By Paul Willingham
It has been said that “Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.” Nowhere is this more evident than in the television industry. A successful TV series, whether it be a comedy, reality show, police procedural, talent competitions, etc., is soon facing competition from an army of clones and knockoffs. In the 60s it was westerns, today it is talent contests and housewives.
Over the years I’m sure that there have been numerous brain-storming sessions (brain may be giving them too much credit here) by TV program producers and their creative specialists. Close your eyes and imagine that you are hiding behind the flip chart at one of these creative meetings. (more…)
He didn’t bill the hillside seminar as a Lunch ‘n Learn, but when the crowd approached at mealtime, he divided up rations sufficient for just a small boy into portions enough to feed around 5,000 folks and still send doggy bags home with the twelve.
The people let full bellies do their thinking, and thought then to make the Miracle Man their king.
He slipped away to the hills before they could get a good grip on His robes.
Mary was a slacker.
There. I said it.
Mary was a slacker and an underachiever and lacked ambition.
Oh, I know — don’t I know — that in side-by-side comparisons, it would be Martha who was found wanting. Martha, who planned and prepared and executed with perfection — He would peer straight through Martha’s heart and say, Your sister has chosen the better thing.
But Martha understood the importance of the Rabbi’s visit that day. She knew the social mores. She sensed as though instinctively the need to honor their guest with a proper meal, in a properly prepared home. This was a really big thing.
And she was the one that got that.
Mary, she was the one you’d find lying on her belly in the grass, picking daisies when there was the wash to do. Always talking about light and color and the moment.
Mary was all about the wonder.
And she never got a thing done.
He’s hunched over the table across from me, studying for his algebra final. If he passes, his time in eighth grade math counts for high school credit. If he does better than passing, he keeps his A for the quarter.
I have his study packet and recite equations. He scratches numbers and symbols and x and y into empty spaces on lined paper, tight-gripping a dull pencil I wish he’d walk downstairs and sharpen.
We get stumped on one and both try to show our work to come up with what we already know is the right answer. The old test has already been graded. I write the numbers on my tablet, where between math problems I’m working out my own equation.