Love It So Much I Had To Destroy It

A little background. I have had a Facebook account since ~2011 but I only created it so I could access and control my organizational Facebook pages. There are a very small number of people I friended when created the account and I pretty much haven’t friended anyone since. I don’t have a Facebook connection with any of my siblings or my mother. I pretty much ignore anything Facebook suggests I might want to watch.

That is until about 3-4 months ago. There was a video of magician/puzzle enthusiast Chris Ramsay solving a three dimensional puzzle. I am not really into puzzles, but the time, effort and craftsmanship people have put into creating the puzzles Ramsay gets his hands on is worthy of admiration. After awhile I realized watching Ramsay disassemble and reassemble a puzzle in 40 minutes that I know would take me a couple days to solve has gotten me to pay attention to all the different perspectives one may have to take to solve a problem–though his default opening move is usually to spin the puzzle. (His videos are generally edited down to about 10 minutes, but he generally has a timer running next to him.)

Suffice to say, he is really, really good at solving puzzles. However, there was one he really couldn’t solve and subsequently took a circular saw to it to learn its secrets. Then he immediately felt regret at having done it.

He made a video where he admits he could present a number of reasonable explanations about why he cut it open, but that he would be lying. He expresses his regret for cutting it open and apologizes to his viewers for having done it.

It was all very heartfelt and honest. Even though he wasn’t reflecting on his own creative process directly, he dedicates so many of his videos to admiring the mastery of puzzle makers and magicians, I feel like there is something worthwhile in witnessing his apology. Actually, you could probably use this as a jumping off point for a discussion about the destructive ways in which a declared fervent love or admiration for something can manifest.

I found the video on YouTube and cued it up to the start of the apology. Feel free to start from the beginning to see how the puzzle was crafted.



About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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