My big problem with life is... (drumroll please)... LIFE.
Meaning, insofar as I know what I mean, but now that I just wrote this blog's topic sentence, I'm stuck with explaining it, no matter how many problems get fixed in my life, new ones pop up like a perpetual motion machine designed by a sadist.
I suspect most people feel this way. So what are we to do?
Sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll only can take us so far, especially if we're (OK, me) so old, sex is starting to look like the car that zipped by in the other lane and now is so small in the rearview mirror it's barely discernible; drugs are limited to marijuana because dealers of harder stuff are find to find when you're 73; and the last rock band truly worth listening to in your entirely personal opinion was Cream over fifty years ago.
Meditation? Yeah, I've been there and done that for a really long time.
The fact that I'm still as messed up in 2022 as I was in 1969 when I started to meditate every day tells me that based on that extensive flat trend line, the chance of me taking a sudden quantum leap to a blissful state of enlightenment is vanishingly small.
So I'm becoming increasingly convinced that television is the solution to my problems.
After all, when I'm engrossed in a good show, I forget about what was bothering me before I turned the TV on. Sure, those bothers are still going to be there when I turn the TV off, but at least I've had a break from worrying about my medical ailments, my psychological defects, global warming, why our dog won't come when I call her, Trump becoming president again, and a host of other anxieties.
In the realm of television, I'm enamored with certain types of stand-up comedy. The qualities I enjoy are honesty, observational humor as opposed to jokes, self-awareness, and, naturally, a comic's ability to laugh at themselves.
When I find a stand-up comic like that, my problems feel less important not so much because I've hidden them under a Bed of Distraction, but because the comic has laid out their own problems on the bedspread for me and anybody else watching for them to see -- which makes my own vicissitudes seem less serious, since if the comic can laugh at their problems, I can do the same with mine.
Or at least try to do the same with mine. Not surprisingly, I tend to find other people's problems more humorous than my own, though I'm working on looking on my own life as if it was material for a Netflix special.
Like "Look at You" featuring the hugely talented comic Taylor Tomlinson. I learned about her from a newspaper story about leading comedians with televised shows. The description of Tomlinson's act appealed to me the most, so my wife and I watched "Look at You" last week.
We loved it.
Tomlinson starts off by talking about her mental problems and psychotherapy experiences. I figured that would be worth about five minutes, then she'd be on to other subjects. But no, Tomlinson stuck with that highly personal theme for, I don't know, around 20 minutes of the one hour stand-up show, maybe even longer.
For someone so young, about 25, she's remarkably self-aware. And more importantly, really funny. Tomlinson has an appealing manner about her that makes her easy to watch.
Here's some You Tube videos with material from "Look at You."