I’m of the generation that remembers Idi Amin, if nothing else but for the great joke fodder he made. Eating your enemies? Enemy stew? Mmm, mmm good! Campbell’s is gonna sign right up for that.
So it was with interest that I watched The Last King of Scotland, and was left just as much creeped out by The Man as by who played him. Forest Whitaker was good. Too good. Scary good. Chills good.
Did Forest just wake up knowing how to shout like that? It turns out that Mr. Whitaker learned KiSwahili just for that movie. What?
American education makes a big deal of how much it needs to spend to do this and that, and it’s their job to make us all world citizens, and blah blah blah. They’re wrong. Want to know why he’s successful? He learned a whole new language just to be authentic for a few weeks of filming. Most Americans won’t learn a new language that would help them for a lifetime, and no amount of Congressional or local PTA handwringing will fix that.
It’s not unlike what you see in Tyrese Gibson. Filming stops, he grabs a couple folding chairs and starts working out. Filming starts, he’s there. In more ways than one.
Or the Founding Father who, when hearing that another Founding Dad was heading to a meeting about the founding, sent 200 books to the guy. Ask yourself if you read 200 books for an important meeting. Most Americans won’t read 200 books in a lifetime.
This is all in spite of the fact that you can see the results. You live with the benefit of that 200 books/meeting ratio. Tyrese collects plenty of dollars for his uniqueness, well-deserved. As Forest Whitaker is willing to work that hard, he makes a mark on your psyche.
Ok, so you’re not into rap, or movies, or your own freedom. How about baseball? Ted Williams constantly asking people about hitting, diet, hitting, athleticism, hitting, hints, hitting. Kinda odd that Larry Bird and Magic Johnson both thought the same thing at the same time: someone out there is practicing one more basket than you.
Success is not a secret. It’s all around you, in fact. Are you spending your lunch making sketches? Writing? Walking? Did you even make a note?
Be like Forest. Do something.