Politics, Lawns and Deep Space

1 07 2017


There are three things that have been swirling around the brain space today. They all seem pretty innocuous but they all keep dancing around each other as if they belong in some way – like ingredients to a stir-fry or witnesses to a crime that each saw only one part of it.

Or it could be nothing.

  1. I posted a question on Twitter and Facebook: “Just one serious questions for Trump supporters – is there anything he could say or do that would cross a line for you?”
  2. I finished a TED Radio Hour Podcast, “Peering Into Space”.
  3. I mowed my lawn while listening to Spotify.

Let’s start with answering the “why” for each of the above:

  1. I just need to know. I have a good friend (among others) who voted for the guy. I actually get it. I even can accept it though I don’t agree. I just can’t accept the behavior of this person any longer. There has to be a threshold even for supporters, no?
  2. I have been intrigued, fascinated, mesmerized and overwhelmed by space exploration since I started writing NASA letters as a kid to get cool glossy, planetary photos back.
  3. It was time and I had to cut the grass before the rain fell and music makes it go faster.

Now, the deeper insights – what did I learn?

  1. Out of over 1,000 “friends” on Facebook, not one answer relative to the question. Is this such an unsafe topic that we are now a society that can’t stand up against something without fear of compromising how we will look to others? Do we not have enough confidence to separate the man from the party and call it what it is? Are we now at a point where we can’t admit maybe we got part of it wrong without feeling like a failure? I learned that, sadly, we are.
  2. Jill Tarter, astronomer discussed our “common cosmic origins “, the bond among all living things, regardless of birth place (on this Earth or otherwise), that makes us part of a “billion year lineage of wandering stardust…an intimate connection with the cosmos”. Consider that the molecule of hemoglobin in your blood which equates to a significant amount of iron was created in nucleosynthesis inside a massive star that exploded about 8 billion years ago! As she put it, “we have the remains of a stellar explosion in our veins (and)… if we got that concept in our minds….and take a few moments in our day to take a step back…earth is one tiny planet in corner of one small galaxy in one big universe – all of us are the same.”
  3. I can’t listen or explore new playlists when distracted – by loud mower engines or even louder thoughts. This was the goal but I reverted to my own playlist instead of a new one, which I listened to after I was done so I could give it my full attention, like days gone by where people used to actually sit and listen to an entire record while reading the lyrics for the album sleeve, and nothing more.

So what? Is there a connection?

Yes. I can’t stand living in such a myopic world where taking sides is the new “can’t we all get along”? Whether you want to believe it or not, we really are all connected. If, like a good (or not so good) Will Smith movie, Earth was going to be attacked by another alien society, we would not be Democrats and Republicans, or Americans or Syrians, we would just be Earthlings. It sounds silly but it’s true. This is why banding together to protect this place from environmental damage should be a no brainer and yet we divert to what is easy, what is based in fear and what has nothing to do with the connected stardust coursing through our veins.

And we have to start somewhere. We can’t bring our own playlist with us every time there is an uncomfortable situation, discussion or person in our midst. It deserves our full attention and this takes work and time, patience and listening. That’s all this nonsense is really about – different playlists that we hold on to because we feel it defines ourselves and we have to identify with it. I don’t like some of my son’s playlists (though it has introduced me to a new vocabulary) but they are his and it doesn’t mean he doesn’t respect that I have my own. In the end, we both love music.

Can’t we be the same with our individual social, economic, cultural and personal playlists? After all, we are just one tiny planet in one small galaxy in an enormous universe. We better get on the same page soon because we have bigger things coming our way – like asteroids, comets and unruly lawns.

Until next time,



This is the First Fourth of July for the Rest of Your Life!

4 07 2013




Wow. That’s pretty deep.

I like the 4th of July. It’s like Thanksgiving – it usually amounts to  relaxing with friends and family, good food and drink and all without the pressure of guessing what type of gift to buy for someone or several someones.

It is not surprising that the meaning of the 4th often gets dismissed, as it does for so many other holidays but given the political unrest in Egypt, not to mention so many other nations who are, themselves, trying to break free from older, entrenched repressive governments, it really is worth taking a step back to reflect and celebrate.

This seems pretty deep for a “comedy” blog but when you consider the freedom that we have in this country to literally say whatever we want or feel and at the worst, find ourselves in a war of words only – it is pretty amazing.

I am a clean comic. That’s my choice. I gravitate to smart, funny humor. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the comedy of many on the circuit today who stretch boundaries and find a way to hold up an uncomfortable mirror to our collective egos. Louis CK is one of my favorites. Louis CK could not do what he does in many countries -at least not the way in which he does it.

When I read posts or hear other comics complaining about fellow comedians who “are selling out” or “not pushing boundaries”, it drives me crazy. That’s their choice – no more or no less grounded in a “right path” than any other choice. We are not conducting brain surgery here. We’re not saving anybody’s life. I believe that shows like The Daily Show or Politically Incorrect can serve as a guidepost for providing a way to showcase the utter ridiculousness of our political system. That’s a good thing. I also think Jim Gaffigan and Ellen DeGeneres provide entertainment to those of us who can laugh at our own ridiculousness, too.

To me, it doesn’t really matter – we have the freedom to choose and not get our tongue cut from our mouth. Yes – even in the 21st century, not all in this world can claim the same. That’s a big deal. So Happy Independence day to all those creative types out there – wherever you reside. today is the First Fourth of July of the rest of your life.

And in case you’re looking for a few more minutes of mindless procrastination while nursing that beer with your vegan burger (I really, really hope NOT)…here’s my take on “The Perfect Barbecue.” http://buckscountyalive.com/people/marckaye070113.cfm


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