Oct 13, 2008

Extreme Ways: A New Direction For The Parker Brand!

First off, let me welcome you to the NEW direction of the Parker Brand blog. While I had every intention of keeping this blog focused on creativity I've come to realize recently that I'm just too dang random for that. I've got too many thoughts and opinions (OH GOD! Not another opinion blog...please!) to keep them contained. So, while I may come back to the real world from time to time and actually make some sense, for the time being we'll be taking a stroll through the wonderful world of Oran's brain, with all it's little hidey-holes and trees to climb! I'll do my best not to ramble or swear, but I can't promise you anything. Just imagine an animated face and lots of hand waving while you're reading and you should enjoy yourself a lot more. One good thing about this new direction is that you'll get a lot more posts from me. I don't know if they'll all be worth your time, but my advice is...stick it out! Who knows? You might actually glean something that you can put to use.

Okay...here we go.

I am Jason Bourne

So, I'm listening to Extreme Ways by Moby as I'm traveling across the lake this morning and that's when I really, REALLY realize...I'm Jason Bourne.

Yep. That's right. I'm him...at least in my head. I know this sounds like I'm trying to be funny or silly...but I'm not. You see, when I'm Jason Bourne I see the world like Jason Bourne sees it; my thoughts, my feelings, my likes and dislikes, all get run through the Bourne Filter.

When I'm being honest with myself I realize that I've got lots of filters...mostly fantasy based, all very pointed and strong, all very useful depending on what life happens to be handing out at the time.

The Filters

There's the Batman Filter, the Superman Filter (and a Jor-el Filter; that one helps me be a better father), the Thor Filter, the Hex Filter, the Winchester Filter, the Gandhi Filter, ...it goes on and on and on.

Sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn't it? It's really not (at least not to me). Running things through these different filters helps me get things done. You can't just have any old filter either. You have to find a character or archetype that you think is really, really awesome (yes...awesome). This character could be someone that you aspire to be like, respect, dislike...whatever works for you. The goal is to choose characters that may have aspects of your own qualities magnified, or who possess a completely different skill set or strength that you admire.

I hope I'm not losing you yet, because I'm about to explain how this really works for me.

Story Time or W.W.J.D. (What Would Jason Do)

One night my girlfriend and I were going to dinner. There were no parking spaces near the restaurant and we were forced to park in a poorly lit location, quite a distance away. As we were walking it starts to sink in that parking there was a really bad idea. Out of the corner of my eye I see a group of young men standing in shadows of a side street, who start to move in our direction. While the group remained behind a medium safe distance, one of the men breaks off from the group and begins yelling for us to stop, asking me if I could light his cigarette. In an instant I realize that our situation is about to get pretty bad and in this moment I become Jason Bourne (I know, I know...that sounds really dumb, but follow me on this for a bit longer). So,...now I'm Jason Bourne and in that moment my whole experience was run through the Bourne Filter. My senses became sharp and I took in my surrounding in an instant. The words "use what you have" (from the novel The Bourne Supremacy) popped into my mind. My whole perception was rewired. It became very clear to me that we may not make it to the restaurant before this person got close enough to us to hurt us. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my pocket knife and opened it, fully realizing that I may have to tell my girl to run. My plan, because I'm Jason Bourne, is to buy her time. At this point, through the Bourne Filter, I've hit self preservation mode and I accept that I am about to get hurt (call to mind the gangs from Mad Max for reference), killed or I will hurt or kill this man. All of these thoughts come in less than 5 seconds. But ultimately we made it too the restaurant, got a seat and had a wonderful dinner. Mugging avoided. During dinner I decided that I did not want to leave the vehicle there, so I grabbed a local publication and rolled it up so I could use it to create distance between me and any attacker. What?!! Where did that come from? I'm not a violent person, but the Bourne Mind allowed me to think that way, so instinct took over. I made it to my vehicle without incident, but as I was moving it I decided to make a block, and as I suspected, the group of men were waiting in a small, dark alleyway around the corner from the restaraunt. The threat was very real and I was glad to be out of harm's way. I found out a few days later that there had been several attacks on people in that particular area of town, perpetrated by a small gang of young men.

Not Crazy

I fully realize that telling this story may make me sound crazy. Whatever. I don't care. I know I'm not crazy, but if I were then hell,...bein' crazy ain't so bad. In fact, I'd say that thinking this way has kept me sane, and it allows me to see life and people from a multitude of perspectives, allowing my mind to be open to points of view that I may not have naturally been open too. But the other benefit of this Filter Method is that I am able to tap into strengths that I may not naturally have. In the story above, moving into Bourne Mind did something incredible; it wiped out my fear of the possibly dangerous situation and allowed me to think clearly and formulate a plan, to prepare myself to protect my girlfriend and get through whatever trouble was coming our way. Luckily no trouble came.

What It All Means

So...you've stuck it out. Good. I'd love to go into a full-on fleshing out of all my filters, but this post could get REALLY long and I know you don't have much time (maybe another day???). But here's what it all boils down to...IMAGINATION. The human mind is more powerful than any of us truly understand and I believe that one of it's greatest tools is the imagination. It's the freakin' atom-smasher! It breaks you out of the box of the norm, the ordinary...bringing you into the realm of the fantastic. Fantasy sends a mind places that it never would have went otherwise. When you only utilize your everyday experience then you are stuck in the same world as everyone else...BORING! But the fantastical (is that a word?) carves deep canyons in the mind, places where wonderful things are born (in my case..."bourne"...heh).

When will your next chance come, to experience something completely out of the ordinary? When will you have to tap into the hero, villain, lover, comedian, savior, child or defender inside yourself? Some people are just perfect, well rounded, great at everything...what freakin' ever! No one is. They just play perfect on TV. Everyone has something that they can't do, something that they aren't really good at, something that they are afraid of or makes them extremely uncomfortable. Finding your filters can help you move past personal hang-ups and evolve into a more well-rounded person. The filters are like personal touchstones, reminders. For me they remind me that sometimes I need to be brave, be fearless, be smart, be prepared, be honest, be direct, be gentle, be pissed-off, be wise, be thoughtful, be weird, be dependable, he a hero, be a good friend and partner, be a good father, be a good lover, be random, take action...and sometimes, just sometimes they remind me that doing the wrong thing is the rightest thing I can do.

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