Needless Loss of Life

To quote from our above clip’s accompanying text… as it appeared over at YouTube…

Stephen Colbert and Jon Batiste offer their condolences and discuss the tragic helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and Ara Zobayan.

My condolences, too.

Admittedly, as neither an avid sports fan / team follower nor a seasoned air traveler, up until I viewed this vid, earlier today, I hadn’t really been paying this foggy weather related tragedy all the attention it is due.

The discourse between Batiste and Colbert thoughtfully addresses the grief of the families, friends and fans. Anyone who has ever experienced the loss of someone near and dear… regardless of the circumstances… can relate… will feel the tug on the heartstrings.

Also noteworthy is Colbert’s appeal to the National Transportation Safety Board… i.e., urging the NTSB to make “black box” flight recorders mandatory equipment aboard helicopters. The data from such devices could make for more flight-worthy aircraft, and ultimately, that would save lives.

True, my own travels, as a commercial airline passenger, to date, have involved only a couple of Michigan to California trips. But, factoring in how my very first flight, ever (at the age of 49), involved a foul weather experience, I believe I have an inkling as to what may’ve been going through the minds of Bryant and the other passengers during their final moments of life.

My basic game plan had been to attend a family reunion of two (following the recent death of our family matriarch). I also had some high hopes that, by vacation’s end, I’d be able to [1] get my mourning into perspective, [2] elevate my mood, [3] better accept that “life goes on” sentiment and [4] reestablish some ‘live each day to the fullest” determination.

However, it was during my return flight that I began to wonder if the home I was heading for would be Earthly or Heavenly. Mechanical difficulties had delayed, by three hours, our departure from the Golden State. We did eventually hightail it back to the Great Lakes State, but, by that late afternoon, clashing cold and warm fronts had produced severe thunderstorms.

In the air, that meant major turbulence, which not only, inwardly, unnerved me but appeared to have a similar effect on our (supposedly) unflappable flight attendants (one of them nearly losing her footing and getting floored. On the ground, unsafe wind velocities of 129kph / 80mph had closed down the control tower and necessitated our hour long holding pattern… as well as an unscheduled, diversion to Pittsburgh to refuel.

Yet, oddly enough, throughout, I did experience solace on multiple levels. From a purely practical standpoint, prior to takeoff, I had caught a brief glimpse of our pilot who appeared to be a confidence elevating veteran. From a philosophical perspective, were I to perish in a crash, it’d have been following my fun in the sun, California, celebration of life. Even on the spiritual plane, I was fully covered. I’d be testing my “wings” to soar upward from the mangled wreckage to attend yet another… albeit otherworldly… family reunion.

Obviously… I did luck out and survive. Now, if only each member of the entire Kobe Bryant entourage could say the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fake Dr. Colbert’s Spot-On Diagnosis (Vid of the Day)

First and foremost… let’s all wish Donald J. Trump nothing but the best of health and the longest of life. Once the House impeaches him and the Senate convicts / ousts him, this will afford the fake ex-prez oodles of time to mull over his lifetime of crime. Perhaps, if it’s even possible… for the very first time in his life… he just might learn how to experience genuine feelings of remorse?

Secondly… had the White House Spin Doctors not issued such emphatic assurances that, physically speaking, Donny has a clean bill of health… I would’ve never posted the above YouTube clip.

Lastly… as for Donny’s state of mind… let’s all extend him our Get Well SOON Wishes, too!

Addendum… re DJT’s check-up, be sure to check out this 3 minute short Bonus Clip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raconteurs’ 11yr. Hiatus Now Over (Sunday Song Series)

Last week, on two successive telecasts, CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert booked the Detroit hard rockers, the Raconteurs, to perform selections from their long anticipated new album, Help Us Stranger. If you missed either or both programs… or wish to reprise them… the linked song titles… Help Me Stranger and Bored And Razed… will get you there.

Of course, that above vid… Sunday Driver… another of that very album’s noteworthy tracks… is more consistent to this blog’s musical theme… making it the perfect Week #41 addition to our Sunday Song Series.

CAUTION: DON’T OPERATE HEAVY MACHINERY WHILE VIEWING THESE VERTIGO INDUCING VISUALS

J/K

Seeing how this amped up track amply speaks for itself, there’s not much left to say… save to say… you’re cordially invited to earwitness our next Sunday song… seven days from now…

 

 

 

99 Word Blog (#023) Donny Manhandles Rudy

The above video vignette, where Donald Trump gets “fresh” with the in drag Rudy Giuliani, aired last night on Stephen Colbert’s CBS Late Show.

If this represents T&G’s true sexual identities, then they’re hypocrites for passing themselves off as straights to their fellow, straight-laced Republicans.

IF straight, their playacting ridicules gays and transvestites. Trump’s forced, unwanted sexual advances… to say the least… demostrate what an oinker he is. More worrisome… he’s emboldening rapists.

