Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wabbit Twacks

I was going to write about "Fear" today. The trepidation that you feel when you near the end of a big project, the fear of failure, the anticipation that gnaws at you as you send a part of yourself out into the Big Bad World to live a life of its own. 

Then a friend of mine posted something on Facebook that demanded my brain shift gear slightly and view this fear from a different perspective... the perspective of a cartoon character.

My friend, we'll call her El, is nearing the end of grad school, achieving a Doctorate in one of those wonderfully obscure disciplines of computer engineering that make the internet work. Esoterica of the digital realm. One of those things I'm glad someone is doing but wouldn't want to do myself. Like law enforcement and experimental physics.

This crossroads naturally raised all the same specters that I feel at the end of a big writing project or assignment and she voiced her current situation in terms of Loony Toons characters: Wile E Coyote and Bugs Bunny. One is the genius who has no intuition and the other an intuitive genius. One seeks no advice or help and perforce fails every time, and the other is frequently lost but knows it and asks directions.

It's a lovely and vivid description of someone at a turning-point in her life. And how unfair that someone should be so expressive and gifted in the esoteric disciplines of the digital and the literary at the same time. I'm not sure what kind of advice I can offer her that would be germane in such pursuits.

So I too turned to the Sage of the Silver Screen, Mssr. Bugs Bunny. Like any good sage, most of his lessons are timeless and you should find them germane whether you're an English major or one of them science people. Mac or a PC, Bugs is the original cross-platform app.

I often refrain from offering advice. I believe that opinions are like underwear: Everyone is expected to have a set, keep them in good order, and not show them to anyone unless they are asked (and then do so with discretion). As often as not, advice-giving is a matter of re-voicing something the recipient already knows anyway. Most often, we need our own advice more than we need the opinions of others and it's up to our friends to tell us this. This morning, El reminded me that we all need to be less coyote and more rabbit, to remember the advice of our favorite fearless hare, reflecting back to us the things we should already know...
  • Don't look down, just keep running,
  • Pronouns will get you into and out of more trouble...,
  • If you don't know the lyrics sing anyway,
  • If you do it, you'll get a wuppin' (but you should do it anyway),
  • Always keep a disguise and a getaway plan close at hand,
  • When in doubt, quote Groucho,
  • We are most often defined by our enemies or what we stand in opposition to,
  • If you've got someone right where you want them, the last thing want to do is give them a chance to talk,
  • Size is irrelevant, tenacity and guile win in the end.
As ever, she put the coup de grace (or as Bugs might say, the Coop d'Gracie) on my little list...
  • Kiss everyone - It wins friends and annoys enemies.
Because there's no offense like a good smack on the lips from a rabbit in drag. If that doesn't get you over the mid-week hump, then I don't know what will.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, I have an ex brother in law who shares your sentiments exactly, Bugs is his hero.


Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).