Monday, August 26, 2013

Chris Pine, Captain Perfect Hair

First, happy birthday to Chris Pine, today turning 33!

That line from Scotty in STID just cracks me up every time I hear it, so I could not help but use it.  In a way, it is a useful metaphor for today’s post.  Believe it or not, Chris Pine is one of the reasons I am doing this blog.  It annoys me tremendously when Trek actors are relegated to the status of “eye candy”… it is one reason I am writing this blog.  Most Trek actors are very intelligent and passionate about many relevant topics.  Nearly all of the websites that follow Chris just suck mud, and even the one website with any content (which has an excellent photo gallery) has a tiny little tab for quotes (1).  I became intrigued with the new Captain Kirk after watching delightful interviews posted on YouTube promoting STID.  While I did not sit down and transcribe any of those interviews, I did google magazine interviews online to get quotes from Chris to use here this morning.  Many are quite thoughtful; I had a difficult time deciding which quotes to use.  There are plenty of beautiful men out there in Hollywood, but I also like brains - and men who actually use them as something other than a place holder to keep their ears apart. 

Here are some quotes: 

 “’Staying positive lies at the root of everything from basic survival to supreme achievement.’  Pine says that the skill of staying grounded comes from finding the perspective in any situation. “My mum gave me this book by Viktor Frankl: Man’s Search For Meaning,” he says. “Here’s a guy who’s in a concentration camp. Whatever they had him eat, he forced himself to recreate another meal: instead of porridge and dirty water, it’s champagne and steak. That’s clearly an extreme example. But the point is that sometimes the only thing you have control over is perspective. ” (2)

He reads Viktor Frankl voluntarily.  I. Am. Speechless.  Here.  (Okay, not really).  It’s true, though – how you choose to define events in your life can guide you in how to respond to them.  As the parent of a child with special needs and many challenges, I certainly understand that.  Your words become your reality.  What you tell yourself, matters. 

“I believe in luck and fate and I believe in karma, that the energy you put out in the world comes back to meet you. So if you have positive good energy, hopefully good things will come to you from the universe...I definitely have a spiritual outlook. I don't usually read self-help books, but I read a great book by a guy called Wayne Dyer, "The Power of Intention", which I loved. I am not a religious guy, I am probably agnostic but I thought what this writer had to say was really powerful. The more you are positive and say I want to have a good life, the more you build that reality for yourself; by creating the life that you want. It is not always the case that things will fall into your lap or that life will be great, but it is all about perspective and having a positive outlook. If something goes wrong, you say, 'That happened for a reason, what can I learn from that and how can I grow?” (3)  

"I'm more cerebral than I want to be," he says. "Sometimes I think I need to get crazy. Go to Vegas. Do some drugs. Get some hookers. Gamble it all away. And it never happens. I usually just end up at home on my couch—reading." (4)

 “Life flies by and it’s easy to get lost in the blur,” he says, echoing Ferris Bueller and tossing his smoothie cup, with a perfect bank shot, into the recycling bin. “In adolescence, it’s ‘How do I fit in?’  In your 20s, ‘What do you want to do?’  Your 30s ‘Is this what I’m meant to do?’ I think the trick is living the questions.  Not worrying so much about what’s ahead but rather sitting in the gray area: being okay with where you are.  If you can find the parity between ‘Where am I going?’ and ‘What’s my purpose?’ you’ve got two pretty solid pillars for your coffee table.” (5)
As an unapologetic Captain Kirk fan (yes, both of them), I look forward to seeing what Chris does with one of my favorite characters, but perhaps most especially what else he does beyond Trek (I can’t wait for Jack Ryan).  Maybe there’s hope that this guy, on a trajectory towards A-list status (and who will be there once Jack Ryan comes out this winter) might escape “the false dignities and conceits imposed by success” (6).  Let us hope so.  With that, I am off to ponder my own search for meaning.

  5. Men’s Health Magazine, June 2013 (by David Hochman)
  6. Quote from The Catastrophe of Success  by Tennessee Williams – original published in the New York Times, 11/30/49.  For an interesting blog post on it, read further here