What Do People Remember?

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If I were to give this past summer that just ended a nickname, I might be tempted to call it “The Summer of Medical Visits”.  During my eight years so far in Washington, DC, I’ve done very well – all things considered – at staying OUT of doctor’s offices.  Between a  vehicular accident, back spasms and other difficulties in recent months, I’ve spent a considerable time with doctors and radiologists.

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A long time ago…on a bench far far away…

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The grating of plastic wheels against concrete went unnoticed rotation after rotation as the senses were always more attuned to the sound of rubber soles scraping concrete (but only slightly).  One rubber soled foot scraping after another propelled the boy forward as the four-wheeled frame the that surrounded him kept pace.  As the mid-afternoon sun reflected off the metal exoskeleton, his mind was far far away…thinking of twin suns and epic dogfights in space as the music of Star Wars raced in his mind.  Still keeping an eye on his surroundings, another sound arrests his thoughts causing the music to fade into the recesses of his mind.  Looking around, he notices a little girl sitting alone on a park bench.  Walking towards her, his suspicions are confirmed:  someone WAS crying, and this little girl seemed the source.  Scraping and grating to a halt, the boy stopped to see what the problem might be.  Sitting down beside her, he offered whatever words of comfort and wisdom he could in hopes of getting her to stop her tears and go back into the school building.  Somehow, it worked and the crisis was averted.  Back within the walking confines of his wheeled exo-skeleton and epic notes reemerging from the recesses of his mind, he continued on…dreaming of what it might be like to save the galaxy…

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It’s People…it’s PEOPLE…

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If you’ve got images of masses upon masses of people living one upon the other in a dingy world wherein a detective – Robert Thorn – solves crimes and gets by with the help of his friend Sol, I applaud you.  Nevertheless this isn’t a time to talk about corporations, executives murdered, or what day Tuesday is, because it sure isn’t Soylent Green day here today.  Rather I hope to tell a much more uplifting story.

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The Heroic Philosophy of Phil Coulson

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“Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage” – C. S. Lewis

In a earlier post I talked of Agent Coulson’s role as the heart and soul of ABC’s new Marvel show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  What began in 2008 in Iron Man (and many thought reached its zenith in The Avengers) now continues on the small screen (hopefully for the foreseeable future, thus spared the fate of other Whedon television projects the networks – FOX – deemed less shiny).  Therefore, as Coulson goes, so goes his philosophy of heroism.

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The Heart of (the Inner) S.H.I.E.L.D

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“What does S.H.I.E.L.D stand for Agent Ward?”  “Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division.”  “What does that mean to you?”  “It means someone really wanted our initials to spell S.H.I.E.L.D”Maria Hill and Agent Ward, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

In May of 2008, Summer movie-goers were introduced to what would become the Marvel cinematic universe via Jon Faverau’s Iron Man.  The origin story of billionaire Tony Stark and his Iron Man Armor.  In the midst of all the tech, action, and Robert Downey Jr.’s seemingly patented “Stark Snark”, a secondary character emerged:  Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Looking the consummate “G-Man” – something strait out of Mad Men at times – he became a larger presence as the Marvel cinematic universe grew, appearing in Iron Man 2, Thor, and finally The Avengers.  It was in The Avengers that Coulson’s character shined brightest, as his belief in what that group of Superheroes could become was so deep, so engrained into who he was, that his willingness to sacrifice himself to give them a cause to rally around becomes the emotional heart and pivot point of the film:  the idea that the film’s greatest hero was, in fact, the one without powers.

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When God allows you to grapple…

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School lunch tables, brown and worn, sat empty as the sunlight beamed into the elongated building beaten and worn by season after season of north-eastern weather in the wilderness.  The air was still from the outside, as the only discernible movement of molecules came from the half-dozen or more fans turning overhead.  Alone, the area felt like a ghost-town.

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Teaching Doctors…with lolipops.

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“Sometimes I learn more from a visit than the patient does” – from a doctor visit this summer

Often we underestimate what we’re actually capable do doing, of accomplishing.   Generally it’s because we don’t look a certain way, don’t have an influential job, or enough money to give Scrooge McDuck a run for his bin.  We spend too much time actively – or more likely passively – listening to a culture beholden to what C.S. Lewis called “chronological snobbery”: the idea that anything from the past isn’t worth listening to simply because it is past.  It’s a much nicer way of describing “shiny ball syndrome” – the disease of chasing whatever is new (not to be lumped in with the use of “shiny” from Firefly).

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Margin for a Miracle…

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What margin exists in your life?  Where does nothing less than a miracle need to happen?

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Two Types of Stories…

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How many different types of stories are there?  No, I don’t mean genres like Science-Fiction or various sub-genres such as  cyberpunk or space opera (i.e. Blade Runner or Star Wars; two movies with a glaring commonality).  An expert in literature or well read aficionado will tell you there are only seven literary tropes or archetypes.  I disagree.

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Conscience, thy name is Ramona (and I don’t mean Flowers)

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Growing up watching Disney’s Pinocchio – and presently watching shows like ABC’s Once Upon a Time – you’re presented with the idea that your conscience is a good thing, right?  The inner voice that keeps you on the strait and narrow, away from harm.  But what about when your conscience no longer sounds like Jimminy Cricket but rather the annoying voice of one Ramona Nowitzki?

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