Black Panther: Life lessons

Leigh Turner
Leigh Turner

Black Panther Life Lessons – how an excellent movie on a plane helped remind me what was important in life.

Black Panther: a movie on a plane

I recently took a four-stage plane journey, from Vienna to Sharm-el-Sheikh and back via Istanbul.  On the first leg, from Vienna to Istanbul, my Turkish Airlines flight featured seat-back video. I choose the Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther”.

Unfortunately the crew made many announcements in numerous languages (bold italic links are to other blogs on this site), interrupting the movie.  So I missed the end of the movie.

On the next three legs, Istanbul-Sharm, Sharm-Istanbul and Istanbul-Vienna, the Turkish Airlines aircraft were older, without seat-back video.  So I never saw the end of “Black Panther”.  Should I make an effort to catch the last 20 minutes?  What do you think?  No spoilers please!

Fish tank kings

The news gets worse.  The older planes had communal screens. Remember those? On these screens, the airline showed episodes of Fish Tank Kings.  This is a reality TV show in which… people build fish tanks.  Why would anyone want to watch this?  According to National Geographic, who produce the show: “Extreme fish tanks have become the ultimate status symbol and the people who are on the cutting edge are in high demand”.

Not from me, they aren’t.

Lousy movies: great books

Result: instead of watching a movie, I read books. I’ve reviewed both on this site: Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit by P G Wodehouse and Lady Anna by Anthony Trollope.

What conclusions can we draw from all this?

Life lessons of Black Panther

My first conclusion is that beach holidays, and flights with poor in-flight entertainment, are great environments to increase your attention span.  I managed to do four hours a day of writing during two weeks in in Sharm-el-Sheikh. Four hours a day is not bad when you spend the rest of the day swimming on some of the world’s best reefs. One highlight was meeting this fellow, who I believe is a green sea turtle:

Green sea turtle

World wonder: a giant sea turtle – picture Leigh Turner

My second conclusion is that Trollope is, as I have blogged before, one of the world’s great novelistsLady Anna is full of wit and wisdom and addresses issues of power and feminism highly relevant in these #MeToo days.  See the link for my blog reviewing the book.

My third thought is to recall the excellence of P G Wodehouse.  To discover just how excellent he is, see my blogs on him and his books

A giant sea turtle

Finally, everything pales into insignificance when you confront a giant sea turtle in the water.  This individual seemed unconcerned by having a couple of snorkelers nearby.  When he or she surfaced, one or two metres away, the head seemed primeval, like a living dinosaur.  Breathtaking.

Lesson: you can learn a lot from a great movie like “Black Panther” – even if you don’t see the end. I look forward to seeing the sequel, “Wakanda Forever” when the time comes – maybe on my next long-haul flight. 

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