Duck Soup

It’s almost too much to process.

I suppose that’s why the little lapses lately – like squeezing the sugar container into my coffee cup because that’s what I do when there’s honey. There’s so much going on that my mind is racing faster than capacity.

It causes it to go everywhere, by the way. A third of your coffee cup and half your countertop. Sugar.

My mind is racing, lately, like the sugar flowing from a squeezed decanter. Mounds of it going in one direction, sure, but too much at once. And the scatter. Oh, the scatter is everywhere. Gotta focus. Try.

The Rams won the Super Bowl, by the way, I don’t know if you noticed. That random, inconceivable thought brings me a staggering amount of joy at times. It shouldn’t, I guess. I wasn’t on the team. I didn’t call the plays. I wasn’t a part of the draft. But I have been a fan since nineteen-eighty-something and I haven’t seen them win a Super Bowl since two-thousand-nothing so it’s kind of a big deal, to me. I was going to celebrate for 22 days in honor of the 22 years between trophies. That would’ve landed me somewhere around 3/7 before I thought deeply about any damn thing at all.

But my news cycle got preempted.

About ten days after the Los Angeles Rams pulled off the improbable, Vladimir Putin pulled off the unconscionable.

Unless you’ve been in a cave you’ve probably heard about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I don’t need to fill you with the details, there are plenty of those in the 24-hour news. On the infinite web. I probably don’t need to tell you what to think about it, either, since we form our opinions quickly this day and age. The talking points fill our bubbles. It’s Biden’s fault for not fracking. It’s Trump’s fault for being so chummy with Vlad. It’s probably the Clintons’ and Bush’s faults, too. We need Ronald Reagan right now, because his presidency was so long ago we’ve forgotten his flaws.

I even heard from some that Ukraine had it coming.

I obviously don’t buy it, being a thinking man and all. I posted on Facebook almost immediately afterwards that my fellow Americans need to stop pointing fingers at their own most distrusted American leaders and point the finger where it belongs. At Vladimir Putin.

Naïve, I was called for that. Naturally. Why would an autocratic dictator in charge of one of the most powerful militaries on Earth be held responsible for his forces invading a smaller neighbor when, clearly, this is the fault of the libs?

I never really argue with the opposition – that would be pointless – but I always make my point again, politely and with courtesy. That’s my way. Inevitably, folks make it personal and call me all manner of names directly or indirectly, and that can hurt, sure. Boil my blood, yeah. But I always remember that they have their way, too. They have been indoctrinated, brainwashed, hoodwinked, lied to. And, usually, they’ve taken the simple way out. It’s hard to suss things. It’s hard to consider alternatives, to see beyond the programming. It’s hard to critically think.

It’s even harder to accept that two completely different, very smart people can think two different things about one particular topic. But we do. We do it all the time. We’ve done it for all time. And when our particular point of view is challenged intelligently we can become belligerent. Or, at least, some of them can. I’m easy as duck soup.

Below my Facebook profile picture (and my Twitter one, too, though I never really say anything there) is the phrase “Spreading equal parts sagacity and mirth.” Following the title of my blog it says the words, “Just me, talking about stuff.” That’s me, in the eyes of me. I’m pretty smart, I figure things out pretty quickly, and come up with opinions based on facts. But I don’t take any of it too seriously because life, as you know, is short. It feels incredibly long sometimes, when we’re down in it as they say, but it is not. It’s a blip. Life is a blip. The Rams? A blip. Getting too caught up in any of it – gosh, even war – is unavailing. Thinking we are personally experts on any of it is absurd.

Not that I mind absurdity, absurdity is a part of the mirth.

But with the war, and the Rams, and some other jarring events – my best friend’s pending cancer surgery, my wife’s pending layoff, that pandemic thing still rearing about, the diet we’ve started, the lack of rain, the rising cost of everything, and trying to figure out what goes in duck soup – it’s hard to maintain a focus. Or a sleep. Reading is difficult. Writing is staggered. Levity gets lost. Exercise is …

But I need to. I need to read, to write, to joke, to exercise, to sleep and to be here, now, in each moment. To be available for my wife, my dogs, my friends, and – yes – even my trolls.

So right now I’m going to go pour some more sugar on the counter, fill the rest of the cup with coffee, and come back here and do some push-ups. The journey of a thousand miles begins with … well … you know …  the thing.

I’m gonna go do the thing.

You be well, dear readers. Stay light.

All of the darkest hours are but a moment in time.

15 thoughts on “Duck Soup

  1. I could go on at length about the appropriateness of Duck Soup right now, but then if you’ve read Roy Blount Jr.’s Hail, Hail Euphoria! you know, or even if you’ve just seen the Marx Brothers film. Equally apt is Jack Benny’s To Be Or Not To Be, but that’s for another time.
    So here’s a funny story: the Marx Brothers made some of their best films (although, funny enough, not Duck Soup) with the producer Irving Thalberg. Groucho said Thalberg would schedule multiple meetings at the same time and go from one to another, spending a few minutes in each. One day the Marxes went in for a meeting in his office and he left them alone. They called the studio commissary and had some potatoes sent over and they built a fire in the fireplace. When Thalberg came in he found all four Marx Brothers completely naked sitting around the fire roasting potatoes. The moral here is the Ukrainians are definitely roasting some Russian potatoes right now.
    And having had some experience with cancer if there’s anything I can do to help your friend I’ll be happy to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a hilarious scene!

      Christopher, of all the humans I figured would read this you were the one I was certain would get the inside joke; you did not disappoint! On top of that, you expanded upon the premise with your encyclopedic knowledge of all things in film and literature. Thank you so much for a thoughtful response!

      And, my brother, if my brother needs you, I will reach out to you, my brother. The surgery is next Thursday, the 10th. Keep him in your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fox News is currently telling people that Putin’s the good guy. Not that I watch Fox News–I’m not a complete moron, and I’m Canadian so I don’t have it in my satellite package–I just saw it on Twitter. But still, if you ever wonder why some people are so completely out of their minds, that could be the reason why. Banning Fox News would be just as good as banning RT.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fox is a blight upon this nation. Period. Having said that, due to the near unanimous nature of the condemnation of this invasion by the left and the right, I’ve spent some time tuned in to Fox this last week, to get the “all sides” perspective. It’s ludicrous over there, sister, like another world. The blindness and partisanship are stark. They don’t reflect the views of most of the Republicans I know much less the Independents or Democrats. How are they the most watched cable news network in America? My best guess is that they captivate the lost and lonely who are mostly home alone or with only their immediate, equally lost family. Probably aging and uneducated. My advice to them is get out, find friends of a diverse nature, and hear some alternative points of view based in reality.

      Fox invented fake news. They’ve mastered it. And for a few million cable viewers they control it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember how we used to make fun of the National Enquirer when I was a kid–everyone knew their stories were all fake. But now Fox is the new Enquirer only people believe everything they say. I’m sure if that douchecanoe Tucker Carlson announced that he’d seen Bigfoot, all their viewers would be haunting the woods and claiming that Bill Gates was breeding Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) in a pizza parlour somewhere. SMFH.

        Liked by 1 person

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