Saturday, September 27, 2008

we had joy, we had fun..

Paul Newman has passed away. It's a sad day. I recently read a great profile on him in Vanity Fair. If this guy wasn't a saint, then no saint has ever lived. He was kind, generous and, man, did he give back! And without much fuss and no fanfare. The world has lost a true gentleman and a great humanist, but it's a better place for his having been here. Safe travels, Mr. Newman.

Which brings me to my subject line. I was thinking yesterday of something I've always found funny. Some of you probably remember the song that starts, 'Goodbye, Michelle, it's hard to die/when all the birds are singing in the sky.' Now, granted, the song isn't a laugh riot in itself. But it's a song of affirmation. It's not all grim, as evidenced by this lyric: 'We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun, but the hills that we climbed were just seasons Out of time.' In effect saying, 'it wasn't all bad.'

Now when I was really young this song was still played on the radio a lot. And some of the kids I hung out with used to sing it a different way. They used to sing it like this: 'We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun, but the cops took their guns and they shot us in the buns.' The first time I ever heard that I about died laughing. It's stupid. Purely stupid. And yet on some level it works. I think what makes it work is that it's so true to life. It starts out fairly promising and then everyone ends up in the hospital. Anyway, though I've long since forgotten my point, this version of that song is something that will make ME laugh until my dying day.

Speaking of police, I was with a friend in St. Paul on Snelling Avenue during the Republican National Convention. We were just saying our goodbyes and I flashed him the 'peace sign (v).' Seconds after I did that five policemen in riot gear charged me, knocked me to the ground and worked me over thoroughly.

As they did, I thought, 'God Bless America! God Bless Jack Anderson!'

Ah, it's swell to be free..


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