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This is another general report. And here’s your general Joshua David Ling
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It is a good morning for me and I hope metaphorically, it is a good morning for you regardless of whether or not it is in fact morning, you can probably hear my voice, you know, it’s pretty low in the morning, Lou anyway. So I am recording this the day after I finished my Daniel and Erin Reed interview for the podcast. And
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I thought I just go ahead and record something simple as I have a few moments alone in the car before I head to one of my jobs that I do on a regular basis. So this one came as an inspiration and a recommendation from that podcast. And I thought I’d go ahead and record it not sure when I’ll be dropping it, but just wanted to go ahead and record it. This one is about specifically, the weird imagination boom. Of the 90s. More specifically, a couple couple areas where
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these things most standout to me. The two biggest aha, so go ahead and make it three I just thought of another one. And three is always a great number for storytelling. So the three biggest influences that I remember telling me growing up from, you know, television and such, telling me to use my imagination, it’ll take me far using your imagination is like the greatest and most wonderful thing and anyone who grew up in the 90s remembers this kind of push, especially by public broadcasting. Um, I’ll start with one that wasn’t Public Broadcasting and that was
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the Muppet Babies. Jim Henson and company even though they had a lot less to do with that show.
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They were my introduction to the Muppets, even though they really got it up. And like the snarky mob that’s of old you know, and everything and I love the Muppets. I love every form of the Muppets Muppets are one of the best at telling adult jokes over the kids heads and still being interesting for the kids. And even though there was less of the adult jokes in the Muppet Babies, they really did speak on a kid’s level, that was very funny. And then one of the biggest and coolest things in that show, as a kid was when they would go into their imagination mode and just imagine their cool adventures. It was so formative, anytime I got to see kids using their imagination and pretending because that in turn showed me how to do it.
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I think a lot of kids, if you ask them, go ahead and go pretend the game, they wouldn’t know what you’re talking about. And very early on, I realised, hey, there’s energy here. And I’m not saying that in some weird, new agey sense. I’m saying like, in a scientific sense, there is something happening here that is intellectually rigorous, fun, exciting. And it is essentially generating something out of nothing. This is this is scientifically an anomaly.
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Imagination, essentially allows you to intellectually create, and move the world around you in such a way that you can perceive things differently in order to have a good time. Now, obviously, there are limitations to this. This is where you know, the transgender world and all these other sorts of things happening. They don’t have a grasp on reality, and thus they lose it. But Muppet Babies in particular, and the other two I’m about to get into kind of had this formative experience that allowed me to think, oh, yeah, I can perceive differently, I can think differently. I can move and manoeuvre my mind around these things in order to both intellectually and emotionally understand something that I wouldn’t have otherwise it’s a brain puzzle.
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And I was able to play with it. And like I said, essentially generate something you know, intellectual rigour from nothing.
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We all have a baby is one of the other shows I didn’t watch as much growing up, but I did watch some and it’s one that’s constantly being brought up all over
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LMI nowadays, is Reading Rainbow. I think a lot of kids who didn’t get books read to them, were read to by Reading Rainbow. And that’s a very special spectacular thing. Books were another way into and thus Reading Rainbow into this idea of, you know, books in particular are a way into your imagination. These words are prompts to get you thinking and imagining in ways that you hadn’t before they were portals into another world, they were a tool to make you and your own imagination better. And that’s something that I, I particularly applaud even to this day. I liked it as a kid. I think I respect it so much more as an adult. And I’m working on something for the future. That could be really spectacular in the same vein.
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But we’ll see. We’ll see how that goes. And then the final show was actually a movie that that really had an impact and I think was kind of the
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in many ways the peak. And then it kind of started to die out toward the end of the late 90s was the PageMaster 1994 animated film starring Macaulay Culkin and Christopher Lloyd, also featuring Patrick Stewart would be Goldberg and they always mentioned those two but they never mentioned the third guy. And that was voice actor was his name. He’s Oh, he’s one of those guys who never does interviews. A Welker. Yeah. Is it Frank Welker anyway, is Freddy on Scooby Doo. And he did, and many other characters and he did horror in the PageMaster. Anyway,
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fantastic. Movie, in one sense, doesn’t really hold up and some of the jokes. You know, a lot of it was little kids fair, as far as the jokes go. And they just kind of gloss over some things, they don’t really go into detail on certain things. But I think that’s kind of the point, the whole point of the story was to get kids to read. And
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they kind of just gloss over some of the stories that go through as a result, basic concept. I mentioned it a little bit on on the dangle reader and read podcast.
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Essentially, this kid falls asleep in a bookstore, he gets knocked out in the middle of a rainstorm, and goes and has these adventures with these three books, and
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goes through several book stories, and comes out a better person than when he went into them.
