Saturday, June 14, 2008

"Stop the world I.....well, could you at least slow it down a little?"

Is it just me or is the world, with apologies to Al Gore, getting colder. I mean philosophically. Everything is about a buck. I'm on the road all day and listening to the radio is a constant challenge to avoid commercials. I understand about selling air time and the pay to play medium but.......C'MON!!!!!!!! Yer killin' me, man!!!!!!! I have two FM and two AM bands programmed and I can go through every button and still not hear any content. I mean....the commercials with the rapid fire disclaimers at the end..... And anything that may result in bloody discharge.....I ain't takin'! Y'know I'm starting to believe that commie plot thing from the sixties. Introducing weed and inane tv shows resulting in the dumbing down and apathy that's The old get 'em from the inside. Well, it worked. Listen to the man on the street interviews. Half the people asked don't know who the president is. I used to sit back and laugh at this stuff. And, for the most part, still do........ being the cynical, Saturday Night Live, National Lampoon, Monty Python, Mad Magazine ex-hippie that I am. But, and maybe it's the getting older thing, the laugh has a nervous twitch to when you laugh at a horror movie trying to pretend you're not scared. (C'mon, I knew Tony Perkins was his own mother......right?) I love Family Guy, The Simpsons and some of the reality stuff but if I was a parent I'd be worried.
And what's happened to baseball? I barely watched any of the World Series last year, 'cause it was on too late. Why? Advertisers. Hardly any day games, no double headers, cost prohibitive to go to games, can't watch batting practice anymore, players won't give you the time of day, $7 hot dogs and $5.50 beers, thrown out as soon as the last out is made............can you throw a brother a bone....please?!?! You hear this brought up on the sports talk shows and all the hosts say is, "Well, that's the way it is now. It's a different time." Yeah....I guess. But I'll bet it's comfortable in the press boxes around America. In the parks around here the baseball fields are empty. When I think of some of the scroungy fields my buddies and I used to play on and then see these beautiful, manicured fields going to waste.....well...."the babe"would shed a tear. I think major league baseball's shooting itself in the foot. Maybe not the next generation or even the one after that, but sooner or later the well of fandom may dry up. But it's all about making it now.
I like money. A lot. But how much is enough? At what point do we think of the greater good? Baseball's a metaphor for everything. It's good like that. But it can get kind of depressing. And I'm an extremely optimistic guy. Even at the ripe old age of fifty six I'm still convinced I'm gonna be living in the house on the hill and playing in the band of my dreams. There's a difference between recognizing the reality that's out there and putting a little rose color on your own reality. I still steadfastly believe in the innate goodness of people. We are...have to be....our brother's keeper. It's just that the world is starting to look like the stark future of the movies. Remember the panic you felt along with Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life" when he realizes no one knows him and his small town has gone to hell in a hand basket? Or Marty Mcfly in "Back to the Future" when he saw what his town had become. But it was only because they weren't there to pitch in. And that, my friends, is what it's all about. Bring some peace and kindness to your small fragment of the universe. Let the other guy into your lane now and then. Pick up a piece of garbage. Be kind to your wife/husband, friends, girl/boy friends, kids, animals, nature. Open your ears more and your mouth less! And when you're alone in your car....sing at the top of your lungs!!!!!!!!!! Try to see the big picture. We're only here for a cup of coffee.

Do I take my own advice? Man, I try. Really. And the older I get the more I do...... still not nearly enough. But now, I think, I recognize it. And that's a start. Now here's twenty bucks. Get me a beer and a hot dog and let's PLAY BALL!!!! Peace