Sunday, 9 June 2013

What would Austin Powers do?

 For me, my super hero is, and always will be, Austin Powers.
Austin Powers, from the sixties, who travels through time to haunt his arch enemy, Dr Evil. Austin Powers, who is challenged to readjust his sixties values to other eras.

A pursuit for justice, conquering all obstacles in a cunning and creative way. Austin will always find his way out, and teaches us useful things while being on his quest.

For instance, he teaches us about laws of economics. Take inflation. Did you know that 1 million USD in the 1960s is now worth 100 billion USD?

But also, more fundamental life lessons are not avoided, as can be seen in this scene from 'Goldmember' where Nigel Powers (Michael Caine) states the following on culture: "There are only 2 things I can't stand in this world: people who are intolerant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch."
Me in my awesome Austin outfit

Now me being Dutch, I could easily be sidetracked by the 'Dutch' remark. But I am sure that he has nothing against the Dutch in general, and that he is probably only emotional about this topic because of a one time indigestion after eating overly mature Gouda Cheese. No, the point here is that living in another country makes you so painfully aware of how relative your own culture is. And therefore, that a cheese sandwich is not necessarily the preferred choice of lunch all around the world.

To reduce intercultural misunderstanding, it is also important to learn other languages, as is effectively illustrated in a scene where subtitles are misread, and body parts are named that should not have been named. The moral of the story being: if only Austin had learned Japanese, this awkward situation could have been avoided.

Now there are a few points where Austin and myself fundamentally disagree. But they really all revolve around opinions on body hair and the use of deodorant.

For all other topics I can rely on Austin. Whenever I am stuck in a difficult situation, and there seems no way out, I just ask myself: What would Austin Powers do? In real difficult situations, I always put on my Austin Powers outfit to get the right feel. I do look quite cool in that, which, in all fairness, is largely due to the lush fake hair.

If only I could get the Austin Powers version of one of those Superman-revolving-doors. A revolving door where you go in on one end dressed like a nerd, and get out on the other end dressed in red briefs over blue tights, and a cape.

But I guess I should have chosen that other super hero for that to happen.



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