Friday February 6, 2009
Feb. 6/09: DNTO's great expectations
Welcome friends to the Definitely Not the Opera website. Sook-Yin Lee here.
For this week's episode we look deep into the heart of our hopes and dreams, our wants and ambitions
and what happens when those high standards aren't met. Often there's sorry disappointment when we don't get
exactly what we expect, so we're wondering if it's time to lower our expectations.
What people expect of us and what we expect of ourselves are two of the most powerful forces in our lives. Just ask U.S. president Barack Obama. The guy is under enormous expectation to, basically, fix the world! Good gosh. And what about Michael Phelps? One toke at a private party caught in a photo and now Kellogg's cut his sponsorship deal, he's not allowed to compete for three months and he's re-considering his participation in the 2012 Olympics - and that's after he made a public apology! Those are heavy repercussions for failing to live up to the impossible expectation to be the perfect role model.
So this week on DNTO, I'm paying a visit to another star athlete with an intimate knowledge of expectations: four-time World Champ figure skater Kurt Browning. Back in the '94 Olympics, expectations were running high that Kurt would take home the gold for Canada, but under the scrutiny of the world, he lost his footing and fouled up his routine. Kurt Browning will tell us how he managed to deal with that life altering moment of shattered expectations.
And whodathunk movies would have such a horrible effect on our love lives when we unwittingly start behaving like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle? Clare Lawlor protests against the negative effects of unattainable romantic expectations made worse by romantic comedies.
And Nick Purdon looks at the power of parental expectations. One of the people he interviews is painter Andrew Rucklidge. Andrew comes from a family of hard-core scientists. Everyone in his family has a PhD. His dad even has a mineral named after him: Rucklidgite. And so the unspoken but overbearing expectation was that Andrew would become a scientist like everybody else. But instead he becomes a painter. Find out why. And have a look at Andrew Rucklidge's art here.