One of my friends loves watching documentaries on television. She can watch one every night. Even when she plans to go to bed early, she usually has to stay up late to watch a show. She claims that she learns a lot of things she should have learned paying attention in 11th grade history class.
I have to admit, some of the documentaries are fun to watch. Supposedly, these shows are true. Sometimes I watch a show and realize that this is not quite a true to life documentary but a show based on a true story. They just made the show and said it was true.
There are lots of documentaries that really dig deep into something. You can spend two hours watching about people training for six months to learn a skill or overcome sickness, weakness, economic hardship, prejudice or just plain old bad luck to attain victory in spectacular fashion. Sometimes the spectacular victory only takes two minutes and you have invested two hours learning about it.
Watching a documentary makes you wonder about your memory. Where was I in 1976? I don’t remember any of this?
Could 1990 really be 30 years ago? What have I been doing the last 30 years and why can’t I remember these things.
History is a tough subject. Sometimes the most important things on earth are easily forgotten. The documentary will show how everyone from the President to the Joint Chiefs of Staff thought some calamity would destroy the universe. The same thing would happen. Two hours of show and two minutes of averting the end of the world scenario. You’re left wondering what was so special about that? You’re also wondering what was I thinking about all this when it was going on? Worse yet, you’re thinking where did those 20, 30, 40 years go?
Sometimes a show will make you realize that you did something really dumb by even listening to some of this stuff. I do remember something that made me change my mind. A friend and I were going to start a business venture. One of these special world-changing things was going on. We decided to wait because of the uncertainty. That ended up waiting forever and not starting the venture. Well, 29 years passed nothing happened and we lost out on something that could have been really great for us. We should do our own documentaries on how stupid we were listening to other people.
Still, documentaries can be fun. You can get to see lots of interesting things. The behind the scenes action makes for interesting stories. Sometimes the stories explain why all this happened. Sometimes you’re reminded of what a powerful force perseverance can be.
Lastly, a documentary can just be a pleasant diversion. You can watch a show for two hours and just end up with frustration.
My documentary watching friend and I both watched the same show one night. It was a story of a giant crocodile. A team built a giant trap to capture this king of the river. After two hours of watching the last two minutes involved put the giant trap in the river. Everything was set to capture the giant croc. Wouldn’t you know it, after all that they didn’t capture the croc.
The next day my friend called. “Can you believe that they didn’t catch it?”