It's been a while since I did a real bloggy blog post, so tonight, good people, let's get bloggy. If you know me, you know that I like to complain. It's one of the things I do best. I guess you could say I'm a natural. But it's not ALL I do. I don't want it to define me. So here's a list, in no particular order, of
TEN THINGS, WITHOUT WHICH I WOULD LOATHE THIS PLANET
One: Steve Martin. Not so much Steve Martin the actor, although even in that regard, he's more skilled than you might think - despite the veritable plethora of sub-par roles he has played, over the years. Not even so much Steve Martin the stand-up comedian. Don't get me wrong - he was a genius on stage, and he revolutionized the business.
When I say the world is a better place because of him, I'm talking first about the writer - a gifted, surprisingly-thoughtful voice who can turn comedy into tragedy and vice-versa. Second, I speak of the person - at least what we in the public get to see of him. He's generally the smartest person in any room, but will only admit it when it's funny to do so. He's a study in restraint, and especially over the past couple of decades, his public persona reminds me of my father. But above all else, he improves the planet with his banjo-playing. He's self-taught, I believe, and masterful.
Two: Common Sense. The fact that it is so breathtakingly close to extinction only serves to make it that much more precious and inspiring, when encountered.
Three: Animals - particularly wild ones - and the people who fight for them. Pretty self-explanatory, that one. Every time we allow another species to become relegated to a captive-only population - or to the history books - the planet becomes a little less good. And yes, I know that some species, without any human impacts whatsoever, would still disappear on their own, but we've reached the point where that's well-nigh impossible.
Four: Trains. I like trains. In most of the world, they are vitally important, but even in the U.S., they're pretty cool. To look at a railroad track is to look at a continuum of the history of the industrial age. Also, hoboes!
Five: Intoxicants. From alcohol to Xanax, and everything in-between, when used properly, intoxicants make the world a better place. Hydrocodone, rum, beer, wine - all great tools, in the right hands. Sexually-produced pheromones and endorphins - hell, don't forget runner's high! Tell me the planet wouldn't suck without them. Granted, we as a species are working overtime to prove that we're about as capable of responsibly handling these chemicals as we are our guns, money, and cars, but still. Planet-enhancing stuff!
Six: White Noise. For those who can't do the intoxicants, or for the times when the intoxicants just aren't a viable option, white noise can be almost as good. It's like a sonic coffee filter; on one side - gunk, and on the other, heaven/magic/nirvana. I know some people can't stand white noise, so for them, number six is Silence. Ahhh....
Seven: [Maris]. She had to be on this list. A planet without [Maris]? Yeah - I would loathe that place, for it would be beyond shitty. 'Nuff said.
Eight: Sarcasm. (see number seven)
Nine: Justin Timberlake. I don't want to hear it. Number nine is Justin Timberlake. Deal with it. Okay, then - Jennifer Lawrence. Young, funny, smart, gifted people who manage to at least come off as relatively genuine. Come on - what's not to like?
Ten: People Who Are Nicer Than They Ought To Be. You know the ones. They comfort others when their own loved ones die. They smile through the broken teeth of poverty. They suffer mind-boggling injury, injustice, heartbreak, and just plain bad luck, and still forgive and help and encourage others. I had Nelson Mandela in mind when I started this one, because he forgave a world of stuff I could never have forgiven - we all know the story. But I kind of think that people that great aren't the ones I'm talking about, here.
Oh super - now I can't think of any. Well, hopefully the point is made. There are people - lots of them - whose circumstances would turn most of us into bitter husks, but who somehow continue to be forces for good in the world. The absence of those individuals would ruin this planet, and make me loathe it.
This list is far from complete. There are whole bunches of things about which I cannot complain. I figure, if I need to be reminded of that fact, maybe someone out there reading this might, too. If not, that's cool. (see number eight)
This here post was prompted by my friends at Studio Thirty Plus, whose prompts for this week are "LOATHE" and/or "PLANET."