Finding Joe

There may be a point in which information is too accessible. I am not calling for censorship or regulation.

It is very easy to get to with a few mouse clicks and keystrokes to get it. I remember when having to research for a term paper that it was actual physical exercise. It was a trip to the library and then walking up and down aisles to find the books. If you could even find the books at all. There was no overnight shipping for them.

Today, no one remembers the cardio work out of just picking up A volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica. My parents had a set from 1979 in the house and it was outdated from there. My parents were never going to pay the money to update them on a yearly basis. And there was not computer in the house but I did have a Commodore 64 to play some games on. Printers were too expensive so what was the point of typing a report on one. How about the other cardio / carpal tunnel exercise of actually writing in long hand. Followed by the scent of White Out to fix written typo areas. Term papers were a Dread. Especially when the sadistic teacher said it had to be 15 pages. And include pictures. So then my papers were based on what I could find in the basement collection of old National Geographic issues. I am curious to the statistical knowledge of how much of my time of my youth could have been saved by the “Click and Paste” function.

The Internet was only getting started when I left college. Also the cost of owning a home computer was not yet feasible. So you had to sign up for time to use the one at college. It meant most of time it was a very early morning or very late night to get to use one. You had to pay for college in order to access those “tools” for acquiring information. However, today you do not need college to be that “middle man” in the quest for knowledge. If you are going into a “Creative Art” field you should consider skipping them all together. (But I might get on this point in a future posting)

You had to actually go and seek knowledge if you wanted it.

Here is example.

In 1998, I found myself at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. A picture does not always give you real context. In the entrance was (if I remember right) the Mercury Capsule. It is not as big as you think it is. How 2 men fit into that and then flew around space for a week is incredible. Just walking around seeing the actual planes people flew. It made me think that their flights relied more on “Courage and Conviction” because the technology really did not exist then as we know it today.

The other reason, I was there for the Star Wars Exhibit. They had on display the costumes, the models of the ships used, and some the concept art. There was 20 minute documentary to watch before the tour of the exhibit that gave some background information. It was about how they did not at the time the impact of what they were making.

And with the Internet the display has not been archived online. And you save the gas and parking costs of DC.

The end of all such tours has to dump you into the Gift Shop area. I am not one for such areas. I do not need souvenirs that nobody cares for anyways when you get down to it. However, there was a bookcase which will always get my attention. Star Wars : The Magic of Myth by Mary Henderson. I have always been fascinated with myths and mythology. This book broke up the story of Star Wars into story elements that exist within other tales too. It is here for the first time I would read the name of Joseph Campbell.

Joseph Campbell was famous (at this point I had never heard of him) for his research about how all the tales mankind has told since the beginning were all basically the same “arch” which he called the “Hero’s Journeyor “Follow Your Bliss”. It is almost some “Spiritual Transcendence” of the Human Condition. I had never heard such a premise before. I went to a Catholic grade school so there was one book that was ever going to be referenced on this matter. And in college, any such notion was considered to just “bullshit”.

SIDE NOTE. Here is how I am going to approach such matters. I am taking Mulder/Scully of The X-Files. The idea that the “Believer” and the “Skeptic” can work together to challenge and support each other in a quest for “A Truth”. I am not here to support or deny one side over the other. Or even make any recommendations for one. I am just saying that “Mythology” and “Science” are not necessarily “Mutually Exclusive” from each other.

It would be another year or so, before I got a copy of his book The Hero with A Thousand Faces. I finally found a copy in the Bargain Shelf at Barnes and Noble. So I could finally get to read the whole presentation of his premise. I look for it in action all the time when I am watching movies especially in sci-fi, fantasy or comic book adaptions. I also like getting in my news feed some quotes from his work.

I never really thought about the Hero’s Journey outside of literature or the movies. And then this documentary came out last year that changed how I thought about it. Here that arch is illustrated to actually being representative of our journey. It is worth the price to download.

If I had children this is THE FILM I would have them watch.

And after that give them a copy of Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl to read.

Tell them to ignore their Guidance Counselors.

Not to get over “worked up” over their possible SAT scores.

There is “Their” Journey and the travel brochure for it has yet to be written.

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