Thursday, July 03, 2014

Stuck in an elevator with …

Before ever hearing of the saying “I’d hate to be stuck in a broken elevator with that guy,” or heard of the list “The Ten Worst People to be Stuck in a Broken Elevator With.” I used to wish to be stuck in a broken elevator with certain people. This was not a sexual thing—a vehicle for picking the ten sexiest women in the world. It was a way to pin someone in a place where I could ask them questions, my questions, and when I got their first pass at answers I could asked for clarification, drill down.

The first person I wished I were stuck in a broken lift with was an owner of a small stereo store back in the late 70s. I used to hang around the store where the very cool, very knowledgeable sound guru would answer my questions about Nakamechi, Macintosh, and “watts per channel.” I never seemed to understand what he told me since someone with money would always walk into his shop and he would walk away from me as if I was an eight track tape player before my understanding of some concept he told me would crystallized.

In college, I became enamored with a college professor. I would sit in the front row and try to understand everything he said. When I decided I didn’t want to share the professor with anyone else I would request a meeting in his office, but these sessions were always too short—even when I got him to agree to meet during one of his open periods.

This idea sounds strange, I know, and probably unhealthy to someone with claustrophobia or someone who is very withdrawn or shy. I am neither of those, but I am someone who tends to retain very little of what I hear or read. Knowledge I glean from a lecture or a book seems to vanish as if the information was a mere vapor. People close to me say that is because I am not really listening for content, but rather for entertainment. Hmm.

I have seen where fictitious characters in film have learned important things from being captive in an elevator with someone:

  • Jack Black’s character in "Shallow Hall," stuck in an elevator with Tony Roberts, received a spell from the famous motivational speaker that opened Hal’s eyes to inner beauty.
  • Tom Hanks’ character indirectly receives romantic advice from his doorman while stuck in his apartment elevator in the movie "You’ve Got Mail."
  • Though it’s a stretch, Keanu Reeves’ character, Neo, in "The Matrix" reassures himself as he destroys the elevator beneath him and his partner by whispering to himself, “There is no spoon,” which turns out to be a key to his (and the world’s) salvation.

In the years since I graduated, I would read someone’s work or hear someone speak and immediately think of the broken elevator, but for the most part in the last twenty-five years, I really have not found myself confronted with someone I wished an intimate audience with—until lately.

After reading, “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning,” “Death of the Liberal Class,” “Empire of “Illusion” and his column in, I thought I would like to be stuck in an elevator with the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Chris Hedges. But the preceding words are over two years old and things have changed in my life. I suppose I would still like to pick the brains of someone I have enjoyed reading, but seriously, who wants to be stuck in an elevator anyway. Would if the elevator is stuck because the building is on fire. Cooked as if in a Dutch oven!

To tell the truth, the only reason I posted this is to mark a significant change in me. The above was a work in progress back when I was writing my Jockomo blog; I guess I wanted to post it to show myself I have moved on. If you have stumbled onto this blog through a Google search and are now wondering just how batty I am well, pretty batty, but I am getting better!

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