1 year ago
Sunday, January 29, 2012
"C" is for "Commentary"
Ah, free association - what a tool for a writer.
I took what clearly seemed to be an apple in an abstract work of art (above), thought about it for a bit, then combined that thought with all the political shenanigans going on these days, and suddenly remembered a phrase from the past:
“Politics is applesauce.”
Then I recalled who said it – Will Rogers, of course.
It’s kind of sad that there’s a generation of folks these days who don’t know who Will Rogers was.
Well, Will was a guy from Oklahoma who started out making a living as a sort of vaudeville cowboy doing rope tricks and other such cowboy-type stuff.
He came to learn that he got a much greater audience response when he talked, tossing off jokes and witty comment in a detached way, than when he relied on just action, trying to lasso something, for example. That’s when his career surged and took off.
He got on Broadway, then went off to Hollywood. He became a world-famous political wit, humorist and actor – he appeared in seventy-one movies. (!) In the thirties he was not only the highest-paid film star, he was loved by the American people.
I’m old enough to remember, back when Will was off on one of his round-the world flights – in a small aircraft; no 747s then – that it was quite a jolt for me and for the entire country to learn of his death when the plane crashed in Alaska.
I think it’s kind of amazing, and also funny, that Will – eighty years ago – knew all about our 2012 political scene. Here are some examples of his commentary:
"Everything is changing. People are taking the comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke."
“A fool and his money are soon elected.”
"Everybody says this here thing we're involved in ain't a real war. Congress says it ain't a war. 'Course the guys over there getting shot at say it's the best damned imitation they ever saw."
“If stupidity got us in this mess, why can't it get us out?"
“Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate, now what's going to happen to us with both a House and a Senate?”
And he could be serious too: "I hope there are some sane people who will appreciate dignity and not showmanship in their choice for the presidency"
Look out, Jon Stewart, Will’s gaining on you!
Free association; for a writer there’s nothing quite like it. It can turn Wassily Kandinsky into Will Rogers in a couple of minutes. :-)