When I was in high school, it was considered a big deal if you could control a steel ball under a piece of glass with a couple of buttons that flipped little flippers. The steel ball would bounce from side to side and bells would ring and lights would light up. I could never quite see the point. There must be something wrong with me.
I’ve since learned that it’s fashionable to be skilled at something pointless: carry a pointed ball across a white line on a field. Toss an orange ball through an iron ring. Drive a car in circles really fast.
If I were normal, I would have favorite pointy-ball people, orange-ball people and circle-drivers. This is where I fall short. This is where I’m broken.
I’ve never been quite sure where I went wrong.
When Did Macaroni Become “Pasta?”
David Freeman asked the question. It seemed to emerge from nowhere.
Tuscan Hall was filled with executives from the largest food companies in the world. He was in the midst of unveiling 2 new methods for accelerated branding when he stopped in mid-sentence and asked, “When did Macaroni become ‘Pasta?’”
Then, without waiting for an answer, he continued what he’d been saying. The audience, absorbed in what David was teaching, forgot his non sequitur within the span of 3 adrenaline-fueled heartbeats.
For me, it was just another glimpse into the inner dialogue of a strange and wonderful friend.
I answered David in my mind. “Macaroni became ‘pasta’ on the same day the hobo became ‘the homeless,’ the trailer house became the ‘mobile home’ and stock-car racing became ‘NASCAR.’”
It would appear we’ve chosen to celebrate the mundane, elevate the ordinary and idolize the average.
I guess struggling for excellence was just too hard.
A Defense of Intellectual Rigor
Yes, I believe that all men are created equal.
But that doesn’t mean that all men remain equal.
Some are givers, some are takers. Some create while others destroy. A few people work for the benefit of others, but most work only to benefit themselves.
People are not equal. Their motives, choices and actions make them large or small.
Are you being large today? Please do.
May I confess something to you?
Do you promise not to tell?
I admire people who work hard to make things better for everyone. My heroes are the men and women who struggle to create a brighter tomorrow. I know this makes me a misfit, but I don't care anymore.
Are you a misfit, too?
There's work to be done. Much of our world is in pain. Pointy balls, orange balls, balls under glass and going in circles be damned.
Sometimes it just makes me sad.
Does it make you sad, too?
Wizard Academy is a group of strange and wonderful misfits like David Freeman, Corrine Taylor, Shaun Courbat, Jodie Gateman, Oz Jaxxon, Michele Miller, Mark Fox, Jeff and Bryan Eisenberg and You.
Thanks for coming, friend.
I no longer feel alone.
Roy H. Williams
PS – Here's a rare note I received from Hollywood's David Freeman on Friday:
If you haven’t already heard, this is a work of genius and you should make haste to the theater. Brad Bird (“The Incredibles”) has surpassed himself. This is one of the best animated films ever made. After you see it, I’ll give you my theories on this film vs. “The Incredibles.”