Thursday, July 30, 2020

Saturday is more than payday

Every year I take the August Happiness Challenge. Here's a brief explanation of the Challenge: "Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world."

You're invited to join me. Visit me with a link to your daily August happy, and I'll come read it. I've found that experiencing other peoples' everyday pleasures is a great mood lifter.

It helps if your August Happiness Challenge posts are marked with an icon. Just something that means "happy" to you. Here's a pair of my past happys.


Us at our best

I was so happy to see three former Presidents at Rep. John Lewis' funeral.* Naturally Barack Obama was eloquent and sensitive. Of course, Bill Clinton, now 73 and a Southerner and a veteran of the 1960s peace movement, spoke with affection. But the one that got to me most was George W. Bush.

Anyone who came within a mile of me during the 2004 Presidential election would be shocked that I feel this way, but I do. Because during Bush 43's administration, the two men clashed often and hard and over serious issues. Yet the Lewis family invited Bush to speak and he came through with grace and aplomb.

This is us at our best. This is a tribute to democracy. The pettiness and hostility of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue doesn't have to define us.

*I understand why Jimmy Carter wasn't there. He's 95, and there's a pandemic. But I wish we could have heard from him, too.

We're together again!

Me, my nephew, Sir Paul, and 99,990 other music lovers gathered together on July 31, 2015. It was hot, it was filthy, it was glorious!

Tonight I got to relive it on Lollapalooza Livestream. Sitting here at my dining room table, already in my pjs, with a homemade margarita. I admit it's cleaner and cheaper. But I miss the crowd.

There was something so exciting, so wonderful, to stand there shoulder to shoulder with people who were there to share the music. The massive audience was overwhelmingly under 35, which means everyone there was half the age of then 73-year-old Sir Paul. Yet they all knew every chord, every lyric -- whether it was Beatles, Wings, or solo Paul. Every now and again it washes over me that MY Paul is not really my Paul at all, that he is a legitimate historic/cultural figure who will be remembered and celebrated long after I'm gone.

And I remember how much fun it was to spend this magic evening with nephew. He was 15 at the time and had never been in a crowd this size before. Surveying the mass of humanity, he said, "I think we're the youngest and the oldest people here." I laughed even as I wanted to smack him, because ungallant as he was, he was right.

I also loved his swagger. When we first arrived at Grant Park and were getting acclimated and figuring out where to have lunch/dinner (there was a fabulous array of food vendors), he insisted on answering his phone. Over and over. At first I was pissed, and then I remembered how it was to be 15. He was taking calls just so he could say, "I can't talk now. I'm at Lollapalooza."

This was just the crowd to see Paul. There were other stages w/concurrent performances.
I also ache to be back in the city. Lolla was the second massive gathering I attended in this very spot (the first being the night Barack Obama addressed us after winning the Presidency). I cherish these memories and feel so fortunate to be here, where there's so much to experience and enjoy. I can't wait for Covid19 to be over so we can enjoy summer in the city. 2021 and the vaccine can't get here fast enough!

BTW, online Lolla is being presented this week to benefit three great causes: 
•  Arts for Illinois Relief Fund: Because the performing arts community has been hit so hard by the corona virus.
•  Equal Justice Initiative: Dedicated to protecting basic human right for the most vulnerable among us, right here in America. 
•  When We All Vote: Launched by our hometown girl, Michelle Obama, to help ensure that every eligible voter is registered and ready on November 3.
Go here to give to one or all. 

Why not believe this?

It's easy to laugh at Dr. Stella Immanuel, the Houston physician Donald Trump himself says has a voice that should be heard. She's a big fan of hydroxychloroquine, insists masks aren't necessary ... and says that alien DNA is used in medical treatments and that endometriosis is caused by women having dream sex with aliens.

But how is this any sillier than Q-Anon? You know, the folks who insist that Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks have been arrested for sex trafficking ... or that Dr. Fauci profits every time Remdesivir is prescribed ... or that Hillary Clinton and John Podesta run a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor ... or that Wayfair (the furniture website) is involved in sex trafficking ... or that the deep state is working to bring Donald Trump down. My favorite, of course, is that John Kennedy Jr. faked his own death to become the epoymonyous Q. At the right moment, he's going to reveal himself and support Donald Trump's re-election. Every good conspiracy theory should have a Kennedy tie-in.* John-John better get on the stick, since we're less than 100 days to the election.

I mean, really, are alien DNA and demon sperm any sillier than all that?

*As Jackie wisely said, "The river of sludge will go on and on." It's as though she foresaw her son getting smeared by Q-Anon conspiracists.