Mastering The Art Of Living

                            There was a time I was king

This is my current goal. After 60+ years on this planet, I’ve lived a lot of different ways. The excited, dream-filled teenage years, the crazy days of college, those decades trying to get your career to take off, then maintaining that success while trying to constantly increase my experience and knowledge base. The common theme: very little sleep.

So I enter this decade of my life hoping to spend as many days as possible doing what I love to do. It seems like the smart way to live. However, this mindset was inspired by watching the passing of people I have known and loved over the years.

I’ve had this feeling for a while–making every day count. It’s just SO easy to get caught up in a busy, go-go-go lifestyle. Sure, its lots of fun, good times, etc. but the end result is that it makes time fly by. And when you’ve reached this stage, you really want to milk it for as long as you can.

Probably Alice Porter’s early departure was my wake-up call. Her husband, Shawn, followed her just a few years after that. If you’ve visited these blogs for a while, I’ve introduced you to several of those people who left this planet way too soon.

Recently, another one of my Torrance High School classmates passed away. Yes, it’s going to happen when you come from a class of 600 students. But  when you read that name or hear it from another classmate, its easy to flashback to those days where you really did live day-by-day. Everything, every day was such a big deal.

Facebook, for all of its issues, has made it easier to stay in touch with those people from long ago. Some alum took it upon themselves to keep tabs of those we’ve lost. I just discovered this list online the other day and came across a few names that took me back to some pretty exciting times in my life. I don’t know how they died or any of the details, I just saw that they are no longer with us. But the memories remain.

Wayne Ferm–Wayne was a short, stocky guy with squinty eyes and a big smile as we walked around campus. His nickname was ‘Winky’.

Dexter Wolfgang–Dexter was years ahead of his time and my first acquaintance with a gay anyone. Everyone knew who he was and I understand he went on to be quite the hairstylist.

Mike Justice–I had him in a couple of my classes. Nice guy. Probably saw him at a reunion or two, I don’t remember for sure. I do know that he went on to become quite the photographer and died during a helicopter shoot over the Los Angeles Harbor earlier this year.

Merry Laskaris–Was one of those high school cuties you just didn’t forget. All that beauty and she could twirl a baton with the best of them.

Danny Gans–I played Little League with him and our paths didn’t cross much in high school, but he became quite the Las Vegas headliner.

Jon Lemler–Jon became quite the naturopath and healthy-living advocate. He met my wife Victoria at one of my reunions and we are both convinced it was with Jon’s help that Victoria conquered her kidney disease. Ironically, Jon was attending a conference in Las Vegas when he dropped dead from a massive heart attack.

The pictures in my head of each of these former classmates are as they appear in my old dusty yearbook. It’s how I remember them.

I really did have some great high school years.  Some people look back and think those were the happiest days of their lives. For me, I’d include them, but I’ve always believed that if high school was the best time of your life, the rest of your life is nothing but a letdown. For me, it was just the start.

These days, my work schedule means launching into a new collection of conquests every Monday.  Some routine, some new. But I’m amazed how anxious I still get every seven days, even though I know I’ll accomplish everything (and I do) but there’s this nagging feeling like I shouldn’t be able to do this. That there’s a rule I’m not observing. I should be in a 9-5 job, going to work and wishing I was somewhere else.

Well, I’m lucky enough to be at that “somewhere else” and feel blessed for having this opportunity. It’s becoming more and more obvious that I need to go back to my high school thinking, where every day was so incredibly important and special.

Because they are.

Tim Hunter

 

 

The Old United Airlines

We base our opinions on what we see and experience. I’d have to say that, after this past week, United Airlines is a done deal. The Titanic of Airlines was struggling to stay afloat despite their descending quality of service and withering reputation.  That’s the United Airlines we all know today.

But there was a time….

