This week I finally caught the new Nick Cave documentary 20,000 Days on Earth. I am a huge Nick Cave fan and – while there should be some speculation as to how accurate or “truthful” this documentary is – it is interesting to see how Cave might be like in real life.
You see I had the chance to meet Nick Cave once. Last summer we went to Osheaga (the big music fest in Montreal) where Cave and his Bad Seeds were, second only to the Replacements, a definite high point.
After the concert, we went back to our hotel and guess what? Nick Cave was staying at the same hotel! And when we went down to the fancy bar for a drink, Nick FREAKING Cave came in and sat down at the bar. Needless to say, my brain was absolutely melting. My wife pressed, repeatedly, for me to go up and say hello.
I recently saw the film Kingsman: The Secret Service, and not only is it such a fun film to watch, but it made me reflect on one of its themes. “Manners maketh man” is coolly stated by Harry Hart, aka Sir Galahad (played by Colin Firth). He makes his point with a bit of “convincing” (as one might if they worked for the Secret Service and fought bad guys) but it’s a message that never goes out of style. I also saw Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and similarly Bill and Ted declare to their fans, “Be excellent to each other!” (if you haven’t seen it, you simply must. It really is a most excellent adventure).
I found it funny that such different films make the same point- but then I realized that this message is a universal one. Good manners will forever be timeless; we shouldn’t exhibit good manners just because it is expected of us, but because it feels so much better to show control, certainty and maturity. Isn’t it so much nicer to be nice? Ironically, it is in the company of the not-so-nice that I feel this point most especially rings true. I try to think of those encounters as opportunities to practice patience, and wondering what someone else might be going through that triggers such behaviour. However, I don’t believe this means such behavior is acceptable and that one should be a pushover with rudeness. It’s still possible to defend yourself – with class. You’ll feel better for it, and attract like-minded people that appreciate that kind of mentality.
If ever unsure of how to behave in a certain situation, ask yourself: “would it make someone feel badly if I behaved this way?” and then you should have your answer. And if this is a topic that interests you, I would like to suggest some of these books:
No one is perfect, but what counts is the effort we make. In Kingsman, Harry Hart also quotes Ernest Hemingway by saying “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self”.
Go forth and be excellent to each other!
I’m almost through my prep work for a theatre visit to Furious 7 (the wife is out of town this week so….), the latest in the super successful Fast and Furious movies. Now, I only started this project a couple weeks ago because, up to now I’ve largely avoided the whole movie franchise.
I initially avoided them because of assumptions that these movies are kind of stupid. And they are – I will get to more on that in a second – but I should also say that these movies are totally awesome too. Yes, I am late the party here (and by party I mean that kind of kegger where we all drink a lot of cheap beer and high five each other too much; and maybe giggle at dirty jokes, but not so dirty that we actually offend anyone or worry that there might be kids about) but wow, these movies are fun. Especially Fast Five, considered everywhere to be the series apex. But wow are these movies dumb too.