Sunday, July 3, 2011

Matt Damon speaks,

I reshape the message just for me.

In The Adjustment Bureau, Matt Damon speaks to a crowd of adoring supporters after a tough election loss. He tells them that even though he is widely regarded as a natural, down-to-earth guy, as a candidate he has been no such thing. Holding up his shoe, he talks about the influence of consultants on him and his campaign and how unnatural he really is.

We paid this one guy, he says, to figure out the right amount of "scuff" on his shoes. If the shoes are perfect, voters will think you are a lawyer or a banker, some kind of snob, not one of them. If your shoes are scuffed like some kind of working class guy, the Damon character says, you won't get support from big money contributors. So, the right amount of scuff is a big deal.

This I have known personally all my life. My dad was a dominating, charismatic figure. He was also meticulous about his appearance, even fastidious. And he always went for maximum shine on his expensive shoes. He loved me, and wanted me to achieve great success in life, but the plan was never mine, always his.

I reacted to him, I think, so strongly that I've spent a portion of my time on this good earth trying to figure out the right amount of scuff for me. This is not so easy as it sounds. Knowing that you are not Bernie Epton is not the same as having the right footwear in the right condition for every occasion in life.

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