If one laughs ONLY at the hypocrisy aspect, I suppose that’s OK. If one laughs for any other reason… what does that say about our society?

My Letter To Letterman

Preface… David Letterman’s humorous, spontaneous talk show had brilliantly lit up America’s TV screens, spanning 2 networks and 1 score and 13 years. For the benefit of my international readers, followers and others who may be unfamiliar with his career… check out either the lengthy bio or brief synopsis below…

In the late 1970s, standup comedian Letterman got his big break by appearing on comic Johnny Carson’s, top rated Tonight Show. He would later become Carson’s guest host and on February 1, 1982, go on to debut his own talk show, Late Night. Following “King” Carson’s 1992 retirement, it only seemed natural that Dave would be heir apparent, but the NBC suits did not concur… instead, opting for host, Jay Leno. Consequently, on August 30, 1993, Letterman thumbed his nose at the NBC execs and launched his CBS program, Late Show, to compete, head to head, with Leno. Needless to say, Dave got the last laugh… indeed, generated millions of laughs all the way up to his final, farewell broadcast, which aired on May 20, 2015.

Unlike NBC, I had remained Letterman loyal, throughout, because I’ve always found his humor to be far funnier / less formulaic than Leno’s and I usually back folks who’ve been corporately shafted. Oh… there is one more reason, too…

There’s a remote chance that Letterman may’ve read some of my (hopefully) comedic writing, which I twice submitted to Late Show. With that in mind… I now submit…

 

My Letter To Letterman

 

Dear Mr. Letterman,

I’ve opted to go the social media / www route to let you know how you / your 6,028 broadcasts changed my life in a way, which  far, Far, FAR exceeded your entertaining me and keeping me laughing.

More to the point, it had been your ‘90s era monologues (loaded with Bill Clinton sex scandal jokes), which had heightened my political awareness and, thus, had inspired me to write multiple hundreds of similarly themed limericks. Since the volume of my poetry had grown to epic proportions, I decided to submit my manuscript to prospective publishers.

At that point, I got this wild notion. Since I had greatly valued and respected your keen comedic instincts (and still do), I just had to find out if I could get you and/or your comedy writers laughing. To that end, I decided to “test the waters” by submitting my best limerick to Late Show.

I had fully expected my verse to languish in the “slush pile” of eternal damnation and/or that I’d wind up being the recipient of a rejection letter. Well… imagine my astonishment when neither of those outcomes occurred. Instead, your writing staff sent me a letter requesting that I compose and submit three “Top Ten Lists”.

Experiencing a level of elation and inspiration, unlike any I had ever felt, I gave this writing project my all… finding it tough not to laugh aloud while watching my creative process materialize on my PC screen. Naturally, I also “sales pitched” my idea for a new Late Show segment, “The Letterman Limerick”. Upon signing the accompanying release form, I shipped everything off to you.

Shortly thereafter, I sent a follow up inquiry letter. But, instead of your next response appearing in my mailbox… my phone rang. I found myself talking to Late Show staffer, Lee H. Ellenberg. He confirmed I had correctly completed everything required of me and that my submission was securely on file.

Our conversation hadn’t lasted more than three minutes… but… those were, indeed, life-changing minutes!

Only after hanging up the phone did everything start to fully sink in. My writing had actually caused someone… in the employ of a big time network TV talk show… a program HQ’d in a major metropolis of our world… to drop all he was doing… just to talk to a totally unknown, aspiring comedy writer residing in “Smalltown”, Michigan.

Had circumstances in my life not necessitated prioritizing my urgent family matters first, I’d have booked the next flight out to NYC. Of course, since I hadn’t had the freedom to do so, nothing ever progressed beyond that.

But that does not alter the fact that your show’s phone call had been a validation of my work… caused me to believe in my writing abilities.

For that… I thank you, Mr. Letterman.

I also thank Mr. Ellenberg.

I’ll cherish this incredibly special moment in my life… for the rest of my life. On my last day… if I exit the world’s stage with a smile on my face, its likely cause will be my recollection of how, for a fleeting moment, our two worlds had merged.

While I certainly do miss and shall always miss your presence on the Ed Sullivan Theater’s Late Show stage / seeing you seated behind your talk show desk… while I wish there could be more of your jokes, Top Ten Lists, Celebrity Top Ten Lists, sketches and interviews, I can also dig how and why, (just like your friend and mentor, Johnny Carson), you had so wisely decided not to stay too long at the fair.

Thanks for the mega-laughs. Thanks for those memorable, contemplative and heartfelt moments, too, such as your 1st post 9/11 broadcast and tribute to Johnny Carson.

I wish you all the best life has to offer you and your loved ones… in all the years ahead.

Sincerely,

Tom

PS ~ Enjoy this blast from the past clip… one featuring a musical collaboration between Doc Severinsen’s “Tonight Show Band” and Paul Shaffer’s “World’s Most Dangerous Band”