I was raised ostensibly Catholic all through primary school and went on to study Theology at university. What I’m getting at is that I have something of the magpie when it comes to collecting moral philosophy.
My slightly schizophrenic ethical coding means that these days I take my guidance for life from the Bible, the Koran, Bill Hicks, the Matrix movies, Jiminy Cricket (he’s mainly for which feet to put in which shoes) and, most relevantly for this column, Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park.
There is much to learn from Jeff Goldblum in the movie (he plays a character called Ian Malcolm, but he is, as he is in everything in which he appears on screen, Jeff Goldblum).
The Jeff Goldblum lesson I’m considering in today’s sermon... sorry, column is the one he shares when invited by Jurassic Park owner Dickie Attenborough to offer an opinion on the badly thought out visitor attraction. “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should,” says Jeff Goldblum (who must always be full-named, by the by. What else am I going to call him? ‘Jeff’? ‘Goldblum’?).
It’s up there with the Sermon on the Mount, or anything Gautama Buddha shared from beneath the Bodhi Tree. While the Jeff Goldblumian advice here is specifically related to reactivating dormant dinosaur DNA taken from an amber-preserved Jurassic era mosquito, it can be equally applied to our contemporary world – and podcasts. Don’t be surprised, Jeff Goldblum’s teaching reaches far and wide.
A colleague recently tweeted how their new pet hate was ‘celebrities trying to interview people, especially on a podcast’ and my immediate thought was ‘absolutely: just because they could, doesn’t mean that they should’. Interviewing people is a specific skill. I’ve been at it for two decades and I’m still learning. Celebrities interviewing each other on podcasts really is, for the most part, tedium squared. As podcasting becomes more accessible, the need for Jeff Goldblum’s lesson grows. The podcast heap is added to daily, with ever more celebrities sharing banalities with each other. There are some belters to be found though, so enjoy discovering them and, as one of my other moral compasses used to say, may your god go with you.