Recently I came across a representation of the Gremlin that I just had to share.
I was doing some family lineage research and found a real gem. My dad’s sister, Sody was married to Bob Clampett. He had an amazing career in both cartoons and puppetry. In the 1940’s he worked for Warner Bros. on the Merrie Melodies cartoons. He was responsible for many of the antics and wacky stuff those cartoons were known for. I found a documentary where my cousin, Ruth was one of the people being interviewed about his work (The Man from Wackyland: The Art of Bob Clamplett) , and there I was, enjoying the film when they start talking about this Bugs Bunny cartoon: “Falling Hare” (1943).
Here’s where it gets really interesting. “Falling Hare” is about Bugs’ encounter with a Gremlin in 1943. In today’s parlance, especially for we coaches, a Gremlin is that nagging, incessant Inner Critic voice we all have in our heads. It’s job, in my opinion, is to mess with us so that we don’t actually focus on what we want; to create so much havoc and chaos that we keep running in circles; to keep us doing “what we’ve always done, only harder”. In short the opposite of what our inner wisdom/intuitions gives us. It’s main technique is to keep us so distracted that we just can’t focus, let alone get moving in any new or different direction.
This cartoon is a truly raucous representation of the Gremlin and the strife it can create. It takes Bugs Bunny from the in-charge cool rabbit that we know to exhaustion and near destruction. As you watch it, see if you can’t recognize some elements of your Inner Critic in the ‘cute’ little Gremlin:
Frankly a big chunk of my work with clients is centered around identifying and circumventing the ever-present interference of the Gremlin. The one in the cartoon is pretty easy to identify. The ones in our heads are sneaky and have many disguises. The best way to recognize them is by their “tone” — they always have one, and it’s always negative.
I hope you enjoy this little peek at my uncle’s work, and that it gives you more Gremlin fodder.
Shell Tain, The Untangler
How about a little help with dealing with your Gremlin? Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at www.sensiblecoaching.com
I particularly like where Bugs sees what the Gremlin is doing (trying to set off the bomb), and offers to help, only at the last minute realizing that helping the Gremlin was precisely the LAST thing that he really wants to do.
Great noticing, Arthur. How often do we fall into the traps of our inner critics!