I grew up as a United Airlines kid. My dad proudly worked at the airline in it’s Hey Day, which for you younger whipper-snappers, meant when it was “the sh*t!”  There was a time when airlines were like banks. There were zillions of them. And while there were big ones that covered the world like Pan Am and Trans-World Airlines, United was the top dog in the U.S., the #1 domestic airline during the 1960s.  My dad was a mechanic who kept the service trucks on the ground working so they could service the aircraft.  He had come out to California after World War II from West Virginia and landed a job as a fueler for, I believe, was a whopping $1.47 at the time.  Over the years, he climbed the ladder and was quite the mechanic for “the friendly skies” back when they were still friendly.

It’s sad that United has ended up in this situation. The United Airlines I grew up was first class.  In the 1960s, whenever our family would use employee passes to fly on United, we had to dress up. If we rode in first class, the guys had to wear ties.  As kids, we were given plastic wings that signified we were honorary pilots.  I can remember United Airlines employee summer picnics at the Los Angeles Police Academy (yep, same place as in the movies, just not as funny), and Christmas parties where Santa Claus actually showed up and handed out a present to each of the kids in attendance.

When United Airlines took possession of the first 747, they invited employees to come out to LAX and go on board before the general public got to see it for themselves.  I remember waiting in line on the tarmac with other families, climbing those stairs and going into a brand-new, shiny Boeing 747, complete with a spiral staircase up to the first class lounge.

In college, I commuted home every other weekend on United. Back then, round-trip airfare for me (stand-by, yes, but flights weren’t that crowded back then) was a whopping $6. If I wanted to fly first class, it would have been $12. It cost less for me to fly to Los Angeles than it did for some of my dorm friends to drive home to Portland or Spokane.  The planes were clean, the employees friendly.  I even worked a couple of summers in the United Airlines flight kitchen in Los Angeles. The next time we get together, ask me about it. I’ve got stories.

That now seems like it was a century ago, even though it was only 40-some years.

United stock has plummeted and this dragging-a-customer-off-the-plane incident is far from over. Since the passenger was of Chinese descent, in China, they were watching that video at a rate of 20-million views an hour. If I was a betting man, I don’t think I would put any money on the airline surviving. But we shall see.  It’s not like up until now I hadn’t heard many a complaint about United–delayed flights, lost baggage, etc.  There was just a part of me that hoped it could right the ship instead of orchestrating a mutiny with its passengers.

Tim Hunter

 

 

In One Sears & Out The Other

My old gang from Division 9

For someone of my advanced years, it’s truly unthinkable.

Just a week ago, the parent company of Sears said it was doubtful they would survive. The vultures are circling, a younger generation says, “So what?”

Admittedly, Sears is not anything close to what it used to be. Then again, none of the stores are these days.  Macy’s, Penney’s and yes, Sears are all closing stores nationwide. To help the younger folks understand, think of where you’ll be 30 years from now and how you’d feel when you hear Amazon is going away.

There was a time (and it was in my lifetime) that Sears was all that and more. OK, it was Sears & Roebuck, the American retailer that every Christmas put out a catalog of all the things that Santa might bring to the good little girls & boys.   I remember ripping out pages and cutting out pictures to include in my letter to Santa, so he could get it right.  When other kids got gifts from Santa from Schwinn or Lionel, my Sting Ray bike and model train set had the Sears name on it.

Sears was the anchor store at the Del Amo Mall in Torrance, California, just three blocks away from my home.  It was in 1966 that I rode my bike over to the Sears parking lot to see a couple of guys running for office. They gave their speeches from the back of a flatbed truck. One was a guy named Valentine running for congress. The other, a former actor running for governor named Ronald Reagan.

Sears is where I got my first job in high school. Those who know me will find this hard to believe, but I was on the Sears Teen Fashion Board, which meant I modeled clothes in a couple of fashion shows at the mall, and I was able to work part-time at the store.  As a ‘floater’, I could find myself in the Garden Center or Men’s and Boy’s departments. But my favorite hangout was Division 9: Hardware. I got pretty good at selling circular saws and Craftsmen tools, because after all, they had a lifetime guarantee.  I remember a guy bringing in a ratchet he had bought in the 1940s. It was broken, and of course we replaced it because it was a Craftsmen.

