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Monday, June 23, 2008

Tiki Room 45th Anniversary Collectible Trip Report

Tiki Room 46th anniversary collectibles hunt report - play by play.

Note that while there were several problems, I personally don't fault the cast members for anything, as usual they were all professional, friendly, and were able to find fair solutions to things that came up (mostly out of their control) that as far as I could see left no one unhappy (people were a bit frustrated, but realized that it was simply the immense popularity of if and resigned themselves to whatever they had to endure). This play by play is designed simply to try to document the event as I experienced it, and as accurately as I can.

Sunday June 22, 2008 I arranged to visit Disneyland with a friend, largely because it was the 45th anniversary of the Tiki Room and there were some limited edition collectibles on sale that were only available at the park on that day that I was after. Here's the story of what occurred from my perspective.

We arrived at the park about 7AM. The park "officially" opens at 8AM. The sale was supposed to run from 8-11 according to the web information I found, so we figured that would be sufficient time to head over to the shop, buy some stuff, and then move on to spend the day at Disneyland.

The first thing that we encountered is that we got in an entry line called "Magic Morning" which we wondered why it was labeled that-- and found out when we got to the turnstile that it was for those with special package deals or were staying at the hotel who got to go in a bit earlier than when the park officially opens. We didn't perceive this as an issue though, as even though there were plenty of aloha-shirt wearing folks in the "regular" lines (as well as the "Magic Morning" lines), knowing that there were editions of 500 or 1000 of items I was interested in gave me confidence that it wouldn't make that much difference. That was a somewhat naive assessment, about which I will detail shortly.

We had thought to stay in the hotel overnight because my friend had to come from a long distance and figured out it would mean we didn't have to wake up so early (I got up at 5AM to make sure we could get there as early as we did). Turns out however, that you can't just book 1 night in the hotel, there was a 2 night minimum which didn't make any sense at all since we're both So Ca residents. BTW-- there was no useful discount for residents who like us wanted just a single-park single-day ticket-- it was $66 to get in, and neither of us have any discount sources (even though my friend works at Cal Arts he wasn't able to dig up anything).

At any rate, we finally are allowed into the park a little before 8AM, and head over to the Disneyana shop which I had already looked up on a map and found was next to the theater on the east side of Main Street. By that time there is already a line down the street to the north of the shop-- and when walking by the shop to go find the end of the line, we saw that the shop is pretty small and they are having to control access to the shop by letting people in as people leave. So we continue down the street and find the end of the line, which at that time had just collided with the line of people waiting to get into the rest of the park-- a rope delimiter is used at the far end of Main Street that keeps people from going into the rest of the park until the "official" opening time.

Shortly after we got in line, the line had to start to fold back on itself because there was nowhere else to go due to the rope delimiter, and so it started to head back south in parallel to the original line. This made the attending cast members concerned as they wanted to keep a sidewalk path in front of the Main Street shops open and the Tiki Room line was obviously going to be trouble in that regard.

It turned out, once people got into the Disneyana shop, they were allowed to spend as long as they wanted in there (a reasonable way of handling it I guess), but people were spending a really long time in there so the line was not moving at all. So the line had to continue to grow southward on Main Street to the continued dismay of the staff who wanted to control the line in ways that was impossible at the moment-- as the opening rope hadn't yet dropped and the line was not moving otherwise. So for a while there was some cast member consternation until finally the rope dropped and the line was then free to extend into the rest of the park. However, near simultaneous with that a line formed further northward before those who had folded-back south could move into place so the staff had to negotiate some way for the southbound line to merge into the northbound line in as fair a way as possible-- they signified a point a couple of people behind me where the line should start merging as it moved.

However, the line still wasn't moving at all at that point, so there was an extended period (at least 1/2 hour I'd say) where the cast members were still uncomfortable with the line but had to wait for movement in order to implement their plan-- they couldn't get the southbound people to move as they were afraid they'd lose their place and looked like they could get surly if that were to happen so the staff realized they'd have to leave it as it was until the line would actually move.

Well, the line moved EXTREMELY slowly. I found out why eventually, but it was a total mystery until I got into the shop so I spent all morning visiting with the folks in the line while waiting to get in.

