Bill Murray recently showed up at a Toronto 'Ghostbusters' screening. On what was called 'Bill Murray day' (September 5th), the actor took the stage to answer devoted fans questions for nearly an hour. He also shared some of his stripped down cool philosophy and I quote:
I think the only reason I've had the career life that I've had is that someone told me some secrets early on about living. You can do the very best you can when you're very, very relaxed, no matter what it is or what your job is, the more relaxed you are the better you are. That's sort of why I got into acting. I realized the more fun I had, the better I did it. And I thought, that's a job I could be proud of. It's changed my life learning that, and it's made me better at what I do.
Murray has had proclivity for somewhat bizarre public stunts - including but not limited to surprise appearances at strangers' bachelor parties, karaoke singalongs and university keggers. Just this past weekend he was reportedly ripping tickets for the St. Paul Saints, a Minnesota minor-league baseball franchise.
He has transcended from wiseacre to wise man. Back in 1984 the stoner classic The Razor's Edge was met with such confused disdain that Murray went packing to study philosophy at the Sorbonne. Today, however, the movie can be usefully considered as part of Murray's Buddhist Trilogy: In the just-world hypothesis Caddyshack (1980), his monomaniacal groundskeeper once caddied for the Dalai Lama, who in lieu of a tip offered him "total consciousness"; in the samsara explainer Groundhog Day (1993), Murray inwardly journeys from misanthropic TV weatherman to piano-tickling bodhisattva.
The third Salt Lake City Con was held this weekend, and it was by all measures a success, becoming the largest convention in Utah, with a reported 120,000-130,000 people attending. This is up from the 72,000 that attended the first one a year ago and the 100,000 that attended the spring sister event, Fan X. This number would, of course, put it in the midst of San Diego Comic-con, New York Comic Con, and Fan Expo Canada as one of the biggest conventions in North America. The growth was not without growing pains, as documented on the show’s Facebook page.
With all the complaints from various people and media about what was wrong with this years local con. I took a minute to stop, smell the roses and ask myself what would Bill do? His best contribution to my life, when I am particularly stressed out is the line "it just doesn't matter!!!". Just step back, meditate and focus on people and things that really do matter. Whatever that might be to you.
Maybe Bill does have the Vinz Clortho 'Keymaster' approach down to a science. Maybe it is as simple as making someone else feel comfortable. Stay relaxed, carefree, and adventurous in life. It could be the more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself. In these later years, I always see him as a comedic version of Kwai Chang Caine, wandering the earth, mingling with humanity, unexpectedly just showing up in people's lives and serving them with the Shaolin Kung Fu of smiles. Baby steps, Mark. Baby steps.
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