I also remember that I was there when they first introduced “computerized” cash registers. I got so good at inputting numbers that I would often be done and would wait two minutes for the register to catch up and print out the receipt.

I have no recent stories about Sears because, heck, who goes there anymore?  On the rare occasion I find myself in one of their stores, I see bored employees standing around, talking with each other. It just looks like a dying store.

I mean, think about it: what does Sears have that you couldn’t get for less at Amazon?

And so, we continue to evolve as a society and, sometimes, at a cost of losing some things we’ve had around for a long time.

Remember how records became cassettes and 8-tracks that evolved into CD’s which became digital music files that we downloaded?  This past year, for the first time ever, the #1 way that people bought music was through streaming services. 51% of the music sold was purchased through those streaming services you’ve come to enjoy.

All this to say, the next time you’re near a Sears store, wander around and take a good last look. They’re soon to join the ranks of Montgomery Wards, The Bon Marche, White Front, Pay ‘n Pak, Pay ‘n Save and so many others.

The future does not bode well, but I fondly remember that time when Sears was “where America shops.”

Tim Hunter

 

 

Happy March 32nd

I just saw a post on Twitter where someone was dreading tomorrow, Saturday, April 1st….or, as it’s otherwise known, April Fool’s Day.

I’m a yuckster, so I’ve always enjoyed the day. From the harmless childhood pranks, to the more elaborate twists as you get older.  Nothing harmful. Being a morning person puts you in great shape to be the first one to catch people off guard and break it to them first.

I’ve blogged on this great holiday in 2010, 2014 and again just last year.

Might as well keep the streak going.

This year, 2017, won’t be as fun because it’s not a work day. I quit going to an office on a daily basis three years ago, but for the rest of the 9-to-5 world it will mean pranksters deprived for two years in a row as April Fool’s Day falls on the weekend.

I have gone a new direction anyway. Last year, I began a tradition of creating a video piece on National Gullible Day. The origins of this invented holiday will change every year, as will the cast and stars of this brief video therapy session.

This year, special thanks to all those who took part: Mike West, Scott Burns, Mike Rue, Margo Rogers, Kristi Gilbert, Brian MacMillan, Alana Baxter, Rune Kjenstad, Caroline Sleipnes Kjenstad, Mark Merchant, Chris Settle and my very special guest, Pat Cashman.

Of course, you can watch both this year’s video and the 2016 edition at NationalGullibleDay.org

And just so you know, that’s also the world’s first Scratch ‘n Sniff website.

You can’t blame a guy for trying.

Happy NGD to all!

Tim Hunter

Behold: The Future

The guy who gave us “The Dating Game”, “The Newlywed Game” and who hosted the madness of “The Gong Show” passed away this week. Chuck Barris died at his home in New York at the age of 87.

Gee, Chuck Berry…then Chuck Barris….I think if I was Chuck Norris, I’d go into hiding. But I digress. And quite well, I might add.

I’m diving into this particular topic this week because the majority of the population roaming the earth these days heard the news that Chuck Barris had died and immediately said, “Who?” or “The Dating what?”

I like to use this little corner of the Internet for my observations and perspective. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about getting older, it happens quickly. Too quickly. One day, my baby sitter is telling people that Tim hides behind the couch when everyone on the Dating Game blows a kiss to the camera at the end of the show.  The next thing you know, the only people who even know what you’re talking about all have hints of grey in their hair.

Chuck Barris had a big impact on both the 1960s and my childhood.  He was ground-breaking. Those of us around back then watched him put “reality” on TV, although somewhat controlled. We heard what people thought in real-life situations. Both the dating world and the married world. Or, if you were doing both, you had to commit to watching TV two nights a week. “The Gong Show” was basically “America’s Got Talent”, with a gong instead of buzzers.  One day, I plan to forgive Chuck for The Unknown Comic. It’s still too soon.

