Sunday, March 8, 2009

A New Symbol

Symbols are important. We all have our talismans, and there's a reason we have them. Heroes are nothing but symbols. That's why they say you shouldn't meet your heroes in person, because suddenly they're a real, flawed, human.

In the past few days, I've been watching more reality TV than I've watched probably in the whole of the past six months (I'm really not a reality TV fan). I started with Hell's Kitchen and now I'm also working on Kitchen Nightmares. The common denominator: Gordon Ramsay.

The first thing that struck me about him is that he's a bit psychotic, then I watched more and other things came out. Mainly, that guy is incredibly smart and demands excellence. Anything short of perfect just isn't good enough for him. It's a tough standard, but the part that makes me like him is however much he expects from others, he expects just as much or more from himself. He is absolutely NOT the "do as I say, not as I do" type. He's more, "What do you mean five o'clock is early? I've been here since four and I've already done inventory on the whole kitchen, prepped today's food, and killed a Russian spy." The man's a machine.

My new interest in Ramsay is well-timed. This semester is a tough one for me between working on my thesis, drafting the Cass book, and teaching three classes. I've been feeling a little overwhelmed about it all. Then I watch Ramsay and think he'd probably roll his eyes at me, tell me to stop whining, and say he's going to write two theses and found a university just to show me how it's done.

This morning I set a picture of him as my new desktop so the first thing I see when I hop on my computer is Ramsay at a kitchen doorway looking out at me with an expression on his face that says, "Is that the best you've got?"

1 comment:

Jenny said...

I love this post. I absolutely, 100% agree with you that we need people to tell us to stop our whining...is this what you want to do? If the answer's 'yes'--then get your ass in gear and get to work. And if it's coming from someone who has done it...well, they're really, really hard to argue with, aren't they?

This reminds me of an *extra* on one of the Lost DVDs. There's a bit about what it's like in a day of making the show. Oh. My. God. The level of work and time and effort threw me for a loop. We always picture writers sitting down at their keyboard, typing happily away and thus the words are born. Oh, no. Meetings, debates, phone calls, working twelve-sixteen hour days. When you want to do something, and do it well...be prepared to do the work.