Oh, we’re living in challenging times. On the flipside, the political humor is ripe. More on that later… but first, my mind was buzzing during my recent interview with best-selling author Jonathan Franzen for his new book of essays Farther Away. When I asked the award-winner (The Corrections, Freedom) where he felt “we” as a culture currently are, he spoke of today’s high-tech advances and hinted at generating more dialogue about real issues that matter:
In a novel, a fairly large fictional world, meaning is possible. But out in the real world, the noise is so total that you can’t hold onto a shred of meaning for longer than five minutes before it gets contradicted or blown away by something else. For the reading types, that leads to a profound sense of powerlessness. Not only are decisions not being made but in many cases, conversations aren’t being had. That was evident to me in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. There was a strange absence in the kind of discourse we had seen, certainly, leading up to the second World War, and the first World War. Or even Vietnam. And Vietnam was secret and the run-up to Iraq was out in the open and we were still not having the conversations. Read the entire interview here.
Later, after braving another week/news cycle of heated political debates, and yet another televised grilling over the validity of President Obama’s birth certificate (really now, are these the “conversations” we’re supposed to having?), I found some levity — and hilarity — in performance artist Jennifer Leigh Houston’s recent ditty on the curious imbalance between the Right and Left, and then some.
Take a peek (and take note — the piece is rated somewhere between PG-13 and R due to a few instances of colorful language.):