But for all the popularity and all the top-of-mindness that Chuck and his shows enjoyed, let the wheels of time spin away and it’s not long until you’re mostly forgotten.  I don’t say this in a morbid, “we’re all going to get old and die someday” way.  Over the years, I’ve been quite the student of what had happened in my parents’ generation, my own and my kids. I know songs and trends and news events that came from decades before I was born.  I paid attention to what was going on in my kids’ world, as they grew up. As long as the Ginko keeps working, I enjoy being a living World Book encyclopedia of knowledge. Yes, some useless, but it’s OK to know things.

In a current, fast-paced, disposable-knowledge society, people observe, filter the information and then hang on to it until they dispose of that knowledge and move on to what’s next. That’s what allows so much recycling of ideas. The Bachelor and Bachelorette are really just dramatic retreads of the Dating Game.  Wait a generation and you can re-do a classic, like Beauty & The Beast.  Think about it–how many Spidermen or Batmen have there been, just in your lifetime?

I’ve gone down this road to remind you that, some day, you’re going to be talking to a friend of the same age, where the conversation begins with, “Remember the Kardashians and how they were everywhere and we just couldn’t get away from them?”

And someone standing nearby, 20 years younger, will utter that word that makes you realize you are officially old.

“Who?”

All to say, enjoy each day. Try to constantly remind yourself: the most important thing you have is right now.

Tim Hunter

Ode To George

Taking a break from mowing the lawn long enough to get a picture with George

 

There once was a dog named George.

My sisters or mom may remember better than me how we ended up giving George his name. Somehow in my single-digit years, mom and dad decided that three kids didn’t make a family chaotic enough and that it was time to have a family dog. So we adopted a mutt that was a lot of things, but mostly German Shepherd.  He was black with a light belly, white paws and some brown thrown in. He looked like a dog made by a committee.

I would guess I was 8 or 9 when George arrived.  I don’t remember a lot about him, but I recall he was full of energy. George developed a funny habit of running towards the back gate on the side of our house, which allowed him to jump high and peek over the fence. He would do two or three of those jumps in a row if he heard one of us out front.

His abundant energy was too much for our modest yard, so we would occasionally take him over to some nearby vacant fields to run him. Yeah, it was that long ago. There were vacant fields in Torrance.  It’s now a housing development. We would drive the car out on the dirt road towards the middle of the field and George would just go nuts. Toss a tennis ball and he couldn’t wait to go get it and bring it back.

As happens with pets and kids, the newness wears off and soon, it became my duty to bury the piles in the backyard. I remember him turning into more of a chore and the fun of having a dog started to fade away. Plus, I had the kids in the neighborhood to hang out with.

One day, while George roamed the backyard looking for something to do, he started sniffing around the bushes. He found a new smell and decided to see how it tasted. Sadly, it was snail poison. We had always put it out in the yard, the snails were something fierce. But apparently, this time, George decided to chow down. 

And George was gone.

I remember hearing the news and running back to that gate  he once jumped on so he could see the outside world. He rested on top of the garbage cans, wrapped in a blanket and would remain there until the Humane Society folks came by to take him away. I remember hugging him and bawling my eyes out, regretting every moment that I should have been playing with him, wishing to have back every second I resented him.

In those fifty-plus years since my time with George, two other dogs passed through my life.  Neither compared to the childhood friend that I enjoyed for only a couple of years, but who has stayed with me ever since. George was a tough act to follow. 

The least I could do is write down his story.

Tim Hunter

 

 

The Big One

You know, back when Richard Nixon ran for president, his slogan was “Nixon’s the one!” (and when his re-election rolled around, I remember people saying, “And he’ll be an even bigger one in ’72!”)

My God, there was even a song.

But let’s take a leisurely stroll back towards the topic I originally had in mind.

The Big One. As in earthquakes.

