Thursday, April 9, 2015

Why Would I Do This Without You?

In case you were wondering, Fishing with John is still the best thing to happen to television. Ever.

A public access-like fishing show, John Lurie (who knows nothing about fishing) takes many a famous friend on fishing excursions throughout the world. I cannot even begin to describe to you how enjoyable it is to watch the likes of Tom Waits, Dennis Hopper, and Willem Dafoe tip toe the perfect balance between playful irony and genuine sincerity with one of their best friends.

I can rarely watch it without crying from laughter. It's hilarious.

My favorite episode is, without a doubt, John and Willem ice fishing in Maine. It's expert, and adorable, and the single most entertaining thing I've ever seen.

One of my favorite scenes take place as Willem and John are preparing to sleep in their ice house built by "real men doing real things." Willem pops up, unexpectedly, and turns to John to tell him, "You couldn't do this without me, and you know it, right?"

John's reaction is perfect. Annoyed and tired, he questions, "Why would I do this without you?" Not in a romantic, gratefully dependent kind of way. He says it in a 'there's absolutely no way in hell I'd be out here if it wasn't because this is the frozen tundra you decided to go fishing in as my friend' kind of a way.

I love it.

Watch it. Out of context, totally. But still -- watch it.

I relate the way John feels about his fishing in Maine with Willem to the way I feel about working in public education.

The work would be meaningless and silly and painstakingly difficult if it wasn't for you. There's no way in hell I'd be working in this place that has the potential to be a frozen tundra of misunderstanding...that is, if it wasn't for knowing it's for the betterment of you, kids. Because of you, this work is passionate and fruitful and worth all the chaos and difficulty. Your brilliance and passion are without compare and totally worth fighting for. Your future worries me, so I advocate for your infinite potential. And I'm grateful that you let me. Also, you make me laugh. Every day.

Why would I do this without you?

I wouldn't.

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