Oh, and did I mention, it was a REALLY hot day, two days after the solstice and despite the fact that it was only 8AM you could already feel the heat. Fortunately though, the east side of Main Street was the right place to be as the sun position kept the line in the shade of the shop facades at least as long as I waited in it (which turned out to be almost 4 hours). During this time, listening to what other people were after in the shop, I realized that everyone was interested in different things so the idea that they might sell out all 500 of the limited edition Fountain ahead of me was abated somewhat.

There was some conjecture about how far down the line went, but at least in my part of the line no one actually ventured down to see if it made it to Tomorrowland (which was the suspicion, but someone else would have to verify that).

Eventually, we got to move a little bit. There was a section of the line ahead where the line needed to cross an area where the staff wanted people to be able to get through, so they had a monitor there to keep a part clear and let people in line across the gap as the line moved forward. We guessed that we got to move because they were doing this in groups (which didn't turn out to be the case) so I don't know why it seemed to move in "chunks" where you'd get to move up maybe 10 feet and then had to stand there for another 20 minutes or more before another movement.

I sent my friend up to do some G2 now and then, and he wasn't really there for collectibles, was just interested in going to the park with me and we were realizing that I'd be in line for some time so he may want to go off and go on some rides or something rather than have paid $66 to watch me stand in line. He ran into a snag of his own however, because he brought a little digital camera and wanted to take some pictures and realized he'd left the custom battery in his charger at home so it was useless at the moment. He went into a shop in Main Street to ask about batteries, and they had no rechargables at all but mentioned that there was a shop outside the park across Harbor Blvd that stocked them. He called the shop on his cell, found that they had them and would be willing to charge it up while he makes his way over there. So he spent about an hour walking over to get a charged battery for the camera while I continued to wait in line and move very slowly.

One question in my mind was if there were any limits on the number of items you could buy. This wasn't clear (and in fact, only became clear today after some research-- 2 to a customer of the limited edition Fountain or figurines). Somebody in line figured out that there were only two "signed' items per customer, but it wasn't clear to me at that point of that also applied to unsigned items. I didn't care about signed items, those who were after some of the prints would no doubt be after that. The way signing worked was, after you bought stuff you wanted in the shop, you could then go next door to the theater, and (after waiting in another line) could get stuff signed by some of the artists who were there.

While waiting in line, there was a constant stream of people entering the park and heading down Main Street that were curious as to what people were in line for, so we constantly were telling people stuff. It got so that we started making stuff up-- "oh, we've been here since yesterday and are just trying to get out of the park" (the line was facing the exits). Or, "this is the fast path line for the Nemo submarine ride." For the most part we were courteous though and didn't mess with people too much, only when we thought of something new to say for the line's entertainment. The response was usually "ohhhhh," or a glazed look, or recounting to a friend who then asked "what'd they say" something that made it clear they didn't really hear the answer correctly anyway (for example, someone heard the word "Tiki" as "sleek" or something and the conversation was thus rendered incomprehensible at that point).

The first shock came fairly soon when it was learned that they only had 40 Fountain's in stock and ran out of them right away. The story was apparently that the rest were stuck in customs for some reason, having come from China. The first reports indicated that the staff was telling people they would have to come back another day as it was only available at the park (which I don't think is actually true, after that initial day). It appeared that there would be some very unhappy campers if that were to be the case and I figured they'd have to pass out some free-passes to the park to placate us if that were really the case. Then it was learned that the staff was still trying to figure out a solution to the problem. One solution seemed to be having to call DelivEARS the next morning and hope that you'd be able to get one-- though it seemed likely they'd have no stock yet and be still stuck in Customs. Eventually, they decided to take names and phone numbers and a quantity and would call people to get their CC payment and ship them to you assuming they had enough when they got to your name (which at this point, seems likey for me though I haven't heard from them yet). This gives people who actually went to the park priority over any DelivEARS calls that might come in from non-attendees and was an acceptable solution to all as far as I could see.

