My Ideas; With Help From Lazlo Bane and Bill Lawrence

Since the blog’s inception, there have been a set of rules I’ve been trying my hardest to adhere to. The chief of which being to never begin an article with “Since the blog’s inception;” the second, far more important rule is that I never mention how long it’s been since the last article, first because it’s bad writing, and, second, because my imaginary audience is more than capable of determining how long it’s been by following the rules set out by basic addition (and a generous understanding of how the Gregorian calendar’s inner workings). That being said, because I’ve already broken the first rule, I might as well break the second rule (but only to serve as an explanation, and a compliment to the destruction of the primary rule); it’s been about 11 days since I last wrote an article, and I wasn’t on hiatus.

No, really, I wasn’t on hiatus and my reason for not writing it wasn’t even the fact that I didn’t have enough time to (because I did). I simply didn’t have any strong ideas to work with. Now that I reread that last sentence, however, even that fact isn’t true, because I did have ideas; very many, very strong, and (ultimately) very poorly planned out ideas. Interestingly enough, today’s dilemma isn’t so much that my introduction is weak, but that I don’t have an introduction at all, let alone a following series of paragraphs to go along with the original introduction. Suffice it to say, I didn’t have very many well fleshed out ideas; instead, I had a few notes written here and there about reviews I’d like to write, and general observations I’d like to include – all in all, certainly nothing substantial, and even less to work with.

Quickly moving forward, however, I spent the last month-and-a-half watching a television program that’s already over 10 years old. For the past month-and-a-half, I spent almost 2 hours a day watching Bill Lawrence’s Scrubs, a medical comedy/drama about doctors working at a teaching hospital. The main plot follows Jonathan “JD” Dorian, a newly hired medical intern and his time at Sacred Heart Teaching Hospital (a fictional hospital that’s later demolished to serve as the med school in the spin-off 9th season), and the absurdities that he encounters not only with his patients, but also with his coworkers, the people that we call our doctors and nurses.

Suffice it to say, the doctors hate being doctors (but they love being called doctors and saving lives), the patients are more-or-less cardboard cutouts of various angels and demons (but are always well acted by the show’s wide cast of supporting characters), and the tone of the series shifts frequently. Some episodes are funny on a spleen-rupturing level, while others are heartwarming in a way that actually makes its viewers feel (quite literally) warm and mushy on the inside. Interestingly enough, it’s this clear and evident split between humour and drama that drew so much heavy criticism to the show. Good art (whether literary, visual, or musical) should be able to combine all of its elements into a single fluid entity. Contrarily, Scrubs had a habit of balancing the humour and comedy of a situation a pin point; a single exhalation could have brought the entire show down. It’s quite interesting to note that even the worst episodes were absolute pleasures to watch.

Despite the criticism, I absolutely loved the show (take my opinion with a grain of salt, of course) and it’s become my favourite television program of either the past, or the present (the future is such a touchy subject these days, I find), and I absolutely recommend Scrubs, regardless of the shortcomings it faces in later seasons. For a moment, however, allow me to return to my original point and briefly mention the irony of spending two hours a day (on weekends, sometimes more; quite often more) watching a show where the main plot always revolves around people’s lives on the line; it seems quite absurd that I’d be unable to expand on any of the ideas brought up within the realm of the show.

The truth of the matter is that I cannot say that I learned nothing from Scrubs and it’s even more difficult for me to say that I hadn’t thought about discussing some of the universal themes that are brought up. In my defence, I ried my hardest to isolate the single most important theme to the show and one can only imagine how difficult it was to do that considering that every episode analyzes relationships, stress, human health, life (and it’s nuances), death (and it’s absolute qualities), the pointlessness of war, the difficulty of maintaining a religious outlook in an increasingly nonreligious world, the difficult of maintaining a belief in anything in an environment where losing life occurs every few hours, the importance of family and friends, and (of course) Hugh Jackman’s failings as an actor, singer, songwriter, and over all human being.

I really can’t say that I learned nothing from Scrubs because every minute I spent watching the show, I was forced to think about common day schools of thought, and how meaningless certain outlooks can become to the people who are forced to pick between sacrificing the life of another human being, sacrificing their careers, and sacrificing their sanity (doctors are far more than walking diagnostics textbooks; they are still human, after all). Interestingly enough, while listing off every idea I gathered by watching Scrubs, I found a central point that was evident in every piece of the show’s dogma: No one can do it all on their on, after all, one is no superman.

