Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, March 15, 2020
ISSUE #1008
A Pandemic requires some humor

Columbus: Whoa! What a difference a week makes. Last week I said California was concerned about the coronavirus becoming a pandemic.

Now the whole country, including President Trump, knows we are in a pandemic. It is far beyond a few people returning from cruise ships, China, or Europe. We are all at risk. In response, all sports have been cancelled, restaurants closed (except for carry out), and schools are online.

Everyone will work from home if they can. (One glaring exception: airline pilots). Of course, our farmers and ranchers already work from home. That’s one reason we’re not concerned about running out of food, only toilet paper.

Watching CNN and the debate. They took seriously the advice to stay 6 feet away from everyone. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are standing at least 6 feet apart; I can’t tell, but they may have a glass wall between them. Even the debate moderators and the commentators on the pre-debate show were spaced far apart. CNN, which routinely has 10 or 12 political experts sitting in a semicircle, creatively solved it by sending two-thirds of ‘em away for the night.

With two long-time Senators going at each other, we learned a lot about how Congress works. Sanders claimed, “You wanted to cut Social Security.” Biden: “No, I always voted for Social Security.” When you’re in there 40 years, you’ve probably been of both sides of a dozen issues. As John Kerry famously said in 2004, “I voted for it before I voted against it.”

Humor and entertainment are necessary in trying times. Will Rogers starred in movies during the Great Depression. And he included quite a bit of humor in his writings, often poking fun at the movie business. (below)

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“Producers decided to make fewer and worse pictures. They may make fewer, but they will never make worse ones.” Notes

“We try to make (movies) as good as we can. Bad pictures are not made with a premeditated design. It looks to you sometimes like we must have purposely made ’em that way, but honest we don’t. A bad picture is an accident, and a good one is a miracle.” WA #581 Feb. 11,1934

“I can’t write about the movies for I don’t know anything about them. It’s the only business in the world that nobody knows anything about… The exhibitor says, ‘If you get them too clean nobody is interested in them.’ The so-called intellectual keeps saying, ‘Why don’t they give us something worthwhile in the movies that we can think about.’ The regular movie fan says, ‘Give us something to see, never mind think about. If we wanted to think we wouldn’t come in here.’” New McClure’s Magazine, September 1928

“I like to make little jokes and kid about the Senators. They are a kind of a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement. But the Rascals, when you meet ’em face to face and know ’em, they are mighty nice fellows. When you see what they do officially you want to shoot ’em, but when one looks at you and grins so innocently, why you kinda want to kiss him.” WA #345, Aug. 4, 1929

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