As I said however, even given that the line moved exceedingly slow. I had thought that the event was only going to be 8-11AM and was wondering what kind of riot might ensue from the line if they tried to cut off sales abruptly, but it turned out that time window was just for the "signing" and since I didn't care about that I don't know what happened at the theater when 11AM came around. A guy in line next to me joked that once he gets into the store he's gonna spend as long in the store as he did in line (just for spite I guess, though it was clearly intended as a joke and said in a good-natured fashion.). It turned out that sales of product was going all day until they run out of stuff, so for unsigned things the only "deadline" was if they were to run out. So, finally, about 11:30 or so I was allowed entry into the shop.

Then I discovered what some of the problem was with people taking so long in the store. It turns out there were several complications all going on in parallel which I will attempt to recount. It turns out the guy who joked about staying in the store for as long as he was in line looked for a time that it could end up being not such a joke after all...

First, I had carefully examined what was to be available online in advance, and thought I knew exactly what I wanted. However, there were a few things available in the store that I either hadn't noticed online, weren't pictured, or weren't pre-announced at all that I then wanted to consider. In particular:

- Shot glasses. There were matching shot glasses to the tumblers at $6.50. They're atually a little oversize I think-- look like about 2oz, but nice little glasses so I needed some of those. Probably good for Sake as well. In fact, I didn't even end up getting the tumblers (which weren't on the shelves so it wasn't clear if they had stock anyway) as I figured the shot glasses would satisfy my interest in that regard.

- Pillows. These looked pretty nice, I spotted them only because several people were carrying them around with them in the store. I didn't actually see them on the shelves so it looked like they may have run out. They didn't it turned out, but it also turned out they were like $62 or $66 or something which while they were cool, seemed pretty expensive so I'm ok with the fact I didn't end up buying.

- Mugs. I may have seen the mugs online, but didn't give them a second thought since they weren't actually "tiki-mug" style, but coffee cup mugs. However, after seeing them in person I then realized that they were very nicely made thick-walled diner-china style, and reasonably priced so I had to have a couple of those as well.

So the first delaying problem was there was extra stuff to look at and think about and mull over.

Second, paying for stuff was rather confusing. I later found out that the store had been rearranged for the event-- they usually have some display cases in the middle of the store with ceramic disney stuff that were completely moved out for the occasion, and a table was set up with two additional cash registers. But things would get stymied for various reasons that seemed to leave people standing at the register for inordinate periods of time (even while staff was there). Some guy was there who had lost his receipt and found he couldn't check his stuff at the newsstand for later pickup without one so had to come back (how he got back in given the entry control situation, I have no idea). And they had to reprint a receipt for him which took a lot of time because it was out of the ordinary and needed the attention of a more senior cast member. This seemed to be the basic problem, there were a lot of out-of-the-ordinary things that came up which took all kinds of time to resolve-- through it all the staff kept a good attitude throughout and the customers seemed understanding even though somewhat frustrated.

Wondering about the fact I didn't see the figurines, I asked one of the staff and was told that they were out and I'd have to call DelivEARS, which was NOT what I wanted to hear after 3.5 hours of waiting if it wasn't actually because they were sold out of the entire edition. He said "there were 1000 so there should be plenty." Unconvinced of that, I figured I'd find a register and pay for what I had and mull over the situation in the process. As I said, the registers were constantly manned but seemed stymied by all sorts of issues that came up-- someone wanted a box for their Rongo bowl after seeing that some people had them in boxes, only to be told that they didn't have any extra boxes so they'd just have to wrap it (they were between stock on those-- more arrived later). Not a big deal, but took some time to resolve and slowed the operation down more than it should, as one cast member had to ask another who had to ask another, etc. to get such questions answered. Obviously, the more knowledgable cast members were busy with bigger fish to fry trying to deal with stocking issues so getting their attention took some time.

Finally I got to an available register and paid for my items. I asked the cast member about the details of what I'll need to do to insure I can get the figurines, and after conferring with the neighboring cast member, was told-- go over to another register where that cast member could do a pre-order. So I took my bag of stuff and got in line at the other register, which had it's own issues that were being dealt with. Eventually I got to the cast member and said "I was told I can preorder the figurines here." The response was, "well, we had to cut that off after we got too many, but we're expecting more later today so you can come back." So I said after waiting in line for 3 hours this morning for these things I need to come back later and wait in line again? Realizing this didn't really make any sense, she then went off and conferred with another cast member and a more senior guy came over and said we're expecting them in in 5-15 minutes, so you can just wait in the store till they arrive. So, I did.

