Sunday, December 8, 2013

Looking Good

While I was not watching Sunday Morning, I was in the other room attending to a minor task which allowed me to listen to the program with one ear, and the requisite half-mind it takes to follow tv programming.

The segment was about someone named Ethan Hawke whom the interviewer referred to as "the face of Generation X."  The first thing that caught my ear was Mr. Hawke's statement to the effect that when one was shooting pool, for instance, the important thing is not to make the shot, but to look good while making the effort.

Yes.  Characterization of Generation X.  The accomplishment, or failure to accomplish, is not important so long as one looks good in the endeavor.  Form over substance.

The subject capped the interview with a summary of his philosophy.  Succinctly stated, he said that if one pursues his art with dedication it is all good, whether or not the efforts culminate in achievement.

Draw your own conclusions.

11 comments:

Sharkbytes said...

Won't work for me. I've been out of step with every generation... even my own.

Grace said...

How are we defining achievement? Doing something well, or doing something you enjoy to the best of your ability or even doing something that is an obligation, to the best of your ability are are good with me.

If he is talking about artistic endeavors then yes, done with dedication is all anyone CAN do - whether one achieves fame and fortune - that's another story.

I am not addressing the form over substance discussion because obviously that is just laziness...tho often form is the only thing being judged...

KC Bob said...

I am always hot-dogging it when I shoot pool. Even so, everyone knows that shooting pool is not about the shot you are taking but setting up the next few shots. Might be a lesson in there for Mr Hawke?

Jim said...

I was born in 1967, so I'm part of Gen X. And I can tell you that I and those in my age group that I know generally care about substance.

I remember Ethan Hawke. He doesn't represent me.

There's nothing wrong with looking good -- but there's plenty wrong with that being all you offer the world.

vanilla said...

Sharkkey, always someone marching to the drummer they hear in their head. And good for them, too!

Grace, undertaking a task and seeing it through to the best of ones ability is good. I think. Your take on the art performance makes sense. It is after all for the benefit of the performer that he has the satisfaction of knowing he looked good. Mr. Hawke, I have discovered since making my smart remarks, has done very well in accomplishing goals in his chosen arts (film, writing.)

KC Bob, indeed if one is shooting pool and not looking to the next shot, he is neither looking good nor performing well!

Jim, I am so pleased to have a "Gen Xer" weigh in on this. More, I am exceedingly pleased to know that not all of the members of that generation are so shallow as to believe appearance trumps results.

Lin said...

Ah, the eternal quest to be "cool." This coming from the generation that was given a trophy for just showing up. What else do you expect?

vanilla said...

Lin, "A" for everyone all around; no score keeping for the "just for fun ball game."

Vee said...

No trophies for me but I did work hard for the "A's." Recently I was talking to someone who is in a PhD program and they are writing group dissertations. Say what? Had to bite my tongue!

vanilla said...

Vee, I read your comment and nearly choked on my coffee. Calm now, though. I suppose this was inevitable. Let the inmates run the asylum and. . .

Secondary Roads said...

We had an encounter with this generation recently. We had stopped to eat in a local restaurant. The food was great, but the two gals were more interested in their own social life. They were too busy talking to each other and on their cell phones to be bothered by customers. Aargh!

vanilla said...

Chuck, yes. Much too much of that is going on. The concept that when one sells his time to an employer, the time belongs to the employer seems to be quite outdated. Me first!