A Dose of Healthy Irreverence
We’re rapidly approaching the end of one year, and getting ready to launch a new one. . . that time again when we examine the old and make promises for the new.
The last few months especially have been a whirlwind . . .nationally, as well as for me on a personal level. The media, as always, will recap the highlights of 2012 ad nauseum, and every network will add its own spin to the same events. For me though, what stands out the most are the oxymoronic absurdities that took the airwaves by storm these last few months, and that should maybe be pondered if for nothing else but sheer entertainment:
Scientific research confirmed what we women have known for a long time . . . when presented with a vision of the woman a man is in love (or in lust) with, blood flow to the executive, decision-making frontal cortex of the man’s brain is greatly diminished . . . probably totally shut off in some cases (General Petraeus)
While Israel and Hamas launched missiles at each other with many lives lost, Americans bemoaned the loss of the Twinkie. At the time of this writing, there is talk that management and unions are going to reconsider restructuring to salvage the company . . . reports that Twinkies can survive a nuclear explosion may be exaggerated, but they can certainly survive a bankruptcy and liquidation.
Free enterprise and capitalism still reign in the good ole’ USA . . . as soon as Hostess announced its shutdown, millions raced to stock up on Hostess products. Some are now reselling them on Craigslist and Ebay at a hefty profit. If, as in the above statement, Hostess survives, there will be a lot of people eating twinkies for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
China’s response to workers’ suicide jumps from computer factory windows was to put nets over the streets.
Rich and powerful men who never had to work or endure hardships, do not understand that the majority of Americans cannot be bought and that they still value the principles on which this country was founded. (Obama won re-election even though Romney’s campaign outspent Obama’s by 50 billion dollars; post election Romney then attributed his loss to the “gifts” Obama gave certain factions of the electorate)
Regardless of how stupid your message may be, if you’re a politician, make sure you hold a press conference to let the world know that you’re “staying the course” and that “trees” have nothing to do with a “forest.” (John McCain skipped the Benghazi intelligence briefing to hold a press conference so that he could publicly bash the administration for not holding enough intelligence briefings about the Benghazi situation)
The intelligence and class of some pompous, wealthy men with bad hairpieces is the multiplicative inverse of their wealth. (Donald Trump’s election tweets and “birther bribe” . . . ’nuff said)
Humor and absurdity are part of the fabric of American life. We all may do stupid things, but we are certainly not afraid to step back and poke some fun at ourselves. This is why the comedians of irreverence like Jon Stewart et al, continue to thrive.
Irreverence is healthy. I’m not talking about the blatantly stupid insults shown by fame seekers such as the woman literally disrespecting Arlington National Cemetery for the sake of a “funny photo” to post on Facebook. That’s just plain lack of class and common courtesy. The irreverence I’m referring to is our delightful propensity for making light of ideas and philosophies not because we want to offend those who hold them in such esteem, but because it is part of our right to free thought — a freedom that is as important, if not more so, as free speech. When we’re able to remove the “sacredness” that seems to be attached to some ideas, step back and look at those same ideas with a little bit of irreverence, then we take the first step toward free and independent thinking.
Some of my most favorite movies are about intelligent life elsewhere in the universe such as “Starman”, “Contact,” etc. and most of these stories share a common theme about the human species. In the words of “Starman”, “you are at your best when things are at their worst.”
Fortunately for us, we’ve proven that over the millenia. And whether we survive “doomsday” and the “fiscal cliff” or not. . . enough of us will hopefully be around to “be at our best” again.