This month’s blog post does not have a central theme. Why? Because I’m too distracted by everything swirling in the news. The impeachment non-trial, the Coronavirus, (let’s face the music already and admit it’s a pandemic,) the Iowa Caucus Fail, the New Hampshire and Nevada Primaries (the latter akin to Wrestlemania) make it impossible for me to find one single theme about which to write. So, what follows are a few random thoughts.
I’ve heard that randomness is a mathematical theory. Please don’t ask me to understand and explain it. I’m an English and foreign language person whose brain’s left and right hemispheres rarely work in tandem.
This just in…Rush Limbaugh, having recently received the Medal of Freedom, is verbally attacking Mayor Pete for being gay and publicly showing his affection toward his husband. Obviously, freedom has its limits.
I’m slightly freaked out by the daily infection and mortality counts of the Coronavirus patients, so I thought it might be wise to order a box of medical-grade face masks. The only thing that stopped me from clicking Amazon’s “Place Order” tab was the shipping cost. Thirty dollars for twenty-five masks…not a bad price. Shipping fee, one hundred forty dollars. My hand, retreating from the mouse as I do a slow-blink. Where are these things manufactured? In China? Wait a minute…
As much as I enjoy reading general dramatic lesfic, there are other books that remain lodged in my memory and on my bookshelves because they made me laugh out loud. “How Firm a Foundation,” by Patrick Dennis, “Notes from a Small Island,” by Bill Bryson, and “Cotillion,” by John O. Killens highlight some of life’s absurdities and hypocrisies. The characters in these books portray the ironies of human behavior with crystal clarity. They poke fun of people we know. They poke fun of us.
The 1960’s tv series, “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” as well as Mel Brook’s films, ” Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein” sharpened my appetite for political humor. The early Woody Allen (please don’t hate me) flicks made me laugh at the foible of incompetency.
Remember the dialogue between the bank teller and the psuedo-bank robber in “Take the Money and Run?”
“What? You have a gub? Harry, this guy says he wants money and he has a gub. Could you come look at this note?”
The song, “Rebels Are We” in the film “Bananas” highlights empty-headed mob allegiance to corrupt, egocentric leaders.
Picture the angry torch-bearing townspeople’s march to castle in “Young Frankenstein.”(Or just look at the photo below this paragraph.) People yelling and marching in reaction to their fear of difference reminds me of the infamous KKK march in Washington, D.C. or the white supremacists’ torch-lit march in Charlottesville, VA.
I’m seriously addicted to “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Colbert’s monologues filter the day’s insane moments and soundbites and reassure me that some people are still in touch with our nation’s kinder, more civil reality. Colbert’s nightly comments shine a spotlight on the most recent examples of that which is profane, hateful, stupid, and ridiculous. A U.S. President who tweets misspelled words is Woody Allen’s “gub” redux. A political rally of people who seem bereft of any independent thoughts when they chant, “Lock her up!“ is not very different from the angry villagers in “Young Frankenstein,” n’est-ce pas?
Moving on randomly…
According to Wikipedia and IMdB, between 2008 and 2016 filmmakers produced thirty-one movies about slavery. During that time period, why was there a resurgence of interest in enslavement ? What was going on during those eight years? Spoiler alert! Who was President of the United States? Coincidence? I think not.
Two final thoughts from Randomville…
Now that I’m older, my prescription meds’ bottles have child-proof caps. Am I being tricked into maintaining my manual dexterity or rushed into needing an additional medication to control my anger/frustration?
It is my hope that holding on to a sense of humor will help us get through these troubling times. That, and charting how many times Stephen Colbert unbuttons and rebuttons his jacket during any random evening can strengthen our resolve to resist the negative elements that surround us. *
*Please check your state’s voter registration deadline and be sure that you are registered.
©Renée Bess, 2020
Renée Bess is the author of five novels and the co-story collector of the Goldie-Winning anthology, OUR HAPPY HOURS: LGBT VOICES FROM THE GAY BARS. She is one of the recipients of the 2019 Alice B. Readers’ Award. Right now she’s clinging to her sense of humor.