Growing up in southern California, you basically go through earthquake training. From the earliest age, they just showed up every now and then. By the time you realize an earthquake is happening, it’s over.  When you talk with relatives in the Midwest who aren’t afraid of tornadoes or friends back east who dust off hurricanes, both think you’re crazy for living in a place just poised for “The Big One.”

Earthquakes happen. 46 years ago, they had the so-called San Fernando Valley shaker, which killed 64 people near Los Angeles.  At that time, I was a sophomore in high school and when it happened at 6 in the morning, I thought it was my mom trying to wake me up for school. By the time I realized she wasn’t at the end of my bed shaking it, the quake was over.

Yes, there have been sizable earthquakes in the places I’ve resided over the years.  All along, we continually hear warnings that we need to be prepared for The Big One. I’m not saying it won’t happen in my lifetime, but I’ve been through a few cycles of the local TV news people deciding during sweeps to spotlight the threat, remind us to be prepared and how awful it will be after it hits.

In Seattle, they’re expecting communications to be down, impassable roads, panic, etc. But I’m reminded of the year when those of us in Earthquake Country really out-did ourselves.

The year was 1969. In June, I was going to graduate from the 8th grade. (stop looking so surprised) The Reverend Donald Abernathy told his Los Angeles area congregation that he had a vision. God had told him that a big earthquake was going to hit LA and so he convinced his entire church to move to Atlanta.  In the reverend’s vision, God was going to punish the City of Angels for all their sins by turning them into angels.

The result was Earthquake Fever. It was the buzz on everyone’s lips. Eventually, someone pin-pointed the actual time that the quake would hit and California would slide into the ocean. The most often-played song on the radio was all about the inevitable Big One. I offer this up to you with a warning. Listen to it a time or two and it will get stuck in your head.

Well, the big day that had be predicted for the earthquake to strike finally arrived. It was supposed to hit somewhere around 3pm.  I remember riding around on my Sears Schwinn-like bike that day while keeping an eye on my watch.  As a 14-year-old kid, your mind is less bridled. I’m wondering what it will be like? Will there be a big splash?  Will it be fast or gradual?

I checked my watch again. The 3pm deadline had passed. The world continued. Eventually, I graduated from 8th grade as a proud Sam Levy Elementary School Llama. (if there can be such a thing) 48 years later, as of this writing, California is still there.

This week, there was a story in the news that geologists have determined that two of the major southern California earthquake fault lines were actually connected and, in fact, one big fault. In other words, there’s a potentially huge earthquake out there, just waiting to happen. Again.

If you’re a budding song-writer, here’s your chance to catch this wave.

Now, Seattle is said to be overdue for an earthquake of some sort. So, for now, I’ll maintain our stash of stale granola bars under the house, those outdated bottles of water and continue to guard those 96 bottles of outstanding wine in our wine cellar.

Oh and a storm door to keep everyone else out.  At least until the wine is gone.

Tim Hunter

 

The Key To The Treasure Chest

treasure

I finally found it.

For years, I’ve been trying to use a failing reel-to-reel machine to digitize some of the 500+ audio tapes that have collected dust under the house.  It would work, then it wouldn’t. It would start fine, then slow down.  Every dubbing session turned into a major ordeal.

Why do I want to dig out these audio memories?  For several reasons. One, I’ve forgotten about a lot of them and second, I do a weekly podcast that I started up back in ’07. Here’s where you can find all the episodes but, eventually, I’m going to figure out a way to get all these up on iTunes. I’m close, but there are a few technical things that are stumping me.
But when I do, you’ll be among the first to know.

This week, I welcomed two new members of my audio gear family–a brand spankin’ new cassette deck and a beautifully restored reel-to-reel. These have already helped me uncover this nifty little gem from April 26th, 1991. Yes, almost 26 years ago.

