25 August 2013

Life is Miserable Horrible and Awful But I Can Easily Cite 100 Reasons From the World of Entertainment to be Happy

It’s just an accident that we happen to be on earth, enjoying our silly little moments, distracting ourselves as often as possible so we don’t have to really face up to the fact that, you know, we’re just temporary people with a very short time in a universe that will eventually be completely gone. And everything that you value, whether it’s Shakespeare, Beethoven, da Vinci, or whatever, will be gone. The earth will be gone. The sun will be gone. There’ll be nothing. The best you can do to get through life is distraction. Love works as a distraction. And work works as a distraction. You can distract yourself a billion different ways. But the key is to distract yourself. - Woody Allen
Life goes by incredibly quickly and that's if you manage to survive it for several decades or more. It can of course end suddenly even tragically. So at best our time here is fleeting. It is rife with misery horror and sorrow and that's assuming that all goes reasonably well. If we ourselves enjoy good health and fortune we are bound to come across friends relatives and acquaintances who suffer terrible fates. In addition we must face the vicissitudes of ill fortune that confront humanity as a whole. Cancer. Drug Addiction. Mental Illness. Molestation. Child slavery. Starvation. Disease. War. Terrorism. Crime. If we escape all of these horrors and more we are forever reminded of them. Our existences are under constant threat. A drunk driver or deranged killer or earthquake could spell our instant doom. Meanwhile we struggle to make meaning of our lives. Many of us refuse to find false comfort in wild mythologies cloaked as religion. Life sucks folks.

But many of us wouldn't dream of stepping out of it so much as one day early. We do whatever we can to extend our time on this planet. True the love of relatives and friends is reason enough to continue to enjoy the ride but there other sources of joy. I now take a minute to appreciate them as a reminder not to ever wallow too long in despair. I give you 100 reasons -- in the form of names -- from the field of entertainment who have and continue to bring a smile. Each name represents hours of entertainment. In some cases an incalculable number of hours. I restrict this list to entertainers knowing I could add a like amount from such fields as literature art and sports.

Woody Allen  Groucho Marx  Charlie Chaplin  Josephine Baker  Dick Cavett  Ingmar Bergman Barbara Stanwyck  David Letterman  Alfred Hitchcock  Michael Jackson  Paul McCartney  Harold Lloyd   John Cleese  Jack Benny  Stephen Colbert  Janis Joplin  Cary Grant  Jimi Hendrix  Federico Fellini  Carole Lombard  David Bowie  George Carlin  Michelangelo Antonioni  Bill Evans  Jon Stewart  Ricky Gervais  Jerry Seinfeld  Michael Palin  Benny Goodman  Chris Rock  Jean Harlow  Frank Sinatra  Tina Fey
Martin Short  John Ford  Julia Louis- Dreyfus  Amy Winehouse  Aki Kaurismaki   Fred Astaire   Richard Pryor  Steve Martin  Rodney Dangerfield  Marlene Dietrich  Mary Tyler Moore  Lenny Bruce  Martin Scorsese  Sidney Bechet  Scarlett Johansson  Bill Murray  Eric Idle  Freddie Mercury  Ginger Rogers  Anita Baker  Debra Messing  Jean Renoir  Neil Young  Jonathan Winters  Alec Baldwin  Ingrid Bergman  Edith Piaff  Marilyn Monroe  Roberto Rossellini  Bob Newhart  Django Reinhardt   Jean Gabin  Monica Vitti  Marcello Mastroianni  Robin Williams  John Lennon  Penelope Cruz  Stanley Kubrick  Johnny Carson  Carol Burnett  Jason Alexander  Lena Horne  Al Pacino  Harpo Marx  Pete Townshend  Rod Stewart   Jimmy Stewart   Joan Blondell  Rowan Atkinson  Diane Keaton  Max Van Sydow  Bill Cosby  Winona Ryder  Billie Holiday  Freddie Mercury

Phil Silvers  Charlize Theron  Myrna Loy  Daniel Day-Lewis  Terry Jones   Bibi Andersson  Preston Sturges  John Belushi  Faye Dunaway  Grace Slick  Jeanne Moreau  Johnny Cash.

See life is great.

Now here's my suggestion: don't complain to me about who I left off. After all this is my list. What you should do is make your own. Seriously sit down and type the names of people -- probably most of if not all of whom you've never met -- who've given you a smile or made you tap your toes or caused a good old belly laugh. Or maybe make a list of people you do know. Some maybe you haven't seen in awhile or who have shuffled off this mortal coil. Or even things you like or places or events or celebrations. It's a good way to keep the blues at bay and there's nothing wrong and everything right with that.

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