Is it me or Has Everyone on Planet Earth Lost Their Mind?

Is it me or Has Everyone on Planet Earth Lost Their Mind?

It’s pretty well accepted we are born into one world and leave another.

Although this has always been the case, I believe Baby Boomers are leaving the strangest world yet.

It’s truly amazing that anyone born shortly after World War II spends a great deal of time talking about how different life was back then and it’s been my experience my generation is quite confused by the insanity which we have suddenly found ourselves a part.

This planet is bats..t crazy.

After the war America was suddenly in a new world position. We were the cowboys in the white hats that had swept in and saved the planet from the bad guys. We were Gary Cooper and John Wayne combined and had cleaned up Dodge City.

The evil axis had been destroyed and now life was moving forward with a whole new attitude except…

Yep, even as a child I remember there were problems to deal with.

Russia and China. Okay, sounds familiar right?

I guess some things never change. We took cover in the school basements to protect from atom bombs. Heard tests of air raid sirens and watched as neighbors dug holes in their back yards to build fallout shelters.

To say I was terrified of Red China would be an understatement. But I’m twice as scared now.

Politics aside and that’s where they should stay, childhood was an amazing time in America.

The fifties were filled with exciting new inventions like television and telephones in every home, and all kinds of new gadgets.

I remember my first HiFi. Wow, and even those little red record center fillers for 45s seemed high tech to us.

We thought the world was a really cool place. Between the Mickey Mouse Club and American Bandstand we felt such a part of everything.

We played outside until the streetlights came on, walked to the corner to purchase penny candy like licorice records and wax lips and the latest comic books; my friends and I just lived for those Archie Annuals. Then we would carry our treasured comics home in a bag with our sunflower seeds and candy to read and share the rest of the day.

Life was so simple and so amazing. Of course we were kids so there was no real awareness of problems that plagued our parents; and that’s the point isn’t it. Our parents tried to keep us unaware of the difficult issues of the times. Unaware that polio was sweeping the nation even as we happened to pass the TV and see a picture of a scary iron lung that might have given us nightmares.

We didn’t pay any attention to politics, which is why we grew up healthy and normal.

When politics finally entered the picture so did protests, drugs, death and confusion.

We played games like jump rope, hopscotch, monopoly and Mr. Potato Head, and of course Operation.

My friends and I cut movie star pictures out of magazines like Photoplay and Modern Screen and then traded them like baseball cards.

We chewed the bubble gum and saved the baseball cards and boy do I wish I still had some of those cards today.

We rode our bikes everywhere and after school the neighborhood kids played baseball or football in the street. We spent the day roller-skating up and down the block with our skate key around our neck on a ribbon. Then happily ran inside to get our money when we heard the Good Humor truck ring its bell.

We knew our neighbors and we acted respectfully toward everyone.

In the winter we put on our snowsuits, boots, scarves and gloves and braved the walk to school, then home again for lunch, then back again, then finally home to sit in front of the TV watching the few channels playing our favorite shows. We were terrified of our teachers and being sent to the principal’s office was tantamount to as bad as it gets.

We walked to the movie theatre on Saturdays to watch a double feature or a matinee of fun flicks like The Blob, I was a Teenage Werewolf or Gidget.

We ate Oreos for an after school snack with a large glass of cold milk and at dinnertime we all sat together at the kitchen table, eating and discussing the day.

Bedtime was bedtime and we couldn’t stay up except on Tuesday night when I got to stay up later to watch Milton Berle, probably the first drag queen before we ever knew what a drag queen was. Most nights I would listen to my cool, new clock radio until I fell asleep.

Our fathers pushed the lawn mower around the grass on Sundays after a brunch filled with favorite foods.

To shop on Saturdays we hopped on a bus and went downtown to big department stores. We felt so grown up when we got to eat lunch in the dining room where stores like Hudson’s featured kids meals.

We could hang out at the record store for hours, then go home and play a new favorite singing and dancing around the living room practicing the newest steps.