It was a Friday morning and the other half of “Murdock & Hunter” as the show was known back then, Bruce Murdock, was sick. That left the patients in charge of the asylum. So, yours truly, Dave Sloan and Alice Porter put on a show.  I grabbed a good chunk of it and edited it down to an “aircheck.”  But, you’ll find so many lost memories in this one. We were celebrating “Secretary’s Week”, there’s a commercial for 1-800-THE-FACE, we were giving away a “typing machine”…the list goes on and on.  You’ll get to hear Dave Sloan as the Moviemeister and Alice Porter acting fairly straight, as was I.  We did get in a performance of “Roman Theater”, one of my proud accomplishments of that era of my career. Listen to the type of music we were playing and you could see that we were still a very sleepy Adult Contemporary station.

LISTEN TO THIS IF YOU DARE

I apologize for the “liner radio” sound, but we were big on that back then. Eventually, we got loose and didn’t adhere to such formality but that, ladies & gentlemen, is what you would have heard in Seattle on 92.5-KLSY in the early 90s.

I can remember being there and saying some of those things, but it feels like a million years ago.

Tim Hunter

THE STORIES BURIED DEEP

archaeologyI’m a fan of history, especially my own.

And while the human mind can remember a lot of things, anyone who’s been around for a while knows, after a while, the old hard-drive gets full.  You can only remember so many things and with today’s information-overload society, I’m afraid a lot of those stories from years gone by are slowly being squeezed out.

 Or, they never made it here in the first place.

During this week’s visit to mom and my sister Debbie down in the hometown of Torrance, California, I picked up quite a few lost stories that were either squeezed out or simply forgotten. Some were never even heard, so I’m choosing to write them down so that either you or me can pull these out when we’re sitting around in the old folks home, wondering why we’re there.

I knew I was born in Gardena, a neighboring city to Torrance, but the story I had always heard was because Torrance didn’t have a hospital of its own. It turns out they DID have a hospital, but the night the water broke and delivery became a matter of time, MY PARENTS COULDN’T FIND THE TORRANCE HOSPITAL!  So they went to the closest one, which was a hop, skip and a jump over in Gardena. I heard this story as we stopped by the site where the elusive hospital once stood.

Hospital Where I Wasn't Born

                The Hospital Where I Wasn’t Born

I ended up having a 30+-year radio career and of all the paths I could have chosen, radio called me. (and I was caller #9)  I found out during this trip down that my mom was also a fan of radio, as she pulled out her official membership certificate she received when she was 11-years-old.  A charter member, no less.

moms-radio-station-membership

During one of the many Happy Hours that break out when we get together, my sister Debbie blurted out some stories one night that I may have heard before, but had forgotten. For example, at her high school graduation from Torrance High School, right after they announced her name, I yelled out at the top of my lungs, “Thank God!”

Then there was  the time that my buddy Tank and I picked up Debbie at the airport in Seattle. (back when you could greet people at the gate)  The moment we saw her, Tank yelled out, “That’s her, officer!  The one with the backpack!” 

Call it frugal, call it cheap, but I was reminded of another tradition of growing up Hunter.  These days, every kid has their own cell phone. But “back in my day”, they had these things called ‘phone booths.’  Each of us busy kids were given a dime.  Say, for example, if my basketball practice ended at 4:30, when I was ready to be picked up, I used a dime to operate a pay phone. I would call the home number, let it ring once, then hang up!  My parents recognized the Hunter code to go pick up a kid, because hanging up without the phone being answered gave me the dime back and I would be ready for the next time.

Dig around your family history and you’ll probably uncover some “almost never was” stories. For example, I can’t imagine being raised in any other home than the one in the middle of the street where my mom has continued to live for 64 years. But apparently, the only house that was available in that development was the one down the street on the end of the block, next to a very busy Hawthorne Blvd.  However, the sale fell through on the eventual Hunter residence and the rest is history. 

Just a few shares about my family story, if nothing else, so that I can look at this blog in the future and remember some of those mini-details that successfully escaped my mind.

I’d like to encourage you to do some digging of your own, to see what nuggets you can uncover.