Turns out, they were also out of the Rongo Bowls at that point and were imminently expecting more of those as well. It turned out that it actually took about 1/2 hour, during which time even though the line outside waiting to get in went all the way down Main Street and then some, the shop was completely locked up for new entrants because everyone in the store before long was waiting for something that was expected to imminently arrive. Finally they did arrive and there was a feeding frenzy for awhile as they dispensed all the goodies and everyone lined up about at once at the cash registers. I finally had my figurines, was on the first-choice call list for the Fountain, a relatively happy camper and finally made it out of the shop after having been in there for a good 45 minutes (and mistakenly thinking I'd be in-and-out pretty quickly). Over to the newsstand to check the stuff in for later pickup and finally, it was nearly 1PM and I was finally able to think about enjoying the park for the "day" or at least, what was left of it.

I also have some comments about some of the rides (good things, generally) as I haven't been to the park for a long time, and particularly wanted to check out some things like the new Subs and some enhancments that were reportedly done to Space Mountain, etc.., but I'll get to those in a moment.

The final story from my perspective about the Tiki Room collectibles was only this-- on our way out of the park about 11PM, while walking up Main Street it occurred to me that by now I could probably just walk into the Disneyana shop. And so I got curious as to whether the 4.5 hour snails tour of the east side of Main Street was worth it-- as if all the same items I bought after that were now easily available, I could have just blown the whole morning thing off, enjoyed the park and easily bought my items on my way out. That wouldn't have applied to anyone wanting to get signed items, but since that didn't apply to me I figured I should check it out.

So I went into the store-- the tiki figs weren't visible anywhere, but pretty much everything else was on the shelf-- shot glasses, mugs, Aloha shirts, Tiki Babies, pillows, etc. The center of the store now had glass cases with ceramic figurines in it which is how I realized that was the normal state of the shop, and had been cleared out for the special Tiki session. They were just breaking down the two extra cash registers. I went over to one cast member and asked about availability of the figurines, how they sold, etc.. She said that "by the time I came on duty at 3PM, we were out of the figurine stock here, but we by no means had all 1000 of them so they are still available (via DelivEARS at this point I presume). So, I guess I could say that what the 4.5 hour wait bought me was the knowledge that I did have the figs in hand even though it seems likely I could call DelivEARS Monday morning and buy some then, probably without too much trouble (someone else will have to speak to that experience), AND, I got on the preferred Fountain list so I'm pretty confident I'll do ok there (edition is 500, so there's fewer of them). BUT, it seems a good chance I could have not wasted that time at all and still been able to get everything and with a lot less hassle. Or for that matter, not even made it a Disneyland day and waited to go to the park in cooler weather. But you never know, and being an old-time Tiki collector it seemed thae thing to do. At least the line was full of Tiki collectors and got to hear interesting things while waiting about the collecting habits of others (a lot of people wanted the Tiki Room pins which were actually on sale in the Tomorrowland shop, and I'm sure that's a story to be told as well by someone who went through it).

So what would I have done different? Well, I don't know for sure-- I did have a fun afternoon-evening at the park but given it was two days after the Summer Solstice it was incredibly hot. It wasn't quite as packed as I feared however, possibly because it was expected to be so hot the attendance was down a bit, or that it was Sunday. But now that I realize that the crunch was mainly for getting items signed, and not having an interest in that I believe I could probably relatively easily just not bothered to go to the park at all that day and just called DelivEARS first thing Monday morning and sorted things out there-- though I probably wouldn't have realized some of the other things that were available or realized that the mugs were worth getting.

