One of the joys of being in a development heavy cycle at work is the leftover brainpower that’s not getting used while performing repetitive coding tasks. (Yes, best to automate repetitive tasks, but the legacy code I’m working with doesn’t automate well.)
So as my days melt away without my understanding where the time’s gone, I’m able to maintain a sense of flow by devoting some of my attention to podcasts. During normal “I need to concentrate” sorts of days, I tend to fall behind on my list of downloaded news programs, short stories, arts, and local interest shows.
Studio 360 is one that I enjoy. This week’s cast had a fun segment about Ibsen and his continuing popularity, despite the fact that he wrote in the 19th century. (They also interviewed überdirector Wim Wenders (director of two of the best movies ever) and had a great segment with Samina Quraeshi about an experience from her childhood in Pakistan.)
Back to Ibsen: Since reading An Enemy of the People for a class I TA-d, I’ve loved his plays. (Though I have to admit, A Doll’s House wasn’t nearly as meaningful for me as it was for many of my friends.)
Years later, Enemy still strikes me as terribly relevant at any time. (If you’ve seen Jaws, the main story arc’s roughly the same.) Whatever our circumstances, we must be willing to recognize unfortunate facts or problems before us and address them rather than burying our heads in the sand and pretending that we can make a problem go away by silencing anyone that points at it.
The same thing could be said at the personal level… what facts or problems might I be hiding from that I need to get resolved? Which is more important to us in our lives, comfort or authenticity? (And are we living in such a way that we can have both, or does one come at the price of the other?)
Anyway, I’m tired and not especially eloquent at this point, and I’m making Ibsen sound more didactic than he is (though that’s a criticism of his work that might not be entirely off the mark).
Anyway, cheers to the father of modern drama. Thanks for letting us see the bird fly her guilded cage and Richard Dreyfuss get his fish.