Thursday, March 18, 2010

Reasons to be cheerful

I'm trying to smile. Really, I am.

Given the way Congress and the president have chosen to shove the crap sandwich of "health care reform" down our throats, it's easy to be angry or bitter right now. But if we are to be effective, we must remain happy warriors. And it's always a good idea to stay cheerful.

An example -- while I was sad to see that Alex Chilton died, I'm cheerful because my brother Mike has rejoined the fray to post about Chilton and his work in the post immediately below. Chilton should have been one of the biggest names in music but he never got over, for a lot of reasons that were mostly outside of his own influence. He gave us a lot of wonderful songs and he continued to pursue both the audience and his own muse throughout his life and he made this world a better place because of it. That's worth celebrating, even as we mourn his loss.

There's another song by a long-gone rocker that I always remember when I start to get angry about things: Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3), by Ian Dury and the Blockheads, from about 1979, in which the irrepressible Dury, who survived childhood polio and had a fair-to-middling career, relates things that make him cheerful, including the following random things:

Some of Buddy Holly, the working folly
Good Golly Miss Molly, and boats
Hammersmith Palais, the Bolshoi Ballet
Jump back in the alley add nanny goats

18-wheeler Scammels, Domineker camels
All other mammals plus equal votes
Seeing Picadilly, Fanny Smith and Willy
Being rather silly, and porridge oats
A bit of grin and bear it, a bit of come and share it
You're welcome we can spare it - yellow socks
To short to be haughty, too nutty to be naughty
Going on forty - no electric shocks

I can definitely agree with Buddy Holly and the references to Little Richard. As for nanny goats, and no electric shocks? Hey, whatever works.

We all have our reasons to be cheerful, whether we want to say them or not. But as we go through this low, mendacious period in our lives, we owe it to ourselves to remember those things that make us cheerful. There are plenty of things to hate in this world but spending too much time on hate diminishes us.

1 comment:

Night Writer said...

Perhaps another Ian Dury observation is appropriate this week: "There ain't half been some clever bastards."

But that ain't a rhythm stick they're hitting us with.