Those words are part of the slighted edited chorus of the show’s opening theme (Superman by Lazlo Bane). In the most direct way possible (it’s often outright stated by the characters), no matter what the circumstances are, no matter who the person is, and no matter where they may exist, it is absolutely impossible for any human being to tackle the nuances of existence on their own (and, therefore, without the help of those around them). Whether this defence against loneliness stems from basic acquaintanceship, to a more intricate friendship, or even a sophisticated romantic relationship, human beings require companionship to be able to acknowledge their existences (anyone who states otherwise is either Psychotic, Sociopathic, or Lying).

Within the realm of the show, the childish, immature (and apparently fantastic doctor) JD is repeatedly unable to go a single day without spending time with his best friend (and equally immature yet fantastic) Christopher “Turk” Turk. Furthermore, he constantly tries to gain the approval of his self proclaimed mentor Percival “Perry” Ulysses Cox (Yes, his middle name is really Ulysses), all the while struggling to acquire the respect of Turk’s wife Carla Turk (Ne’ Espinosa), and the love of a wild string of girls (culminating, in a horribly written, yet adorable to watch romance and subsequent marriage to Elliot Reid, a neurotic doctor who later moves into private practice as the show progress).

Quickly let the fact that these characters are all based on real people sink in. Then let the fact that all doctors, no matter how skilled and talented in whichever specialty they choose, are human and, more-or-less, prone to just as many fits of rage, heartache, fear, depression, joy, and passion as the average human (One finds a funny feeling once they find out that the fictional JD is based on a close med student friend of Bill Lawrence).

Returning to the prior point, the show’s main character is repeatedly told by all of his coworkers that it is impossible to succeed as a doctor (and a human being) without the help of the people that surround him. Even the cold and emotionally damaged Dr. Cox (who is the most terrifying human conceivable, but best doctor imaginable) is incapable of doing any good in his convoluted mess of a work place without the unknown aid of the hospital’s hated (and later adored) Chief of Medicine, Robert “Bob” Kelso.

In fact, on the topic of the insane Dr. Cox, he later falls back in love with his Ex-Wife, Jordan Sullivan, has two children with her (Jennifer Dylan “JD” and Jack “Jackie” Cox) and spends the rest of the series dolloping out relationship advice to the show’s characters, all the while enjoying the love, adoration, and attention shown to him by his family. Suffice it to say, even the most difficult of characters (to be taken literally, in the context of the show, and proverbially, in the context of human nature) needs other people to function.

The main question finally becomes, how does this all relate to my original point regarding my ideas? It’s quite simple really, ideas are some of the most powerful concepts in the universe (quite literally, at that). They are bullet-proof, flame-retardant, water-proof, hazard-proof, and death-proof. The only thing that can defeat an idea is another idea, and even then, only until another idea replaces the first. There is no circumstance where an idea is weak and there are no bad ideas, only bad people, and there are no stupid ideas, only foolish people. In that regard, there are two things that remain in a human being when all else is lost: hope for an idea for a better future, and an idea to get out of the mess that forced them to think up these ideas in the first place.

It is absolutely impossible to not have an idea, especially when one finds themselves saying “I have no idea.” I, for example, always had ideas, but what I didn’t have was an easy way of projecting them in a literary manner. Incidentally enough, I’ve also been spending more and more time revealing my thoughts and feelings to people around me, and I’ve also come to accept that there is no way I can do anything entirely on my own, without some help or support (in every sense of these words) from my friends, family, and the people around me. That being said, it also helps to open up my thoughts and ideas to myself, and that’s why I’ve once again started planning out all of my article ideas in the note book I carry around with me everywhere I go. After all, how else am I going to write 3 page articles about my ideas without first accepting that I can’t close myself off from other ideas?

After all, I can’t do it all on my own; because I know, I’m no Superman.

As always, this has been your Admin the Avid Blogger; comment, criticize, and subscribe, and DO remember! Always look on the BYTE side of life!

-EK

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  1. December 31st, 2011
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