What should they have done different? I'm not sure about that as well-- insuring that plenty of product was available in advance would be the main thing I would think, which would have sped up the time people spent in the shop. Though that isn't always under their control-- but still, if it was down to a problem with customs on arrival, it seems to me they were cutting things pretty close and could have ended up with no product at all and a lot of really unhappy campers. Also, the in-store status of the various items was unclear-- some things were just out of stock on the shelf for brief periods until they brought some more from the back, some things were out of stock for the day but the edition was not sold out so presumably would still be available via DelivEARS on forthcoming days, and potentially some things could have had their entire editions completely sold out. Having everyone have to ask a cast member about each item of interest where the item wasn't immediately visible seemed to take up an inordinate amount of time-- if they had a chalkboard with info posted that might help, but then someone would have to maintain it and in this case things seemed subject to change pretty often. The basic problem I think is their insistence on making them exclusively available only at the park for the first day-- to spend $66 so that I could eat up 4.5 hours of my amusement-riding time waiting in line somehow doesn't seem like the best way to handle it and I probably didn't really need to do that even though it seemed so at the time. The "signing" would obviously have that characteristic as you have to have access to the artists somehow who would only be there for a limited time, but there were plenty of people there who were like me, just there to get the limited edition items, not for any signing. I suppose one possibility would be to have people be able to buy rainchecks for items that weren't currently in stock but could be filled within the amounts of the limited edition, so that there wouldn't be people waiting around for items to arrive or disappointed because they were at the park but there wasn't enough ready stock on hand to fill their order on the same day.

My general impressions of some of the things going on at the park, independent from the collectables:

Generally good-- there were some enhancements on some of the rides which were interesting and generally good. Some of these may have been done some time ago, as it's been quite a while since I've been to the park. And some may be due to a faulty memory and are things that have always been there that I just forgot...

Tiki Room-- nothing particular at the actual attraction for 45th anniversary, but it was all in fine working condition. It hasn't changed at all that I can tell but the design wasn't broke so didn't need upgrading. I remember times in the past where the chanting tiki columns were partly non-functional and the like, but didn't notice any of that-- it seemed to be running smoothly-- and of course I had to have a pineapple whip which was as good as I remembered.

The mint juleps in New Orleans Square weren't as good as I remembered though. They were dispensed out of a soda-fountain machine and looked a little more dayglow green than I remembered-- and even when bought at the window didn't come with a real sprig of mint which I seem to remember getting before (I did get a maraschino cherry tho). The taste seemed to be not as good as I remember, and my friend thought the same-- perhaps they're using a somewhat different formula in the soda machine and it's not like the old-- which seemed to me to be more like a good (not oversweet) limeaid with spearmint and this was more like a little too-sweet spearmint soda or something. Oh well, could just be my memory.

The Pirates additions of Captain Jack Sparrow included some new animitronic figures (of Jack), an additional effect after the last waterfall down just before you enter the main battle scene-- one of those projected-on-spray effects that you go right through, and there was several dialog changes that referenced Jack in some way or another. Not huge differences, but seemed OK to me.

I seemed to notice a change in the "attic" of the Haunted Mansion with regards to the photos of the "bride" that changed, and the bride figure itself. Also they took all the "jump out at you" figures out of the attic completely, though I seem to remember them doing that some time ago so I don't think that aspect of it was new. Also, the Crystal Ball with the witches (or whatever) head in it was no longer static on the table-- it floated around and was pretty impressive the way they were able to keep the projection and the ball tracking each other (at least, I assume that's what they were doing). Also some things seemed to be a little cleaner-- The quintet of singing busts seemed brighter to me and a little bit better imaged than I remember (I vaguely remember even seeing some projector jitter a long time ago-- they may have converted it all to video projection and tuned things up in the process). I did notice an odd spot in the floor in the mansion entryway (while awaiting the elevators) that felt like the floorboards were a little loose when stepped on (not intentionally part of the attraction I think)-- don't know what was up with that.

The subs I thought were ok-- I was mainly just glad to see that they've survived because I've always been fond of the technology of those things. I thought that once-upon-a-time they were diesel powered, but it looked to me that they may be all battery now as across from the loading area there seemed to be a docking area with two seriously huge silver columns with gauges on them that appeared to be charging stations (including very heavy-duty power cables that were rolled up on spools). There was a lot of new Nemo stuff in the ride, several new animatronic type things but it seemed that they used a bit of an overreliance on underwater projections of animation.

