Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Continuing Education

I've been busy today. Thinking hard about what words might flow from my fingertips and coming up completely empty, I finally did what I've found is best when I'm trying very hard to do something: stop trying. I put my so-important writings out of my mind and set about the morning's chores. Got the lawn mowed! Picked up a piece of glass I ordered!

Then, just for curiosity, I came up here to the 'puter and started browsing through the various links on my friends' blogs. Took a flying leap into the deep blogosphere. I quickly discovered what a rarity is our little blog family (let's call Kat the Great Blogmother), in that we are not angry; we are not trying to impress each other with our indignation; we do not seem to be a bunch so full of ourselves as to think our opinions on The Great Issues matter a flying rat's ass. All we're doing is trying to spread a little joy with our music and tell some good stories.

My God, so many commentators! It seems as though the hubris of our leaders has rubbed off onto a large segment of the (somewhat) literate populace and given us all license to bombastically blather and bloviate. And, cave dweller that I guess I am, until today I had thought it was just the wingnuts on the right who specialize in this stuff. Lo and behold, my fellow-traveler lefties are just as rabid. Cable news, what have you wrought? The screaming of opinions has become a way of life.

After that scorching, uncleansing bath, I left the computer for the TV and sat down to watch a show I recorded. I had heard of but never seen "God Said, 'Ha!'," a monologue by the former SNL "Pat," Julia Sweeney. (I know, it's ten years old by now and I'd never seen it--like I said, I live in a cave.) She chronicles the abrupt changes she went through after moving to California, looking forward to starting a new life after a divorce, only to have her brother diagnosed with cancer, her parents move into her little house with her, and then be diagnosed with cancer herself while she is looking after her brother. It's beautifully done; you find yourself laughing at things you never found funny before, and in the end deeply moved. It was the perfect antidote to the unpleasantness of the morning's earlier walk on the wild side.

If you're in need of a little humility and want to know where your important opinions fit into the larger scheme of things, get this show from Netflix. "God Said, 'Ha'." Julia Sweeney.


Kat said...


Great Blogmother brought a grin. Thank you, I think!

Ralph said...

Believe me, my dear, after my adventures of the morning, it's the highest compliment. You don't know how rare you are.

Jenny said...

I saw Julia Sweeney's monologue some time ago on TV and agree with your comments. There's an expression (which I'm borrowing form Richard Fariña): "Been down so long, looks like up to me." Her monologue is delivered with that in mind--she manages to keep her sense of humor in spite of everything going on around her.


Ralph said...

You're so right, Jenny, and that Fariña title is apt. Seeing somebody's simple humanity on display like that every now and then is a very healthy thing.

Cuidado said...

"All we're doing is trying to spread a little joy and tell some good stories."......and music.

Ralph said...

Of course! I need to add that! Thanks, C.

Kat said...

Keep the Coffee Coming just tagged you to do a book meme. Go to my blog for the rules.

We were tagged by Zoey and Me.

Nan said...

Amen. I love the blog friends I've found - a very comfy and open (and music-loving) little community. Nobody zaps, and egos seem checked at the door. I read a few blogs that are full of the former, and I choose this group any day of the week. I will have to look up "Ha!" I don't watch much TV, and probably somewhat live in a cave too. Sounds very good.

Ralph said...

Nan, on watching TV: I never watched a lot of it, either, until Comcast came with up with its DVR. Now, with the ability to record things and watch them at my leisure, armed with the knowledge that there are still **some** good visual arts being produced, I actively search. These aren't things I just know about. I read reviews and actually scroll through all the movie channels in
search of that diamond in the rough. That's how I found the Sweeney piece (that's actually what it is, a theater piece adapted for television). Now I find myself watching more TV than I ever did before, but it's the great stuff I'd never otherwise have a chance to see. And much of it I keep, something I never do with just movies.