Monday, March 10, 2014

Such Childishness

1 Corinthians 13:11 states:

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (KJV)

It seems that the only time I hear this is when a curmudgeon wants to tell me off for enjoying something that one would think is reserved for the whippersnappers. Being a 24-year-old, university-going semi-professional means that certain things are now off limits, simply because I'm "too old for that sort of thing." The carefree days of Lego marathons, eating ice cream shaped like a cartoon's head, and hitting bottles with a slingshot are to be over and done with.

Launching these furious guys at pigs is kosher, though.
'Splain that.

While I agree that a Sonic the Hedgehog ice cream face doesn't give a good first impression at the monthly staff meeting, it certainly has its place. In front of easily frightened children isn't it.

The 2000s weren't good to the Blue Blur.

Heck, I even brought my heroically impressive Megatron (Beast Wars dragon form, of course) up to Logan this weekend. The reason's a simple one: It's pretty neat. No ulterior motives, no endorsements from Hasbro, just an innocent desire to recall the days of yore. He also acts as a cheap form of home protection, with his energy blaster arm cannon and extending wings. Don't mess.

All of this Transformers action got me a-thinking: What other delightful remnants of childhood am I forgetting? I've heard the commercials boasting an ability to "take you back to the magical days of your youth," but it didn't click until recently. This past Christmas was illuminating; it didn't feel as "Christmas-y" as I remembered. In fact, ever since the mission, it hasn't felt quite as festive or exciting. Was I doing it wrong? I set some Christmas carol stations as my presets, watched more Christmas movies than I usually do, and ate more candy than was completely necessary. You know, for science.

There's a thesis in there somewhere.

I read an article by Olivia Meikle on KSL the other day that started this whole train of thought (The original post is most definitely worth a look). She describes her time living in Beijing, and a slice of Chinese culture that surprised her. Adults would ask her if she could "play" with them. Not hang out or chill, but play

And play they did. Meikle paints a scene of a park filled with thousands of adults of all ages dancing, singing, writing, playing sports, painting, etc., almost entirely impromptu. You show up to sing, find a group that's belting out your jams, and join in. No sign-up sheets, no scheduled lessons, and most importantly, no stigma. You do it because you love it, and others watch/listen/read/observe with real interest and fascination because you enjoy it. They don't want to hear a Bach aficionado wail on the harpsichord (as fantastically awesome as that is, I assure you), but to watch a great-grandmother haphazardly practice her calligraphy with some paint on the curb, reading her poems as they materialize on the pavement. It's not about skill or exhibition, it's about people having fun for fun's sake.

I want to get in on that! Why aren't our parks full of amateur yet enthusiastic artists and subtle performers? When someone is drawing one of those 3D chalk murals on the sidewalk, don't we stop to look? Is it about the art, or watching the artist? It's nearly as enjoyable to observe the creator work their magic as it is to witness the final product. Street miming doesn't count, though. Still creepy.

Where "art" and "oh, boy..." meet.

Say what you want about a mime; they don't complain much.

What are some bits of childhood that you felt compelled to leave behind that you miss? Given the opportunity, what would you indulge in again? Leave a message in the comments, if you'd be so kind. 

Note: Using LEGOs isn't a childish pursuit, but a fundamental aspect of being a decent human being. Wanted to clear up any confusion.

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