Reflections on Wisdom: Solomon Was the Wisest… and Kind of Wasn’t

In one episode of The Game of Thrones, Charles Dance’s incomparable Tywin Lannister quizzes his grandson on what it takes to be a good king.  A good king must be holy, his grandson replies, but Tywin responds that a previous “holy” king fasted himself to death because his views became so extreme that he saw food as sinful.  A good king must be just, his grandson tries again, but Tywin counters that one just king was too naive to anticipate his assassination.  A good king must be strong, the grandson proposes, but Tywin talks about how Robert Baratheon was strong enough to rebel and take the crown but too drunk and stupid to rule the kingdom properly.  What did these kings lack, Tywin asks?  Then the grandson gets it: Wisdom.  A good king must be wise.  Of course, typical of Tywin, he pushes the conversation in a way that benefits him and leaves him in control, but his definition of wisdom is interesting: “A wise king knows what he knows and what he doesn’t.”  At any rate, whatever one thinks wisdom is, surely everyone will agree that a good king or leader should be wise.

For Christians and Jews, there is one king who exemplifies wisdom, and that is Solomon.  Solomon is traditionally credited with writing many of the Proverbs, the Song of Songs, and most of Ecclesiastes, all part of what we call the “wisdom literature.”  There is another apocryphal work that refers to him as well, aptly titled “The Wisdom of Solomon.”  Disputes over authorship for any of these works isn’t my concern here; the fact is, Solomon is a figurehead for the concept of wisdom.  Even the goofy DC superhero, Captain Marvel, who draws his powers from different mythological gods or demigods, gains his wisdom from the human Solomon, the first letter for his magic word “Shazam.”

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Review of HIMYM Finale: Major Fail (“Major Fail!” *salute)

For those who do not know, the popular show How I Met Your Mother ended on Monday night after nine seasons.  I’ve watched the show for a while, even after it got stale, just so I could finish the story.  Finally, when it was over, I blinked to myself, thought, “Well, that was crappy,” and went on with my business.  Because it was definitely not a good finale.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

My problem with the finale wasn’t that Ted and The Mother (whose name we know is Tracy) didn’t live happily ever after because of her untimely death.  It wasn’t even the fact that Ted ended up with Robin again per se; both of these things were guessed by many watchers of the show well before the finale, so it was hardly a shock.  It was an ending that the creators of the show clearly intended early on, so in that regard, no one can accuse them of conjuring up this idea out of nowhere.  The main problem with the finale was that, if they were going to go this route, then A) The last few seasons should have never happened or should have been written much better and/or B) The finale itself cannot screw up and erase seasons worth of character development just to get to a rigid ending, even if that character development wasn’t executed that well the past several seasons.  So not only did we get some dull and often annoying development the past few years, we also get a finale that blows all of that up just to make sure that Robin and Ted still somehow end up together.  In other words, the finale was a waste and basically made seasons 4-9 feel like total wastes as well.

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