While it was interesting to consider how they were able to project animation cleanly underwater so that there weren't distortions from the image going through the water, it made much of the imagery a bit too two dimensional. It appeared they set up projection panels of some kind that were essentially clear, so you could see through them to whatever physical things were there underwater, but could then somehow project animation onto it so you had Nemo cartoon characters swimming around as well-- and of course, all of them were illuminated just like a cartoon and emitted light like a projected image rather than looking like something physical which in the largely dark of the ambient lighting of most of the ride, was rather inconsistent. Not that they were supposed to or should look "real" particularly, but they looked perhaps a little too much just like a projected cartoon, even though there were multiples of them in some areas and coincided with the physical underwater structures of the ride (coral reef stuff, etc.). They did break up the animated areas with some physical models-- animatronics or whatever, and a lighting effect here and there, so it wasn't *all* cartoon projection by any means, but there was quite a lot. I'd give it a passing grade but as I said, I'm mostly just relieved to see the subs survive as a decade or so I got rather worried about the fact that it must be taking up a serious amount of potentially moneymaking real-estate at the park that they might have been eyeing to put to some other use. I probably would have preferred they reworked the ships to be steampunk Nautilus designs but that's mainly because I'm an old-timer that remembers the old Tomorrowland with the 20,000 leagues exhibit.

That said however, it seems to me that Tomorrowland needs some work. Space Mountain is pretty darn good, and I think they tweaked a few things there, including the tunnel and flash at the end which I didn't remember before (OMG I'm blind!), but Tomorrowland in general looks pretty haphazard and cobbled together. They finally gave up on the old People mover track and took out the "Rocket Rods", and I didn't get a chance to go in the Buzz Lightyear thing so I don't know what that is like. Star Tours is OK as I recall, didn't make it into that either so if there were any upgrades since my last visit I wouldn't know. But it just seemed to me that Tomorrowland is simply missing something, though I can't quite tell you exactly what. They put the old mechanics for the "Astro Orbiter" (jet/rockets ala the Dumbo ride that have been there forever) ride on top of the Tomorrowland Terrace roof, and steampunked it out with some dish antennas and other junk and it comes alive and moves now and then but it's kindof a purposeless anachronism. The actual Astro Orbiter is also steampunked out and right at the entrance where the old clock used to be. It just needs something-- it seems to be a collage of stuff that can't quite figure out what it wants to be. And of course I miss the old "Inner Space" and "Rocket to Mars" rides which I thought contributed to the concept of the land better than most of what they have there now. To fold in "Star Wars" seems to not quite work for me-- "Star Wars" seems to me to be a retro-idea placed in an outer-space sci-fi setting-- more like "Lord of the Rings" with lasers or Samurai movies on Mars than a vision of a future techno-society like I think Tomorrowland should be. Star Trek would be a better model as it's a lot less mythology/woo-woo/fairy tale oriented, but you have to go with who you're in bed with no doubt. All the other lands though, have a pretty coherent concept going that holds together-- Tomorrowland now stands out as weak in the concept dept-- and just seems rather hacked together at this point.

Another interesting thing I noticed at Disneyland which hadn't struck me before. I've been going to the park since a kid, as I grew up in So Ca in the 60s/70s-- and my best friend's brother worked at the park so we went lots of times every summer with free passes and the like. It's been quite a while since I've been. I noticed something familiar though that I never noticed before-- that there are certain "smells" around the park which I've only smelled at Disneyland. A little hard to identify exactly what they are... I think the treatment of the water (I hear they use a lot of bug killer, etc.) gives off a unique scent-- several rides have a distinctive characteristic probably based on the materials things are made of and/or the use of mists and pneumatics and things, and often this trip jarred my memory of oilfactory things familiar that I hadn't noticed before. I think it would be interesting to collect various peoples reports of classic "smells" that you only find at Disneyland-- though I have a pretty sensitive nose so that's probably where my interest in it comes from. I do remember that the old Inner Space ride had a distinctive fibreglas/plastic odor that was pretty strong, and there's a lot of fibreglas around the park in general-- so I don't know whether all the scents are good for you or not but they do connect with some fond recollections for me at least...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Pathology of Perfection...

In my youth, I was inclined to be a perfectionist.

But eventually, I realized something important about it. To be happy, you must be satisfied. And a perfectionist is never satisfied.

And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that perfection is fraught with misconceptions. It became clear to me that perfection is vastly overrated. In fact, it is a significant distraction away from characteristics that have actual value.

