i have been playing around with the idea of Season 3 of my podcast for a while now. And finally pen has been put to paper and the ideas are starting to flow. As it stands at the moment, Out of the Fishbowl will start with an episode on Curiosity.
The first idea that comes to mind is this concept of ‘Curiosity killing the cat’ which got me thinking about what the cat could have possibly done… was it The Cat in the Hat, in which case the frustration could be understood, or perhaps Schrödinger’s Cat? And was it simply because the person with the box took too long to look inside? Or was it the next possibly logical step [if you’re not a cat person, that is] to the other known saying, ‘Cat got your tongue’ in a kind of twisted literal cat version of David Fincher’s ‘Seven’?
It was clear my mind wasn’t going to get me there. So i turned to the all-knowing fountain of knowledge that is Wikipedia and was surprised to find out that ‘Curiosity killed the cat’ was not even the original saying…
“Curiosity killed the cat” is a proverb used to warn of the dangers of unnecessary investigation or experimentation. It also implies that being curious can sometimes lead to danger or misfortune. The original form of the proverb, now little used, was “Care killed the cat”. In this instance, “care” was defined as “worry” or “sorrow for others.” [Wikipedia]
Getting Curious about Curiosity
As i dived a little bit deeper down that rabbit hole [Tabby hole?] i discovered that William Shakespeare was involved in the early incantations of it. Shakespeare’s playhouse apparently performed the play with the earliest manifestation of it to be found:
The earliest printed reference to the original proverb appears in the 1598 play, Every Man in His Humour, written by the English playwright Ben Jonson:
Helter skelter, hang sorrow, care ‘ll kill a cat, up-tails all, and a louse for the hangman.
Whereas Shakespeare himself included a referenced line in his play, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’:
What, courage man! what though care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.
As well as this more rounded “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back” which ‘is a variation that includes the rejoinder “but satisfaction brought it back.” Although the original version was used to warn of the dangers of unnecessary investigation or experimentation, the addition of the rejoinder indicates that the risk would lead to resurrection because of the satisfaction felt after finding out. The resurrection element may be a reference to the “multiple lives” of a cat.’ [Wikipedia]
All that to say, this podcast episode i am planning will have nothing to do with cats [and certainly not that abomination of a live adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Cats which did have this hilarious outcome, apparently: ‘Andrew Lloyd Webber has admitted he hated the 2019 film adaptation of his smash-hit musical Cats so much he bought a dog.’ [The Guardian] but will have a whole lot to do with Curiosity.
Back to the Codcast
Season I of Out of the Fishbowl started with the most controversial and potentially divisive of topics, that of Pineapple on Pizza, and if you haven’t yet had a listen, please go and put that right, right now. Touching on crocs and man buns as well, with a hint of Premier League football, the episode was a little bit of misdirection in terms of leaving listeners with the question: Can you find it in yourself to cheer on something that someone else loves [that doesn’t matter in the bigger scheme of things] but that you are against?
Season II of Out of the Fishbowl said, “Hold my drink!” in an episode titled, The Define Line,, which invited listeners to bravely confront the very worst thing they have ever done or said, by asking, “Should we be defined by that thing?” with the deeper question being ‘Is there hope of redemption for even the very worst part of me?’ i tried to demonstrate vulnerability by sharing one of the very worst things i have done and invited people to stand in front of the mirror for their own deep dive reflections.
How do you top those two episodes as powerful season starters? Well, i have decided to go for Curiosity. The idea of a nine-lived creature sitting in a box waiting for us to open it or not to discover how alive it may or may not be [go Quantum Physics!] certainly feels like it might hold its own with the Season I and II openers. But more importantly and seriously, i think Curiosity has so much to do with race and gender and politics and making the world a better place, that it deserves to be brought to the fore a lot more than it has been.
When in doubt, be Curious!
Imagine what a world might look like – even just a social media world – where we made fewer statements and asked more questions? Where we chose to listen and learn more than feeling the need to be the expert or demonstrate our supposed knowledge or skill?
Without giving away the whole direction and heart of the podcast episode, this is going to be the invitation – to be more curious!
When you read something and instantly feel defensive and start reaching for the dismissive meme/gif, try and take an extra few minutes to pause and reflect on what might be happening on the other side of the screen. Did that person wake up this morning intent on being a douchy troll and looking for fights [it certainly seems like that with some people] or is it possible you read into it a tone that wasn’t there or misunderstood their intention or that they might actually be right and you may need to head to the mirror to self-correct.
What if we were more curious about people who were different to us? [From race to gender to gender-fluidness to religion to culture to country to football club support and more] What might THAT world look like? That is what i want to explore. Largely as a reminder to myself to be more curios, but also as an invitation to everyone listening to do and be the same.
Unless you’re a cat, of course. Then stay far far away. Cos, you know, death and all that. Also apparently you should be nervous of care. Right here, right meow!
i will show myself out… season III of Out of the Fishbowl hopefully coming soon… ish. Hope to see you hear!