Tim Hunter 

PS–I also found out that even though Torrance is a fairly large city, with a population of 150,000 people, there are no cemeteries within the city limits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May I Kindly Recommend….

Good boyGood boy

The Internet is where people vent, decry, express anger, sadness, joy, you name it.

We pride ourselves on being a free society, ready to defend the virtues of unrestricted speech and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I did some noodling the other day (it’s what old people call pondering) about the state of the people I care about and I’d like to make a suggestion. Actually, a couple of them.

To begin: breathe. Relax. Take at least 60-seconds out of every day where you don’t think about what’s going on at work,  what the president tweeted or what you think may or may not happen in this country. OK, now, with that clear head, think back over the years you’ve been around and how our nation has constantly battled between right and left. It’s a pendulum.  Our country has a history of swinging back and forth.

Starting with Ike:

Eisenhower (R) 8 years

Kennedy/Johnson (D) 8 years

Nixon/Ford (R) 8 years

Carter (R) 4 years

Reagan/Bush (R) 12 years

Clinton (D) 8 years

Bush (R) 8 years

Obama (D) 8 years

Keeping this pattern in mind,

Keeping this pattern in mind, it really shouldn’t be surprising that Trump was elected. OK, so that’s how the election went, he’s doing what he said he would do and there will be battles a plenty. But that’s politics and, in reality, a very small fraction of our life. Unless we choose to make it our entire life.

And that’s what I see people doing. Day in, day out, they’re upset about the latest incident or quote or appointment or alternative fact. Then, you see people expressing their frustration on Facebook. Now, what used to be a collection of food pictures or cats playing pianos, is a collection of mean-spirited, caustic snipes and swipes at anything and everything that happens.

Breathe.

Take a look again at that list above and the way the country has gone for the past half-century–we’re going to swing right, then left, then right.  Let’s call that a given. Now let’s introduce the fact that one of the deadly killers we really don’t know a lot about is stress. Are you really going to maintain this current level of discontent for another four or eight years?  Let’s say you have 30 years left on this earth. By this formula, you’re going to spend 15 of those in misery. Really? You just want to toss those years away?

How many family gatherings will you find yourself afraid of saying the wrong thing?  How many rainbows not even notice because you’re pounding away on your keyboard in response to another Facebook post?

And this just in–science has now confirmed that not a single person’s opinion has ever been reversed because of a clever meme. Hey, if you going to generate fake news, you might as well make it entertaining.

We all have a gift called life. What we do with it is entirely up to us. So, there will be people who march, carry signs, write angry letters, make phone calls, put on bumper stickers, and spend the bulk of their time completely unhappy. It’s their choice.

Or, consider doing things that might actually cause change. Being angry and gathering with a bunch of like-minded angry people only results in feeling good about yourself momentarily. The next day, not a micro-organism  of change.

As a comedy writer, I’m always on the lookout for commonality. Those are the things that allow you to cut down on the set-up time of the joke.  You can lose your audience saying, “You know, over in Scotland, they had banned the use of round scissors and so what happened was…..” or, you go straight to, “That’s now five rings for Tom Brady and he should go to voicemail.”  You didn’t need to explain who Tom Brady was, what the rings referred to and best of all, it was non-political.  When you go political in comedy, you stand a good chance of alienating at least half your audience, or at least make them less appreciate your comedic talents. Right now, late-night TV hosts and Saturday Night Live are having a field day with Trump (and he and his staff are providing ample fodder), but I have a feeling that long-term, that’s going to backfire on them. We’ll see….

Again, I’m in the middle, watching all of this happen and absorbing what I can along the way so that the next time I get to vote, that will be reflected. It’s how this democracy works.  Please, be informed, stay on top of things, but don’t waste half of the years you have remaining being consumed and feeling that anger, fear and hurt score brownie points.

Someone else won the trophy. OK, fine. Let’s do things that can really help win it back next time. But you won’t be able to help right the ship if you stress yourself out into non-existence between now and then.

Peace.

Tim Hunter