We live in an era when technological advancement (I won’t call it improvements because technology doesn’t necessarily better our lives) comes faster than the majority of us can follow. We send faxes, e-mails, texts, and tweets text at lightening speeds around the world. All of this speed doesn’t necessarily mean that we are smarter. We’ve increased the opportunity to put our foots in our mouths, as (former) Indiana deputy attorney general Jeff Cox showed us last week when he urged the use of live ammunition to deal with Wisconsin protesters. And who hasn’t sent out an e-mail and wished they had slept on it a night or two or ten? I know I have. I even once asked the IT co-worker where I used to work to retrieve and delete what was probably a well-deserved but not well-thought out e-mail to another co-worker. Thank goodness he did, because my e-mail was unkind. And I do my best to be tolerant and give others the benefit of the doubt. I may not always succeed, but that is my aim.
There are, of course, thousands of benefits to technological advancement, and of course, I’m sitting in front of one of them (computer) about to post this blog using a couple more (modem and internet access). But other than the computer and the radio–on which I listen to the news (that which I don’t get from old-fashioned newspapers, gasp!), I’m fairly cut off from the world, and that is by choice. It started when I was about 18. I stopped watching television. I don’t believe that was a conscious choice at that point in time, just a natural consequence of being in college and being busy. At some point later, I chose to turn off the television because of the news. The dichotomy between the cheery anchor and background music and the content of the news jarred my mind. And the news jarred my mind too. I don’t know that a person has to be up to date on the latest murders, rapes, and brutality to be a good and informed citizen. For a while, I gave up on newspapers too, but I find that I don’t have as much of a problem with printed news as I do visual news. The problem is, I feel too much. I’m not talking about the occasional twinge of empathy. I’m talking about being derailed for long periods of time. Whether that’s because, as Zelda* says, I’m an empath, or because I have Histrionic Personality Disorder, I don’t know. But the result is, I turned off the television and forgot to turn it back on. My children watched a little television. They watched all kinds of cool public television shows like Redwall and Sagwa and Liberty. When my son was eight, he came home from school really angry. He got information from a classmate that there were other channels besides KNME. I had never changed the dial! Oops! And while the kids watched their favorite shows, after they were over, we turned the tv off. There was never anything I wanted to watch badly enough to turn it on for myself. I never really thought I was missing much.
And then, I find out that I am. I have been missing out on a national treasure. The History Channel? Food Network? Nip and Tuck? No, no, and hell no! It turns out I’ve been deprived of Mrs. Hughes. She has a look that reminds me of one of my aunties–sweet, unassuming, and jovial. Completely non-lethal. And boy, does she make it work for her! Mrs. Hughes is a comedian and she is pee-in-your-pants funny! She was 40 when she started doing comedy. She’s now 60ish and still at it. Her web page promotes her as America’s Funniest Grandma, and I bet that’s the truth! I have yet to find out why people go to her shows with Kleenex stuffed up their noses, but I hope to soon! I love her understated delivery. In one of the skits, her audience seemed a bit unsure this sweet grandma could make them laugh. She quips, “My husband doesn’t think this is work, my standing here talking dirty to a bunch of strangers,” and the gloves are off. She takes no prisoners in the effort to make people laugh. “It’s important to get a good last name when you get married,” Mrs. Hughes says, “I mean you could be stuck with that thing for a year or two.” I adore her pithy social commentary. You all know how much it means to me when someone makes me laugh. I don’t want to spoil any more of her lines. I want you to enjoy her as much as I do. You can find her skits on YouTube. I’m a selective Luddite, as you see. I may have a television that while it gets dusted, it never gets turned on, but stay away from my keyboard, and nobody gets hurt!
1.) My children, who supply so many of my laughs, they are little comic geniuses.
2.) The amazing Mrs. Hughes, indeed America’s funniest grandma (news flash: I know now why people go to her shows with Kleenex stuck in their noses). http://www.mrshughes.com/index.html
3.) Trey* who makes my motor run. He really is one of the funnest and funniest people to be with I’ve ever encountered. Thank you for making me laugh. I did tell you the way to a woman’s heart is to be sweet and sensitive, and the way to a woman’s bed is to make her laugh. You do it all. I love you!
4.) Jack, aka Dragojac, who cracks me up! http://tenerifevirgins.wordpress.com/
5.) Pennie and Lady, who provide innumerable occasions to laugh, smile, and feel warm.
“Laughter is the closest distance between two people.” ~ Victor Borge
“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” ~ Yiddish Proverb