340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Do you have a problem-solving method named after you?

Bold and nosy. I'm famous for that.
- MacGyver

So on the topic of TV, Steenblogen and I bought season one of MacGyver earlier this year and savoured all 22 episodes over the spring. Although the series jumped the shark sometime in the third or fourth season, the early episodes immediately reminded us why we loved the show in the first place: Anderson's got charisma out the yinyang and, while the show is mired in a simplified Cold War 'us v. them' mentality, it communicates a subtle distrust of institutions in general and governments in particular.

In fact, I think Angus MacGyver probably perfectly embodies everything I like about the archetypal American character: he's transparent and sincere (WYSIWYG), ingenious, unpretentious and, although he likes other people and enjoys socializing, harbours a fundamental distrust of social conventions and established organizational paradigms (be they corporations, governments or what have you).

Relax, I'm not gonna go all analytical on you. It is neat to watch a twenty-year-old show that highlights gadgetry and spycraft, though. Plus, with Stargate SG-1 still going strong, we can see an actor operating in two distinct phases of his career.

Plus, there's the wave of nostalgia that washes over us whenever the familiar opening strains start up: I clearly remember that Monday nights were the only time I was allowed to stay up past nine o'clock so I could watch Macgyver--it helped that my mom had a crush on Richard Dean Anderson, mind you...

Finally (and forgive me if I sound crotchety here), it's nice to watch a show about a smart guy who approaches problems rationally and comes with clever, inventive (and, believe it or not, scientifically sound) solutions to them instead of just reaching for the grenade launcher.

MacGyver: I'm going to need a nail.
Lisa Woodman: What for?
MacGyver: Well, if I can weld a good spark plug it'll replace the electrode.
Lisa Woodman: How are you going to weld it?
MacGyver: With wire, a battery, and jumper cables.
Lisa Woodman: How do you come up with this stuff?
MacGyver: Well, the stuff's already here. I just find a different way to use it.


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