I've been backtracking through This American Life episodes on the net when Ella's in Preschool. And yesterday I listened to #178: Superpowers and Act One has me thinking.
"John Hodgman conducts an informal survey in which he asks the age-old question: Which is better: The power of flight or the power of invisibility? He finds that how you answer tells a lot about what kind of person you are. And also, no matter which power people choose, they never use it to fight crime. (13 minutes)"
The question on the table then is would you rather be invisible or be able to fly? In the story, people spend gobs of time pondering the merits and drawbacks of both and one woman makes a comment about having guile and being torn on which super power would be best for her. I on the other hand immediately, without hesitation knew I would like to fly. I dream about it all the time and there is no question in my mind. And then I had to look up the word guile - (I know it seems like I should know what it means but I didn't so I looked) For sure I do not have guile.
I have a very hard time keeping a secret especially if it's really exciting. While I can refrain from telling you what I bought you for Christmas, I can't keep hidden the fact that I bought something. When I started roller derby it was an opportunity to create and alter ego, anything I liked... yeah, I'm just me only sweatier, and with funnier socks. Even in politics I didn't want to hear "the plan" too closely because chances are I would forget what portion of it was "top secret" and tell someone in casual conversation the next week all about how so and so was planning to throw her support behind so and so long before anyone was supposed to know. I'm pretty sure this is why magicians are like rock stars to me.
David Bowie? Yeah he's hot and all but David Blaine? I'm speechless. The way I used to swoon over any long haired boy that could strum three cords out of a fender in high school, I am immediately enchanted by the guy at the mall levitating a card around the counter. I refrain from reading magic books as I want to remain a gullible fan and I prefer my magic acapella. The simple coin tricks and cards disappearing right in front of my eyes beat flashy sliver boxes and swords on a stage any day, just the way a person might prefer the unplugged version of their favorite song. The simplicity of it astonishes me and the hardest part about some of these tricks is having the guile to pull it off.
And now I don’t feel like I have a good ending to this rambling piece so I’ll just ask you what I really wanted to know… invisibility or flight?