Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What's Wrong With This Picture

When I was a kid, and probably when 90 per cent of the population were kids, we looked through the funny papers on the weekends.  I was not a huge fan of "What's Wrong with this Picture" but I did it now and again. You remember it I imagine.  A cartoon would include characters and images. Some of the images made no sense.  A clock would read 13 o'clock;  A sign for a candy store would hang over a butcher shop; an auto would have the steering wheel in the back seat. Our job as single digit aged sleuths was to find as many things wrong with the picture as we could.

As double digit adults we consider the metaphor at moments of introspection. With our work, friends, companions, we wonder or should wonder, what is wrong with the picture.

In sports, coaches are compelled to ask themselves this question.  After each game a basketball coach will scour the video and attempt to identify what went wrong and how it can be remedied.  Tonight the Miami Heat is pummeling the Indiana Pacers and in about a half hour the Heat will have a 3-2 series lead in the best of 7 semi finals.  This is quite a turnaround. After three games the Pacers led 2-1 and a star for the Heat was caught on camera squabbling with the coach.  It looked to all as if the Heat was dead and could not recover. Yet they apparently looked at "What's Wrong with this Picture" and with 6 minutes to go in the game tonight they lead 91-68. After this game the Pacers will stare at the tapes and see how they might be able to adapt for the 6th game.

Do we, in our daily interactions, operate similarly?  That is, how vigilant is the average person when it comes to staring at the tapes of our lives to find out What's Wrong with this Picture and then attempting to rectify the problems?.  My sense is that in sports, teams and coaches work harder at it.  Humans can be content to live with the steering wheel in the back of the car, and clocks that read 13 o'clock.  And when it becomes more difficult to ignore the candy store sign on top of the butcher shop, we seek some sort of temporary balm, a drug, an inebriant, five scoops of ice cream, something that can make the failure go away.  Probably be better off, like the Indiana Pacers coach will do tomorrow, and many children will when they get some time with the funny papers this weekend, to figure out what's wrong with the picture..

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