If I were Maxwell Smart I’d know about Control, I’d be bumbling along fighting the evil of Kaos with my partner 99 in order to protect Control.
Somehow producer Mel Brooks swipes at the spy community circa 1960s, and collects psychology along the way. If you are of that certain generation, you will remember Don Adam’s character bumbling through every assignment the Chief gave him and somehow surviving with the help of his more functional partner 99. It was great comedy in an era of Cold War threat (it was not unlike The Man From Uncle).
It did speak to the human condition. Control is very human. Routine, order, pattern, process. Often related to predictability, comfort, knowing, surety, safety … What spoke to me through the implausible comedy was the very real circumstance of life, including mine, wherby we try to make sense of every day interaction and how we create boundaries (or not) and how we survive. The irony, of course, was the enemy of control was the evil Kaos. An obvious counterpoint to Control, Kaos sought to destroy the order of Control. What was laughable was that Control was never in control, and Kaos never really wreaked any havoc.
But isn’t that the story of our life? Don’t we forge on, bumbling about trying to gain control of our every moment? And yet doesn’t Kaos, chaos, intervene in some form? My life is testimony, the flat tyre, running out of fuel, the speech still sitting on the table, the computer fail at the eleventh hour, the food down the shirt, teh missed appointment, the wrong words … It’s all there.
I haven’t overly tried for control in recent years, I’ve gone for reasonable preparation, better forearmed than unprepared I say, because I think John Lennon was right when he said: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” So I like to leave the door open for chaos, because for me that’s where life really happens, that’s where I learn and grow most, that’s where most of my narrative comes from. It just took a while to engage it as normative, as universe, as spirit, as life, as spontenaity and possibility.