Posts Tagged ‘Louis Armstrong’

This week I asked myself why I try to elicit laughter in a country where you can buy a gun and massacre whomever you don’t like. Blacks, whites, gays, straights, cops, children. Don’t like ’em? Kill ’em. It must be a popular system because we’re nowhere near changing it.

What is the point?

I can’t make guns and bullets vanish. I can’t make different races see each other with respect and without fear. I can’t prevent police officers from being murdered in the line of duty. I can’t defend every nightclub, even the ones that insist on playing A Flock of Seagulls on ’80s Night. I can’t protect schoolchildren – though I’d hope that if an armed maniac appeared in the doorway of my chess club, I’d have the guts to throw myself over the kids or at least hit the bastard with a bag full of pawns.

What is the point?

There is a point. Each of us has a point. The one that applies to me was clearly made in the film Galaxy Quest.

If you’ve started laughing…please keep laughing.

Lt. Tawny Madison, who has spent the movie repeating everything the computer says even though everyone else on the bridge understands everything the computer says, tells Capt. Taggart: “I have one job on this lousy ship. It’s stupid, but I’m gonna do it!”

I have one job on Planet Earth. It’s stupid, but I’m gonna do it.

I’m back. And I’ll see you over the next few days as we recap my Birthday on the Mount, learn the secret link between garage sales and classical music, spin some cool jazz tracks, and gargle with the two most depressing albums of the 21st century.

What is the point? Despite all the shit we’ve lived through this week in the United States, I try to hold in my heart this lesson from the writers Bob Thiele and George David Weiss:

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.