Rockwell Syndrome 18-April-2012
Rockwell Syndrome 18-April-2012
Poor old Walt Disney. I truly believe that he had good intentions. I think he just wanted to make movies that kids would love. And he did. In 1930, could anyone possibly have foreseen ‘Princess Syndrome’ becoming a plague? Would anyone really have sold us red M&M’s if they thought we’d get cancer from them? Maybe. Maybe not. I really don’t know. In any case, part of me does hope that old Walt is rotting in the below right now.
But since I’m all manly and whatnot, I didn’t grow up hoping that one day my Prince would come. I grew up hoping that if I learned enough smart stuff, I’d get a college degree, get a good job, buy a nice little house with a white picket fence, get married, and come home to my family every night after work to talk about our day over the dinner table. I followed the instructions. Got an Engineering degree. Bought the cutest little house in the country, married a lovely young lady that I was very much in love with. The rest didn’t really go as planned. Although my kids would fit right in with any Normal Rockwell painting you’ve ever seen.
Is it Norm’s fault? It’s the American Dream, isn’t it? Grow up, get married, have kids, maybe even buy yourself a shiny new car. Get a bigger house. A newer car. And so on. Even I, with my harshly jaded view of marriage (or more accurately what divorce does to marriage and family), still slip sometimes when I’m talking to the kids and say things like, “When you have kids” etc… I should be saying, “If you decide to have kids.” And, “If you decide to get married.” Am I planting seeds in them that will make them think that getting married and having kids is the only life path they should consider?
I honestly don’t know the answers to any of these questions. No answers today. I don’t know one single Princess. I do know a handful of happily married couples who could be in Norman Rockwell paintings. A small handful. But the odds are similar: One in a million, or so.
I like to write happy stories about the fun things my kids and I do as a family. Those are the things that inspire me the most, and therefore I write best about, and people enjoy reading the most. I bet Norm did the same thing. Saw something that inspired him, so he painted it. Similarly with Walt, he had an inspiration that turned into a movie, so he shared it with the world. It’s just what I think. You won’t find a Norman Rockwell painting of the first time he saw his wife with another man, or an animated Disney movie about children beaten black and blue by an alcoholic parent. Because nobody wants to immortalize any of those things. I doubt Norm or Walt realized they were writing instruction manuals. Maybe that’s where it goes wrong? When we see these things as instructions rather than recreation?
Am I doing it too? Am I creating an unrealistic vision of how things can or should be, by writing about only the good stuff? I don’t mean to. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine here. We have our days. In general though it’s very good, and I love to write about it. So I’m not even for a millisecond thinking about changing any of it. But I do wonder… I wonder why, when we see amazing things, they also make us sad that everything isn’t amazing all the time. Yet isn’t that the nature of things? We should be striving to improve all the time, so when we see something we like, shouldn’t we also strive to achieve it? Where does all that completely natural thinking go so horribly wrong? No answers today. Only questions. Sorry!!!
Cheers from The ThreeFiveZero Syndrome