Where Is the Joy?

I have been sad recently. Such tides occur. But where is the joy to help?

Where are Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and Cyd Charisse?

Where are the comedians who try to make us laugh? I see the humorless, lecturing comedians. But where are the happy, funny ones?

A twelve-year-old boy walks into a bar. He walks up to a waitress and asks for scotch.

‘You’re only twelve. Do you want to get me in trouble?’

‘Maybe later. Now I just want scotch.’

Tell me that is inferior in morals, construction, or any criterion to whatever divisive political pablum you hear tonight. I am sure there is a e-6 or e-12 aggression in there somewhere… The notion of forbidden comedy makes my head ache.

Cezanne and Van Gogh and Michelangelo produced works that swelled one’s heart with joy and beauty. Our modern art tries for an emotional response. But they try for anger and disgust. I presume an easier target. Else they emulate bad documentaries. And the skill. O tempores, O mores.

I have given up on much modern literature. Most mainstream literature is ipso facto, joyless. Genre fiction is walking on egg shells lest anyone be offended other than straight, white men who should be ostracised. I think this is why I followed the Sad Puppies fiasco. I wondered if the notion of rewarding good fiction could survive. Justice or social justice. I miss radio. We used to sing to artists without knowing their race or proclivities. Indeed, we sometimes couldn’t tell their sex. Tracy Chapman, anybody.

Dancing girls, and jesters and storytellers. Is that too much to ask?

Animal Crackers