I have always been a fan of Gilligan’s Island. When I was a kid, that show held a little of everything – comedy, people being chased, and someone inevitably being hit with a hat. What more could you want? It had pretty girls, (and I had notions of growing up to be Marilyn Monroe) action and adventure, and it made living in a grass hut look glamorous and pretty fun. I think the coconut industry owes a debt of gratitude to that show. But alas, poor castaways. Each week they would devise a way off the island. And each week Gilligan would screw things up resulting in nobody going anywhere.
The man responsible for the show (and The Brady Bunch! I guess I owe him a debt of gratitude!) is Sherwood Schwartz. It is rumored that he once said that each of the characters represented one of the seven deadly sins Pride (the Professor), Anger (Skipper), Lust, (Ginger), “and the rest”. Gilligan was supposed to be Sloth.
An interesting analogy. A great little piece on NPR (which you can read here) claims that it may even go further than that, that the Island itself was actually HELL and the red shirt wearing Gilligan was the devil. And if the gang wanted to get off the island all they needed to do was murder Gilligan. Poor guy.
I don’t know if all of that is true, but it sure got that little hamster that runs in that little wheel in my head moving. What if Prague was “Gilligan’s Island” and my friends and I had to embody the seven deadly sins? Who would we be? It’s kind of a hard question since living in Prague inspires many of the sins to move front and center. I mean folks come here to indulge in gluttony, lust and sloth and then end up with a little envy, pride and wrath.
I thought a lot about it and I can honestly say that nobody comes to Prague, or stays here for greed – unless it is for beer – which then just becomes gluttony. No, Prague is not the destination for those seeking the wealth of The Howells. Greed is pretty much useless here since you don’t really make any money working in this country.
So I moved on to sloth. Now there is something I could wrap my life around. I feel that I am sloth, a lot. I come home from work and put on my softies and write or watch TV, or a movie. I love nothing more than to sit in bed reading or watching The Daily Show. SLOTH incarnate. But then I got to thinking about why I like sitting so much. The answer is because I work my ass off. I work 40hours a week, I go to the gym, I come home and – for the last month – I spent my spare time writing a novel. So, I don’t think I am sloth. I think I am resting after working pretty hard.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I am pretty well rounded. Sure, I have my moments of lust or vanity; even envy and gluttony rear their ugly heads. Just ask my flat-mate about the amount of cookies I can consume in one sitting. But I don’t think that I live my life around one of those ideals.
I know some people here (and in the states) that do. I know people that live for money. I know people who exist to consume – whether it is alcohol, or “stuff” they just gotta have it. I know some people that live life to serve the mistress lust, and luckily I only know of a few people who lead a very prideful life, or who are filled with wrath.
My little island of Prague isn’t so much filled with seven deadly sins, but rather seven mildly annoying habits. We have laziness, hangover, malaise, frustration, lack of ambition, public drunkenness, and ardor. Not so bad. I’ll take my annoying little habits over sins any day of the week.
And as for Gilligan being the devil? No way. The devil isn’t some nimrod stranded on an island with a bunch of people who got lost on a three hour tour. He’s got better things to do. Like toss back back a few with his pals Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. Sorry I couldn’t resist.