Why I used to like Garrison Keillor.

G. Keillor - an entertainer who is no longer entertaining
G. Keillor - an entertainer who is no longer entertaining

I love things that are funny. I’m kind of an equal-opportunity fan of humor…I love everything from lowbrow slapstick comedy to very cerebral, sophisticated humor. In 1894, I discovered Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion. I was enthralled. Here was a show and a writer/comedian who was witty in a very subtle, self-mocking way, that struck a chord in me that had heretofore been silent. I immediately sought out as much as I could find on Keillor – his books, recordings,et cetera . A couple of years later, when I heard he was taking his show on tour, I contacted the show and finagled a trip back to Baton Rouge, so I could see the show, live, and interview Keillor.

During the press conference on that Friday afternoon before the first show, I asked Keillor, “how does it feel to be in the buckle of the Bible Belt?” He looked very thoughtful and quiet, and said, “I’ll have to think about that.” Friday evening, as I sat in the audience, Keillor stepped up to the microphone to begin his monologue and said, “this morning, someone asked ‘what does it feel like to be in the buckle of the Bible Belt?’ That question was also on the mind of Senator K. Thorvalsen…” Continue reading Why I used to like Garrison Keillor.

Cats & Dogs & Men & Women.

For the record, I never thought I was a “cat person.” I’ve always been partial to dogs. Part of that was because you can train a dog to do what you want. You can’t tell a cat anything. (Well, you can, but not so’s he’ll listen.) When I was a kid, if we had a pet, it was a dog. (Okay. To be accurate, I once had a hamster, and a rabbit that hung himself – named “Lucky,” natch.)

Growing up in Louisiana, you have to take French lessons in school – it’s the law. I hated it, particularly the idea that nouns had gender. How in the Hell can you keep that straight? And why were all dogs “feminine” (la chien) and cats “masculine” (le chat)? I mean, there are male and female dogs, and male and female cats, right? What’s the idea of assigning an entire species a gender? Continue reading Cats & Dogs & Men & Women.

Winners…and Winners.

Well, the Steelers pulled it out. At the last minute (well, within the last minute). They are now the winning-est franchise in NFL history. (Which means the Cowboys have GOT to get on the stick and win some more Super Bowls.) But the Cardinals are winners in my book, too. They kept it competitive all the way through the game, and never quit. They had something to prove – that a 9 and 7 team belonged in the big game as something more than a fluke. And prove it they did – they were way more competitive than I’d expected. With a decent season next year, they will finally be able to drive a stake through that ‘curse’ that has put them as perennial losers. They looked like a franchise that could have easily won it all. Next year, they just might. All in all, a good game, an interesting game. And a game that they’ll likely be talking about for years to come. Nice job, gentlemen. On both sides of the field.

Television’s Global Village.

It’s that time of year. Super Bowl Sunday. The one time of year that just about everybody in the country stops what they are doing, to do the same thing. Watch TV. Some watch it because their teams are in it. Some watch because they love football, and are but one game away from going cold-turkey ’til the summer rolls around. Some watch it for the commercials. And some watch it just because it’s the thing to do.

Some (like me) watch it from the comfort of their homes – largely, for me anyway, because I hate cigarette smoke. Some host Super Bowl parties. Some watch from sports bars or other public places. The important thing, though, is that it gives us all a commonality of purpose and experience. Continue reading Television’s Global Village.