Dear friends! Jane has returned.
I must apologize for my absence, but it was a necessary one. You see, it seems I had broken my funny bone. Or at least strained it in an extremely torturous fashion.
I had been watching too much news: the world, the earth, our politics. And then one day, I felt it go. Oops, and ouch. My eyes glazed over and I became numb. Well, not actually numb; that’s what one got after one of Mr. Capote’s soirées. It felt more like being trapped in a very small room with many people you really don’t care for, and you simply can’t find the door. All you want to do is scream, “Let me out!” And, of course, no one does, let you out, or listen to your plea, so your anger grows and grows. But the room is so very small that there is no where for it to go. So you shut down; you withdraw, you close up shop for the night, or for however long it takes you to find a way out of that tiny dungeon. With your broken funny bone flailing along uselessly by your side. Actually, that is how I always felt at Truman’s. Anyway…
I have led a very free life. I have led a life of “don’t bother them and they won’t bother you.” It’s what I grew up expecting from the world; I suppose this is what happens when you cocoon in the soft silk of like-thinkers. Not that my eyes, ears, and mind were closed to what was going on around me. No, not at all. I am ever diligent; ever amused, and yes, I’ve tried to live my life as, well, an example. Some would say an example not to be emulated, but an example nonetheless.
You see, I believe that people are at heart good. That the ladies and gentlemen of the world have better things to do than to worry over other people’s lives. The rise of the politically correct movement and reality television should have been my clues that this belief was, if not wrong, at least not wholly right.
Of course, reality television is entertaining. Well, some of it is. We get to forget our own chaotic lives for a moment and be o’er-washed by other people’s chaotic lives, which, for broadcast purposes, are generally, and hopefully, far more chaotic than our own. But it does have the insidious tendency to allow us to feel free to judge. To feel better than. To look down upon. To, in the end, dehumanize our fellow human beings. And how can that not carry over to our “real” lives.
It seems we’ve become a nation of snippy little grannies with too much time on our hands. We seem to miss the irony of being judgmental of others whilst ignoring our own foibles. We all have foibles; I’ve got a box full. On a shelf. Labeled “Box of foibles; always room for more.” This is what is lovely about the human animal: We are fallible. Leave perfection to the Gods, or to God, or fate, or to whomever or whatever you choose to believe in.
And then there is politics. I have been alive a very long time (I sense the smirk; I carry my years wonderfully), and I can honestly say, as have many others, this is not a new thought I’m expressing, I’m simply expressing it in my own fashion, that I have never in my life seen a time when people were so divided, and so divisive. We have become a nation of black and white, and of course, there are many shades missing from that particular view of the spectrum.
And really, I do believe that the politically correct movement started that ugly ball rolling down a very steep hill.
Political correctness is, in and of itself, a lovely idea. Communism is, in and of itself, a lovely idea. Fried ice cream is, of itself, a lovely idea. But the practice, the reality, of these things is where things can get pretty messy (especially in the case of fried ice cream).
When the PC craze started, happy day!, we were to be aware of other peoples feelings, religions, beliefs, what have you. It was an ideology that was to make us more empathetic to, with, I’m never sure, our fellow human beings. Unfortunately, what is did was to create a legion of snitches, snipes, and overprotective whiners who were more interested in what other people were doing than in their own doings, all in the guise of “doing good.” It was, is, like being in a giant nursery where everyone weeps and wails, and no one takes responsibility for themselves, being, of course, too busy worrying about the others.
And then this latest political season hit, and I truly mean hit. Like with a big nanny stick. And I mean no disparagement to grandmothers everywhere; I could have been one myself. But I am not.
Watching these gentlemen and ladies turn the waa-waa tables; it has been a masterclass in, to use the political parlance, “spin.” There is no way to think, act, believe, other than what they espouse. If you do think, act, believe otherwise, and this is the rich and horrible part, you are treading on their rights.
I wake up each morning and I go out into the world with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. At no point in my day, do I expect people to agree with me, or even to like me. If they do, that’s grand. If they don’t, that’s grand, too. Live and let live. Enjoy your day. You hate people who are different than you, fine, I’ll give you a chance, try to see what makes you tick, have a little lively conversation. If at the end of the conversation, not argument, not shouting hysterics, conversation, if then you still strongly believe that you are somehow better, more entitled to your opinions than I am to mine, again, fine. Go off, carry your beliefs proudly, just don’t try to foist them on me with violence or legislation. I probably won’t like you, but so what, you probably won’t like me either. The world is a big place with room enough for all of us. As my dear late friend Bob used to say, “That’s what makes the phone book.” It seems, however, that some people out there won’t be happy until “John Smith” is the only name in that book, endless repeated over and over, page after page.
And perhaps, I need to put another ice pack on that funny bone of mine.
Be well, my friends. Try each day to look at the beauty and peace that is all around you, instead of the fear and hatred that is being thrown like tear gas into a loving world.
And don’t forget that I, and the rest of the ladies are back on the air, live, on Wednesday, May 16th at 9pm! Thank you BCTV for picking us up!