To laugh…

If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.

American journalist and author, Erma Bombeck, was born on this day in 1927 (died 1996).

Erma Bombeck was a master at making us laugh about the absurdities, and the trials, of life.

A one-woman play Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End, largely pulled from Bombeck’s columns and books, opens at Virginia Repertory Theatre’s Hanover Tavern on March 2, 2018.

Erma Bombeck was a pro at finding humor in the most common of life’s frustrations. She knew how to make

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us laugh.

Laughter is healthy, even at times when it’s inappropriate.

True, when you read or watch the news today (and you are doing more than following your Facebook feed, aren’t you?) it’s hard to find anything to laugh at.

Oh sure, there’s Saturday Night Live and the late night talk show guys. They’re funny…sometimes.

They’re also on very late.

I don’t have chickens…I’d sort of like to, that’s another story…but I’m awake when they are.

All that to say is that if your hilariousness comes on at 11:30 p.m. EST, I’m not likely to see it. Maybe on YouTube the next day.

Or not.

I have a couple of people I follow on social media for their humor. I get a kick out of seeing what they post…however I will talk more about the whole social media following thing tomorrow.

And sometimes my friends even post funny stuff.

I try to provide some laughter here.

To quote Lina Lamont…

If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, it makes us feel as though our hard work ain’t been in vain for nothin’. Bless you all.

Please don’t tell me you don’t know who Lina is [HINT: Singin’ in the Rain].

But not everything that I write about is funny. And there are times when something could be funny, but it would be so, so inappropriate.

People are pretty darned sensitive these days.

Overly so. But, that’s another post.

There are a few writers or comedians out there who can be irreverent and and funny without being too offensive.

I talked recently about Blazing Saddles.

Hysterically funny.

Incredibly offensive and inappropriate.

I’ve been known to laugh at inappropriate times…even when something was not meant as a joke.

I consider sarcasm one of my spiritual gifts.

I’m writing all of this because it’s sort of the “process” (and I really hate that term) of figuring out just what brilliant things I should be bringing you on a daily basis.

I mean, I know I’m fascinating and all of that, but I doubt many of you want to follow here for that reason only.

So, I’m endeavoring to provide some laughter, some inspiration, and perhaps just a break from the crap we all have to shovel on a daily basis.

People tell me that I make them laugh on social media (mainly Facebook). I’m glad I can do that.

Life can be overwhelming. Laughter can provide much needed respite.

That won’t solve all the problems.

But it can make our days a little better.

In other news, American actress and singer, Tyne Daly was born on this day in 1946. Daly won the Tony Award for her role as Mama Rose in the 1989 revival of Gypsy. We saw Daly perform that role at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC prior to the show moving to Broadway in November, 1989. Here’s Daly in a more recent role.



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Courage…

 

“We’re all somewhat courageous, and we’re all considerably cowardly. We’re all imperfect, and life is simply a perpetual, unending struggle against those imperfections.”

– Sidney Poitier, The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography

American actor, film director, author, and diplomat, Sidney Poitier, was born on this day in 1927.

In 1964, Poitier became the first Bahamian and the first black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Lilies in the Field. He also won the Golden Globe for this role.

Poitier was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974. From 1997 to 2007, he served as the non-resident

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Bahamian ambassador to Japan. On August 12, 2009, Poitier was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama. In 2016, he was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship for outstanding lifetime achievement in film. [Wikipedia]

One could read that quote by Poitier and then review his career and ask “what imperfections?”

But in reality, Poitier’s recoginition is the fact that we’re all broken, that we all struggle, we all face challenges.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that the struggles Poitier likely faced in Hollywood in the early 1960s are vastly different than any that I have faced.

As an upper-middle-aged, white guy from Southwest Virginia, there’s only so much that I can do in terms of understanding.

What I do understand is that we all face challenges.

I understand that there are times in life when we are courageous, and likely times in life when we are not.

This past week we’ve all admired and honored those teachers who bravely protected their students during the Florida shooting at the cost of their own lives.

I would hope that in that situation, I would act the same way.

I hope that I, and you, never have to know the answer to that question.

But, while we may not be in that situation, no doubt we will all face challenges. That’s a part of life.

Life is good. It is also a struggle.

That’s why I have such a hard time when the hateful rhetoric flows on social media. I know people are hurting. I know people are passionate about their beliefs.

But don’t confuse the ability to post your rant or share a meme with courage.

Likewise, don’t pretend that your comment of “thoughts and prayers” is bravery.

I have withheld much of my comments on current issues…don’t get me wrong…I have a post simmering, but it may stay on the stove.

Not, as I have said, because I don’t care. But, because I’m not sure it would be productive.

Whether that’s a courageous stance or pure cowardice, I’m not quite ready to say.

Maybe it’s just being practical, and maybe there’s a little bravery in that.

I don’t have the answers. I can’t fix all the things that are wrong.

I will admit that, as I write this, I am endeavoring to determine or discover just exactly where and how I can contribute and make things better.

I think that’s it.

In my own corner of the world, I can work to make things better…around my house and home, around my day job, around the arts community…and maybe a little here on the Interwebz.

I can’t start a movement, but I can move me, and maybe you.

That’s gonna take some courage from all of us.


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