by Known Johnson | Born on a desert floor, you’ve the deepest thirst » Blog Archive » The Secret joke — June 23, 2007 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

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