How is it for you? Are you keeping a balance? Are you compartmentalizing the terror and dread, doing what you can, appreciating life in the midst of the blight? Hope so.
I know it’s hard. Hope is elusive but it does make being engaged in the real deal more urgent.
None of us know what this perfect storm of fascist Christian ideologues, billionaire libertarian psychopaths, their legislative minions and their brainwashed foot soldiers will achieve but they’ve all been working on it for years and we shouldn’t be that surprised. The goal is for Capitalism to consume and neuter democracy in the name of money for the moneyed and in the name of liberty for unenlightened. The fact that a man-child prince of chaos and maniacal insecurity helms this overheated vessel is a minute-to-minute cause for panic. It’s hard to manage.
Comedy is booming. The economy is good. In America, when in fear, we turn to fun stuff with desperation and craven hunger. See, there's a balance. That’s how the system works. Extreme capitalism.
By the way, thanks to everyone who has preordered WAITING FOR THE PUNCH: Words to Live By from the WTF Podcast. Whenever you preorder the book, you can submit your proof of purchase for an exclusive bookplate, signed by me. Check it out here.
On the "engaging with life and appreciating what I have" front I talked to one of my heroes this week. Randy Newman is an American genius. I think I was in junior high when someone turned me on to his albums ‘Good Old Boys’ and ‘Sail Away.’ Some kid had gotten hip to them by his hippie dad and they made their way down the time pike and blew my mind for good: his voice, his deep-rooted, elevated piano, his respect for the American song book and his deceptively cutting lyrics. Scathing lyrical satire. Perfect balance. The dark stuff. The real funny that makes you think.
I had been trying to talk to him for a few years and with the release of this new record ‘Dark Matter’ it happened. I listened to his first five records on a loop for weeks leading up to the talk and I realized I had always been listening to them and I still am. When I was in college Randy used to appear on Letterman’s show frequently and I loved it and made point not to miss his appearances. He always appeared defeated and sharp and his wit was what was saving him it seemed.
When we talked I tried to keep my fanboy-ness in check and just really talk to a man whose brain I have loved for years in a genuine way. It was a true honor and pleasure. So much so that I did something I’ve never done before. The day after we talked I reached out to his management and told them that if Randy every gets bored or has some time on his hands I’m available to hang out any time if I’m in town. Lunch, coffee, whatever. They were polite and told me they’d get the message to him but I felt dumb and I don’t imagine it will happen. So, I’m happy we had the talk and that you can listen in.
On Thursday, I have an amazing talk with David Alan Grier. So much I didn’t know and couldn’t know really. Smart, talented, funny man.