The Satirists

The Satirists

The older I get, the more I realize how much I need satirists. There are enough people in my life to tell me when I’m being delusional, but it’s always good to have backup.

Lewis Black, Eddie Izzard, John Stewart, Stephen Colbert, the Dalai Lama and any other person who is sneaky enough to draw a diagram regarding how I’m fooling myself in everyday situations, these people are indispensable. Except for Stephen Colbert, they are all comedians. Some examples of what I’ve come to realize after watching them make fun of people like me:

I realize that I aim to dress better when I’m about to meet with strangers, and more of a slouch when I am about to meet with friends. So the people that will have the opportunity to see me again and comment on my previous wardrobe will be presented with an inferior product to critique. But for the people that I probably will never ever give a shit about, I’ll dress up for them.

I have seen hundreds of stand up routines and scores of comedies, but my seven year-old niece is more sure of what she thinks is funny than I do. She is only beginning to learn how to hesitate.

I know, down to the cent, how much more it will cost for me to own a luxury sedan compared to a non-luxury sedan over the next ten years. But I don’t know by heart the phone numbers of my ten most often-called friends.

I was relieved to hear that scientists have discovered a way to make regular skin cells act like stem cells. I actually thought that the world would feel the impact of one less bitch session between two opposing groups.

I once bought accessories for a bicycle that cost more than the bike itself, and have used that lesson when making current decisions. I am still failing.

I ask people’s opinions about product decisions that 1) will not save lives, 2) will not help lives, 3) will not make a difference in anyone’s life, including mine. I do this because I never really wanted to buy the product, but I thought that if enough people gave me enough reasons, that that would be a good enough reason to buy anything, and give me added incentive to work for a living.

Newton’s 4th Law of Motion should be, “Whether something is in motion or at rest, acting or reacting, it doesn’t make a difference.”

I fully understand that it’s impossible to know what’s in people’s hearts, that no one can predict the future, and that nothing is guaranteed. Of the hundreds of propositions I have voted for in the past, I have been able to keep track of the outcomes of only a handful, and have no idea what has become of the vast majority of the others. But come next year, I am still voting, and will probably be happier if who and what I voted for does win. My approach is the same when rooting for sports teams.

The older I get, the more I realize that I am able to anger a lot of people by simply saying, “I have absolutely no idea why I made that decision. What about you?”

On a recent trip to San Francisco, I stood on one end of the Golden Gate Bridge, and took out my camera. As I was getting ready to take the picture, I thought about what my cousin said years ago, “Yeah right, like nobody else has taken THAT shot before.” And then I thought about the thousands of photographs of the bridge, from thousands of photographers, from thousands of angles and vantage points, throughout the decades.

And then I took the shot. And then I thought about what my cousin said. And then I took another shot.

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