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I mean, it was so on the nose that any kid would totally get it. It wasn’t really like a metaphor. He went through these books. And we even see him go through it essentially, in his imagination, even though it’s a dream, you know. Um, and and that’s that one really proved him preach to kids in a way that I think they needed it. A lot of people get mad when movies get preachy. I think this was, you know, definitely a preachy movie. There’s a lot of good jokes in it for little kids. And, as an adult, it’s easy to get cynical about this film. But there is a romanticism and a romantic notion in not romantic love, if you don’t know what romantic means, look it up, um, a romantic notion in this film, that I think a lot of people completely and totally discount
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the idea of going into a story and coming out better than you were before. Stories shaped people, and they shaped people in subtle ways, and they give people the strength to carry on and whatever they need to do. And one of the things I didn’t mention is in the beginning of the story, he is a tirely. frightened of everything. He is a statistical nut. He being Richard Tyler, Macaulay Culkin his character. And he’s scared do anything. And when he gets out of the dream and goes home, he actually jumps his bike on a ramp. He goes up straight into the Treehouse, his dad was building that he was scared to go up into, and he actually ends up sleeping there during the night. He’s so much more confident, so much more excited. And yeah, this was only you know, one experience, but it was a dream experience. And it was through several different worlds and now he’s reading these stories and
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gaining courage from them.
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That’s, I think one of the biggest and most discounted things that people get from reading. It’s not just intellectual rigour. It’s not just emotional fulfilment. You actually can gain courage, by understanding story structure, understanding the steps and the patterns that God has woven into characters throughout history and time. So that even if you don’t know exactly what’s coming around the corner, you can understand the ebbs and flows of life. And even if you’re not a main character, which you aren’t, Jesus is the only real main character.
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And that’s a whole other thing we could get into.
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You can understand when you’re being right, when you’re being wrong. When you’re, you know, if you have the scripture, and you have this general idea of how God blesses and how God curses
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in ebbs and flows, throughout history, you’re going to be in a lot better shape than most people are thinking it’s only ever bad, or only ever good. And you have no
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idea what’s coming around the next corner.
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So yeah, I do recommend watching the PageMaster my experience with it was you know, watching it when it came out as a little kid, and I was four when it came out. So probably saw it at five, I think it was toward the end of the year. And I just remember it being a fun film. I just remember having a good time. I remember renting it at block, not just the movie, but the video game at Blockbuster. It was a horribly hard platformer I don’t think I ever got past the first level. I have since tried it. And it really is a janky platformer I think I got did get past the first level, but it is like, it’s ridiculously hard.
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So I definitely recommend a movie, to those who have romantic notions who have not seen it before. Christopher Lloyd is fun as always, even though he’s not in the whole thing.
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There’s a few good jokes here and there. And I mean, Whoopi Goldberg, just annoying. Patrick Stewart is really hamming it up as a pirate. So you don’t really get to hear that very often. Um, there’s, there’s a lot there. And I wish more people have seen this.
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There’s a song in it by Wendy moeten that is used in a montage in the film, and in the end credit scene, called whatever you imagine. And I think you should definitely check it out for that as well. That’s, you know, your standard 90s power ballad that you would hear in a lot of these films. But it has some really, really good messages about imagination. And it really kind of concentrates. Everything we’ve ever heard from Reading Rainbow, and Muppet Babies, and all these other shows that we grew up with saying use your imagination SpongeBob parodies that later. But like that was a big thing. It was a really big thing. I didn’t even mention Barney, that was really formative, too, they were always using their imagination. And while these are little, little kid things, they did have a really big impact on me, they helped me to understand that I have the capacity to imagine the transcendent, to come up with my own conclusions based upon my experiences, and formulate them into fiction.
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And I never as a result of practising that I never really had this dysphoria that so many people have today where they confuse the ability to positively think for creating their own world, that was never a thing for me. And I think that a lot of people think, Oh, if you give kids too much rain, with their imagination, they’re going to start trying to create their own worlds and living in those instead of themselves. Instead of the real world, you know?
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Yeah, I had a very, very, very, very, very short amount of time for that where I had an escapism thing but we’ll wait until Lord of the Rings podcast for that where I talk about my experience with Lord of the Rings.
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Anyway, with all those things being said, I think I’m gonna wrap this one up. Definitely go watch the PageMaster it is something that I don’t think you’ll regret seeing. While it’s not incredible and amazing, in and of itself. I think that if you
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understand the sentiment I’m talking about, of the sacred imagination.
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Seeing that our culture really did value it in the 90s, even though they didn’t understand it, I think is a valuable piece of history that we don’t need to let go of. We don’t need to just let it fade off into the ether. And I think it’s something that we can bring back around in a much more sacred and religious and
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basically a biblical way.
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I really do think that this could change certain aspects of the tide of this culture war.
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So that’s your Generals report. Remember, be your family’s Bard. Be strong and courageous. And the Lord will be with you wherever you go.
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