Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Relax! Tonight Might Be Your Night?

Lots of unhappy folks in today's Land O'The Free and The Home O'The Brave. A majority of Dumbos recently told pollsters that the POTUS (44) didn't love America. Here's an alternative to the all of the anger:

[x YouTube/EmiMusic Channel]
"Don't Worry, Be Happy" (1988)
By Bobby McFerrin

Copyright © 1988 Bobby McFerrin

So, today's blog post is a duet from Minneapolis (McFerin) and St. Paul (Keillor). This blog revives the Minnesota Twins! If this is (fair & balanced) sublimity, so be it.

[x Salon]
Life Is Too Short To Be Unhappy
By Garrison Keillor

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A gorgeous fall here on the upper Mississippi, but among the old grumblers I drink cheap coffee with, the mood these days is dark, due to low interest rates and the advance of the glaciers, which is why I, sunny optimist that I am, seek out the company of the young and ebullient and drink $4 coffee, but sometimes you get stuck next to some old guy in a plaid shirt who gives you an earful about Wall Street bonuses and how the game is rigged in favor of the custom-tailored suits, and you must be polite and listen.

"Look at this. A person saves his money like he was brought up to do and he salts it away in a safe CD or Treasury note or municipal bond and it pays him a measly 2 percent interest. Why? Because the Fed has decreed we gotta have low interest to save the high-fliers and speculators who almost brought the roof crashing down a year ago, and they pour money into Goldman Sachs and these killer sharks walk away with a hundred billion in bonuses, and meanwhile guys are losing their shirts in the dairy business. What's the deal there?"

"There is a lot of human nature involved in economics, so if you are an idealist, you should take up astronomy," I tell him.

"I'm serious," he says. "You drive out west of here and you see headlights in the fields at midnight, guys putting in 16-hour days combining beans, and back east you've got people in offices with a phone in each hand, moving money around, not creating a damn thing, just playing a game, and the government can't do enough for them. Where's the fairness in that?"

"I saw your beautiful wife the other day and she looks 10 years younger," I say. "She said that you two can't keep your hands off each other.... And how about those Vikings and Brett Favre? Six and oh. Life is good. And how about those maple trees? Have you ever seen such colors?"

"This country is skidding toward disaster and the guy you elected president has his foot on the gas."

"You need to get out and walk more, Earl," I tell him, "and not sit and brood about interest rates. Life is too short to be unhappy. So look at the long term."

What I mean by "long term" is the basic tenet that the bigger they are, the harder they fall, and what goes around comes around. In St. Luke's gospel, the CEO wound up in hell, begging for a sip of cold water, and the homeless man sat at God's right hand. This happens over and over again in Scripture, and in America we believe that the guy who gets the $100 million bonus today is on a chute that leads to a bad cocaine habit, a car crash, serious head injury and 16 months of speech therapy before he can write his Crash & Redemption memoir and go on Larry King to promote it. Just wait and see.

Among the young and ebullient, there's no worry about interest rates because they have no savings -- they spend their weekly earnings and a little bit more on hair gel, iTunes, phone bills, $4 coffee and $100 jeans beautifully pre-ripped. They don't see the headlights in the soybean fields at midnight, only the lights in the bars where they go to be beautiful and cool and maintain text-message contact with friends from coast to coast and then have sex.

Sex, as we all know, is not accomplished by money alone, and that is why Wall Street traders get about 37 percent less than the average American. Anxiety has extinguished their pilot light. What works in seduction is not successfulness but comedy.

A man doesn't become a great lover by spending big bucks on clothes and hairstyling. Those clothes are going to wind up on the floor, and your hair is going to get all messed up. Your lovemaking skill is only important to one person and if, while you are in the act, you can keep her distracted long enough, she won't even notice. Jokes help.

One hundred men interviewed about their sex lives said they had sex once a week or once or twice a month. One man said, "I have sex once every two years." The psychologist said, "You poor guy," and the man said, "Yes, but tonight's the night!" Ω

[Garrison Keillor is an author, storyteller, humorist, and creator of the weekly radio show "A Prairie Home Companion." The show began in 1974 as a live variety show on Minnesota Public Radio. In the 1980s "A Prairie Home Companion" became a pop culture phenomenon, with millions of Americans listening to Keillor's folksy tales of life in the fictional Midwestern town of Lake Wobegon, where (in Keillor's words) "the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all of the children are above average." Keillor ended the show in 1987, and 1989 began a similar new radio show titled "American Radio Company of the Air." In 1993 he returned the show to its original name. Keillor also created the syndicated daily radio feature "A Writer's Almanac" in 1993. He has written for The New Yorker and is the author of several books, including Happy to Be Here (1990), Leaving Home (1992), Lake Wobegon Days (1995), and Good Poems for Hard Times (2005). Keillor's most recent books include a new Lake Wobegon novel, Liberty (2009) and 77 Love Sonnets (2009). His radio show inspired a 2006 movie, "A Prairie Home Companion," written by and starring Keillor and directed by Robert Altman. Keillor graduated (B.A., English) from the University of Minneosta in 1966. His signature sign-off on "The Writer's Almanac" is "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch."]

Copyright © 2009 Salon Media Group, Inc.

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