I watched Charlie Wilson’s War again. I like it because it celebrates not only quirkiness, but outright disobedience. The hot tub scenes are fun too.
Charlie Wilson only hires beautiful women to staff his office as a member of the House of Representatives. He nicknamed one of them Jail Bait. He drinks whisky at 10 a.m. He accepts any challenge that interests him no matter how seemingly far fetched.
He leads a campaign to defeat the Soviet Union that is inflicting hideous cruelty on people in Afghanistan in spite of the impossibly long odds on making even a dent in the problem.
As a nation we have become obsessed with being conventional and obedient. That is one of the reasons we confine so many people in prisons. We make forgiveness itself a crime. It is also why we pay obscene amounts of money to colleges and universities for something we could accomplish online, at the library, and in study groups. We want to demonstrate obedience. We bow low. We crave validation, and will pay outrageously for it.
Who would have predicted the popularity of selfies? Taking a selfie “disobeys” all the principles of thoughtful photography. I love the principles of thoughtful photography, and I take selfies.
What is the greatest loss of discrediting quirkiness? My vote is for lost opportunities. We walk past things we could accomplish because the path looks different from what we have been told is acceptable and virtuous.
Evidence of my quirkiness, in case you might be interested:
- I love encouraging confused people. I’m confused, so I know something about it.
- Telling people their story matters, and encouraging them to care.
- Anything involving boobs. I blame Charlie Wilson for inspiring me to share this.
- Re-visiting classic film literature to mine the lessons it offers. Field of Dreams is now 26 years old. How many 20-year-olds have seen it? How many of us have encouraged them to do that?
- Advocating for the classic management books that tell us that going to work ought not to suck. The Fifth Discipline is one of many fine examples.
My readers are a silent bunch, but once again I encourage you to share your experience and point of view.