Sydney Pollack’s documentary about architect Frank Gehry — the one who designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the crazy mind behind LA’s Disney Concert Hall, and other distinct structures that demand passers-by pay attention — includes extensive looks at the design process, one that for Gehry now involves assistants who translate his verbal mutterings or napkin scribbles into models. During one scene, as Pollack sits alongside and observes while also videotaping, Gehry and his assistant are cutting and taping pieces of metallic silver cardboard to create a physical facsimile of a building design in progress. Gehry is unhappy with one side and suggests that it needs to become crankier. The solution: corrugation. The clip below is just over three minutes long, and right at the 3:00 mark, as Gehry sees the problem wall come alive anew, he exclaims: “That is so stupid looking, it’s great!” and a few seconds after that, he throws his arms in the air and exclaims “wheee!”
A recent addition to my personal ever-expanding hopper of examples of “adults embracing glee” comes from the Monty Python crew. The sketch is titled “Ministry of SIlly Walks” — it is absurd, some may say overly childish, and yet, with precision commentary about, among other things, the peculiarities of bureaucracy. (I originally wrote that: bureaucrazy…)
Perhaps to be happy can require, at times, a bit of silly — or, as these researchers suggest, a forced smile.
The focus of the post was inspired by a recent one on Kate’s blog about the happiness of nothing (in which she, too, draws from the wisdom of the mighty Python), who was responding to a prompt on Side View’s Weekend Theme: Things that make me happy.