Saturday, October 9, 2010

Help Me Make It Through the Day

John Lennon

John Lennon, 70 today if only... 
I was watching the You Tube video of Give Peace a Chance that starts with John and Yoko at the Montreal Bed-In and uses the song as the backdrop for turbulent scenes of anti-war marches, sit-ins, protests, arrests, long hair, banners, signs and general turbulence. (You'll have to click the link to see it because embedding was not allowed.) I would trade that turbulence any time for the apathy and hypocrisy of today. A person can only take so much of the Buffoons, Charlatans and Ne'er Do Wells that populate our every waking minute. Here's what I do to get some relief.

Yes, that's actually me laughing (if only...).

Avoid Stressors
My main source of stress release and calming is making art, and I try to cultivate humor and laughter wherever I can to avoid emotions like anger, sadness and outrage. I get my general and political news NOT from TV but from newspapers, online headline synopses and NPR (WAMC in Albany - a non-stuffy NPR station). I don't watch nature shows on TV because they always end badly. I choose HGTV for home buying shows or renovating/redecorating (especially Candace Olson and David Bromstad). I watch Survivor and Project Runway but not American Idol or Dancing With the Stars. I listen to upbeat music in the studio and whistle or sing along. I stopped reading the New Yorker and switched to New York magazine. I read history and biography and not novels. (I have nothing against novels per se but get too caught up in the good ones and hate to see them end.)

David Bromstad

Humor Me
I was thinking the other day that without humor, I just don't see how I would get through stuff like the 24-hour news cycle that drives so much pap and crap and the constant celebrity craze that makes stars out of people such as the Kardashians. (They are a particular bane to me because of their lack of anything that approximates talent or ability. So they have good PR, so what.) Whoops, this post is starting to sound like an old person rant. I better throw in a photo of Project Runway contestant Mondo Guerra, the daring and creative 23-year-old from Denver who will probably win this season.

Mondo Guerra

Three Women Who Makes Me Laugh
Anyway, what I intended to write about when I started this ramble were three funny women that I read or listen to from time to time because we're on the same side of the political spectrum and because they're funny.

Stephanie Miller

Stephanie Miller is the daughter of former U.S. Representative William E. Miller, who was Barry Goldwater's running mate in the 1964 presidential election and a Chairman of the Republican National Committee. She has a daily radio show that one of my local station carries with a couple of guys as sidekicks. She makes savvy political points while always keeping humor as her primary motivation. As an unexpected (to me) bonus, on August 13, 2010 Stephanie announced on her radio show that she is a lesbian and credited country singer Chely Wright with helping her come out. YAY!!! Another one for our team.

Randi Rhodes

Randi Rhodes was described by the Miami Herald as "a chain-smoking bottle blond,...part Joan Rivers, part shock jock Howard Stern and part Saturday Night Live's 'Coffee Talk' lady. But mostly, she's her rude, crude, loud, brazen, gleeful self."  She is all of that, not as funny as Stephanie Miller, I think, but with more emphasis on politics and less on humor. She does come up with some good ones from time to time. For example, on Newt Gingrich endorsing a book that claims Obama is living out his father's anti-colonialist dreams, Randi calls this high-brow birthism, an oxymoron (or is it oxy Moron?).

Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd, the noted columnist for The New York Times, won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary in 1999 for her series on Monica Lewinsky and the Bill Clinton scandal (now that was a story). She is witty, political, intelligent and not afraid to write what she thinks (critical and irreverent, as they say). It's a good day for me when she publishes a column.

Ah, women, how could I make it without them?

Happy Birthday, John Lennon
Here's a video release from Yoko that is really an ad for the new boxed Lennon release, but there are a lot of clips of John singing, marching, etc. Enjoy - and laugh!

Note: the video doesn't really fit in this format, so if you click here you can see it in the correct width.


Leslie Avon Miller said...

So much here in this post Nancy. I was just saying we are no longer governed, we are politic-ed.

Love John, and I have fond memories of those times too, but I don't know that it was much better.

I correspond and get together with a number of intelligent women and value their thoughts.

And most of all I believe in humor. Last weekend I attended a Kinetic Sculpture Race as a spectator. What a hoot! I laughed til I cried - the whole goal was silliness. It felt fabulous to laugh.

Have a great weekend Nancy.

Tamarise Cronin said...

I loved this post because you shared much of yourself... and I think that without humor, we'd all go stark raving mad. Too much in life is stressful. Keep smiling.

Unknown said...

Dear Nancy,

Thank you for posting about how to get through the day.

I completely agree, we have to distance ourselves from the 24 hour media barrage of "Things we should be afraid of."

Just remember, it's ALL propaganda.

And, "For Every Anxiety, There Is A Product!"

This helps keep me awake and aware when I'm in the grocery store glancing at the magazines.

As artists, we have to be especially vigilant, since so often our art and writing can be colored by the doom and gloomers.

Things can only get better.


Nancy Natale said...

Thanks, Leslie, for your comment. Laughter is very healing and healthy. I have usually found that laughter and intelligence go hand in hand as a necessary combination. I'm glad you had a great time at the race.

Tam, you're right. Humor is the antidote to so much of this madness around us. Most of the time you just can't take it seriously, and it's like the emperor's new clothes. If you laugh, it punctures the delusion.

Mazarine, I like that saying that for every anxiety there is a product. I think it also works in reverse, that if there is no anxiety, they will invent one to fit the product. You're right that we have to guard against being swayed by unproductive emotions, and especially when they're all too prevalent.