There's a distinct tendency to confuse perfection with beauty. An erroneous presumption that perfection is somehow more objective (less subjective) than beauty. Or to myopically conclude that, "there is beauty in perfection," and thereby characterize things in irrelevant ways. But in fact, "perfection" is not only not objective, it is also discriminatory and therefore divisive, whereas beauty is generally not. While some may consider it heresy to claim this, the Universe is not perfect-- but it is beautiful. That observation however, should by no means be construed as a criticism of the state of the Universe, quite the contrary.

Perfection is contingent on a purpose-- things are perfect "for some purpose." But beauty is not-- things can be beautiful for no purpose at all. Perfection's "purpose" gives it the apparent status of being more utilitarian, and thereby more objective, but that is an illusion.

By focusing on perfection, and thereby its "purpose," might we be concentrating on the tool, rather than the goal? To see everything as a nail, from the perspective of the hammer, rather than considering the perspective of the fastening task at hand? Perhaps there is another, preferred solution, but a solution we cannot see, clouded as our perspective might be, being so enamored with the "perfection" of hammers? On the other hand, a hammer may be beautiful, but is rendered no less beautiful by the presentation of a problem which appropriate solution might turn out to be glue.

By implication, something "completely" perfect would have to be perfect in all ways, for all purposes. But that is ridiculous, as there are contradictory purposes-- a perfect sphere cannot also be a perfect cube. One has to apply the subjective process of evaluating the value of it's purpose in order to qualify and quantify something as "perfect." Is the perfect "weapon of mass destruction," to be considered somehow better than the perfect "glue" without applying subjective criteria?

Some perfectionists even get to the point that they are compelled to suppress their emotions. Perhaps they feel that the way we handle our emotions is what separates us from animals. Well, that may be true, but I'd say it's also true that the way we handle our emotions is what separates us from machines. And to suppress one's emotions will necessarily make one unhappy. Why? It's quite simple, because happiness is itself an emotion. One who is ruled by logic has thereby ruled out happiness.

Perfectionists have difficulty making decisions. In some cases, extraordinarily so. This is partly because it is near impossible to completely analyze all the information that might contribute to a decision. But it is also because there is inherently a significant amount of subjectivity involved in making a choice. Whether you decide to eat the chocolate dessert today rather than the strawberry one, is not a supremely logical decision but a completely subjective one, potentially subject to change at a moment's whim. That's not to say that all caution should be thrown to the wind or that decisions should be made with a roll of the dice, but there is no point in belaboring a decision in the hopes of arriving at the perfect result.

And perfectionists really hate making mistakes. Odd though, because that itself is a serious mistake. For it really is true, that you learn from your mistakes. Science itself, for example, makes far more progress when a scientist makes a mistake and it is discovered, than when one thinks he's got the answer perfect. As Issac Asimov once said, "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny ...'"

Upon those realizations, I chose to give up perfectionism. I see it as the epitome of the banal, the bland, the rigid. I see it as lacking in character. The concern of the overconscientious milquetoast.

And subsequently, growing past it-- I chose to instead embrace that which makes one unique. To look for beauty instead of perfection, and not confuse or conflate the two.

I've since realized that it is important to not just overlook imperfections, but to take time to actively appreciate them. Humans are not perfect, but their imperfections are not tantamount to flaws-- one's imperfections are what gives one character, what makes one who they are, and what makes one beautiful.

It's rather ironic really, because for a perfectionist to achieve, at least conceptually, the greater perfection they desire, one of the things they would have to do is actually relinquish their perfectionism. For it is a significant flaw-- the inability to recognize sufficient value in imperfection. To even waste time, looking at things in terms of perfections and imperfections, seems folly. To evaluate things in such terms, in the confused belief that they are somehow being more objective. To focus on the unimportant pedantic details and miss the beauty.

It is our humanity that makes us who we are, not our perfection, and it is in that humanity that we should find value.

Our concern should only be for imperfections that are harmful, which certainly exist, but many imperfections are harmless or even beneficial. To see them as weeds to be eliminated, is to remove that which makes us human and unique.

Perfectionism seeks to homogenize the true value out of the human race-- to turn everyone into identitiless clones, intolerant of individual personality, worth, and beauty. It is an astonishingly outstanding flaw, one that makes people insufferably authoritarian, judgmental and condescending.

And that is why nobody likes a perfectionist. Not even the perfectionist thyself.