Big Fish is a story about stories. In the same vein as Picasso’s El arte es una mentira que nos acerca a la verdad (art is a lie that makes us realize the truth) good storytelling grips you, changes you, and lets you touch a world you would never reach following more conventional paths.
It’s a father and son story, really. The father reaches the end of his road, and having lived a rich life full of strange events, he always told the best tales. His son resented him for it; dismissed it as his father stealing the show with his lame-ass stories time and time again. And his son, realizing that he hardly knows the man he has called dad, sets to find out the truth.
And — I don’t really want to ruin it for you. The movie reminded me that fiction helps us define our world just as much as facts. Without it, we wouldn’t have non-fiction. Where would that leave us?
Sometimes fiction is just more real than what is real.
Johnny Carson inspired many over his 30 years as host of the Tonight Show. I remember watching him when I was a kid, Ed’s stupid laugh, and above all that crazy fortune teller hat he used to wear.
In a way he’s a hybrid between today’s late night talk show hosts. He had the goofyness of Leno, the wackiness of Letterman, the sarcasm of Stewart and the self-depricating humor of Conan. He was a funny guy.
Not all of his life was laughter, though. He had his shitty times just like the rest of us. It’s probably why he put so much into his show, why he smoked, why he had to laugh. The human condition is enough to break you and lift you up at the same time. He saw it at its worst, and smiled at it. He made us laugh when we didn’t think we could.
Was Johnny great? I wouldn’t say he was a superhero or anything like that. He didn’t have one crowning achievment that sparkled like a firecracker and faded away in a second. He was a man who had a gift, and he used that gift to bring joy to others. I guess what amazes me is that he did it so well for so long.
Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined. – Johnny Carson
Mitchell Baker recently published a great recount of what happened during the Firefox 1.0 launch. It’s a good read if you have the time.
Like I’ve said before, it was a great community effort and it was encouraging to see everyone working together despite the divisiveness of our time. There is a lot of hard work to come, though.
Stop to smell the flowers, but don’t smell them so much that you get high and forget to keep going.