Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Lessons from The Great Ones

So, if you were a teen in the early 90's, you knew about two totally excellent dudes, named Bill S. Preston, Esq., and Ted Theodore Logan. Everyone knew about these guys. For a couple of years, they were everywhere.

No, really Ted, you were. EVERYWHERE.

These guys did wonders for the lexicon of the early 90's. Excellent. Bodacious. Heinous. Non-Heinous. Non-Non-Non-Non-Heinous. And of course, STATION!

Great movies. Wonderful bits and pieces of my youth, wrapped up in the personality of two complete idiots, with hearts of gold.

I saw Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure when I was in Jr. High. For some unknown reason, the faculty thought this would be a good film to show to the entire student body. I still haven't figured that one out. It's like they were encouraging us all to become career slackers.

However, it did spark something in me. Something that I wouldn't begin to realize until I saw the sequel, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, and that I wouldn't fully realize until almost two decades later.

The first little bit to really get my attention, was this inspiring speech by one of our Nation's greatest leaders.

(Editors note: Yes, I know Stevie is Canadian. We don't fault her for that.)

That's a very simple concept. "Be excellent to each other." It seems to me that life would be a whole lot easier all around, if everyone were to listen to the words of The Great Ones, and just try to apply them to their daily lives on even a semi-regular basis.

But it was more than that, here I am, a career slacker. I'm the kinda guy who the teachers wanted to flunk out of school. All sorts of people, from guidance counselors, to teachers, to my parents, have offered all sorts of excuses as to why that was - but the truth is, me and high school just weren't a good fit. I knew this even when I was in the seventh grade. And then, all of the sudden, were these two guys - larger than life - showing me that even slackers can change the world.

See, in their Hollywood penned life, Bill and Ted were the progenitors of a greater society. Their ideals changed the world. They made the future better for everyone. And for the longest time, I tried to work on those principles. If I changed the world for one person, I was doing okay.

Then, I went off the rails.

"Well I've been drinking, but nothing's ever gained." -- "Drinking Again," by Neverland, from the Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey soundtrack.

Yeah, you guessed it. Me and booze, me and drugs, whatever. This isn't an after school special, and you've heard it all before. All I can say for sure, is that watching movies from my youth, which have always had a huge hold on me, helped me get my head out of my ass. Well, that, and a few hard kicks from some close friends of mine, whom I am not sure will ever know how grateful I am to them.

The Bill and Ted movies, (along with Pump Up The Volume - which is another blog post in itself), helped me get myself back on point. They helped me realize what I had made of myself. That I was no longer "being excellent" to anyone. I especially wasn't being excellent to myself. So, I did what I do best. I crawled back into myself, for a serious period of introspection. I made music (yes, you can thank Bill and Ted for that,) and I tried to figure out where I went wrong.

But the truth is, it didn't matter where I went wrong. The only thing that mattered, was how to get myself back on track. To live up to the example that "The Great Ones" set for me. So, what did I do? I picked myself up from the ashes that were the remnant of the fires I lit myself, and started all over again. And I found myself looking at a future that was pretty damned good:

So here I am, working for that future. I'm not there yet, but I'm "writing the song that will save the world," my world. Just like Bill and Ted did. And it will be good.

So yeah, as has been said multiple times in this post: Be excellent to each other.



Post Script: In closing, it would not be fair at all for me to make this, without offering my eternal thanks, and love, to two of my best friends, Josh and Jeremy. Without you guys, I'd not be here now. Even though we don't talk as much as I want these days, I still think about you.

You'll always be my Wyld Stallyns.

1 comment:

  1. I want to try to be more like Bill and Ted (isn't it funny how they're like a single entity?). Really, they know what matters most: being excellent to eachother, as opposed to what society tells us matters most, which is just striving to be excellent no matter who you trample on to do it.