Monday, 14 September 2009

Gilligan's Island

Do childhood television and movies influence your persona later in life?  I'd answer yes.  The only television show I watched with regularity and passion as a young child was Gilligan's Island.  Shipwrecked on an island, each episode revolves around the potential of getting off the island through self-initiative and invention.  I remember thinking whether I wanted to be Ginger, the movie star, or Maryanne, the kind girl.  I waffled back and forth, and decided I wanted to be the Professor.  But that was impossible, being a girl.  I'd have to settle on marrying him.  I had a huge crush.  There is more than a slight resemblance between the Professor and my husband in the looks department.  The same eyebrows.  And both the Professor and my current husband are hopeless when it comes to solving the practical problem at hand - the-how-to-get-off-the-island-question.  Both are diverted like dreamers toward inapplicable innovative ideas that soak up time and add no added value outside of the headspace they come from.  So we remain stuck on the island.

After so many childhood years of such a show, I ought to have learned a bit.  The Professor is not the answer.  The female role models were lovely, but, let's face it, I'm neither the movie star or kind girl-next-door type.  On the island, they had adventures and good times.  It was a pretty cool place.  A small society. With people most unlike each other with distinct personalities. Oddly, there were not children, but, Gilligan was somewhat like one.  The millionaire and his wife were grandparent figures.  It reflected life in a family, without being one.  It reinforced the roles different people contribute to a society and the value of the collective, rather than the individual.

So.  All that leaves me with an admiration for a collective group but a desire for escape from such a thing.  Some rather hopeless female role models, a lust for the smart man who cannot solve the problem at hand, a disdain for idiots and fat men, and a skewed vision of what grandparents are for...

I'd better go mend that hole in the boat.  Surely I am capable.  But I'd like to take everyone along with me.

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