We knew the names of everyone on Bandstand, what Soupy Sales was having for lunch the next day and that Hi Yo Silver meant a guy in a black mask and his faithful companion Tonto would soon be riding in to clean up the town. We watched Sky King and Fury on Saturdays and never noticed that the scenery on Star Trek was made up of Christmas lights.

We were incredibly innocent and Lord do I wish I still were.

I feel badly that children today are being subjected to politics and brainwashing and sadly losing their youth to political agendas.

There is a lot to be said for being protected from the hardships of life unless and until one is forced to face them.

It was different times and Baby Boomers shared a bond those programs provided. To this day “Yo Rinty” is a call to which every one our age responds.

Sure, some might say I’m coloring the past with an overly optimistic brush. Perhaps, but from the reaction of my friends when I wax nostalgic and they jump in with their own fond memories, I think not.

I look around this strange, insane world and am reminded someone once said ignorance is bliss; I choose to believe it’s actually a blessing.

Finding Something to Laugh at

Finding Something to Laugh At
“A day without laughter is a day wasted…” Charlie Chaplain
As a graduate of the Lenny Bruce School of humor I have never found any lack of people or situations to laugh at during my stay on this planet. I have always reasoned that if Mel Brooks can make the Spanish Inquisition and the Nazis funny what isn’t fair game? So now when I find myself laughing less I must ask, “where the hell has humor gone?”
Of course I’m not advocating using humor to hurt people, and no one should be the butt of anyone’s jokes. There is no place for cruelty or meanness in humor and we all should respect the line and not cross over. Yet all people, all sexes and everyone that breathes on planet earth has some craziness in common and if we begin to exclude anyone from the party it would be akin to locking them out of the shared joke.
We all need to be let in and have an opportunity to laugh together. Laughter is a great bonding agent that unites and creates shared joy. Meanness destroys the very purpose of humor, which is to bring joy to everyone.
Yet according to some it seems I must now censor myself depending on who and what friends or family in whose company I find myself depending on their degree of something called “wokeness.” I fully understand and empathize with the pain of those who may be struggling in their life with a new and unforeseen circumstance. However, the greater the challenge, the more important it is to laugh and knock it down to size.
For example: A giant bully runs the playground with a tone of severity and evil that makes everyone that crosses his path quake with fear. One day a new student finds himself on the playground still a bit hesitant to step in and watches from the sidelines. While observing the dynamics of playground politics he notices the bully is constantly checking his cap to ensure its fit over his ears. The student becomes convinced he is hiding something. Seeing the

bully terrorize the other students for half the play period, he decides to be bold. Just as the bully leans over a small boy to grab his bat, the new kid jumps up and pulls the cap from the bully’s head.
The bully is stunned and unable to move as he realizes his hat is missing and his gigantic ears are exposed. Every student moves in closer for a better look as a loud roar of laughter engulfs the schoolyard as the bully’s huge, protruding ears are on display. He runs away horrified and diminished as finally the students are freed from their captor. Nothing and no one could have stopped him from asserting his wrongful power over them except one simple thing, laughter. Now begs the question, should the other students continue to taunt the bully over his ears? That would be a misuse of humor but hopefully the bully would learn his lesson and stop his evil ways. Okay, so maybe in a perfect world.
There you have it ladies and gentlemen, the key to Jewish humor. Laughter is the best way to cut a bully down to size. It’s worked for centuries and always will. Yet now when we are all fighting to survive a world full of bullies we have cast our greatest weapon.
I can’t imagine anyone hasn’t heard a story from a comedian who says he recognized the power of funny when picked on as a kid he resorted to humor to avoid ridicule. They can’t beat you if they’re doubled up laughing at your jokes. If it ain’t broke etc…
So am I wrong in assuming that at a time in my life and so many of my friends’ lives when we desperately need laughter we are being shut down by those who have set themselves up as judges of what should be our funny?
According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter simulates many organs and enhances the intake of air, releases endorphins, activates and relieves your stress response and soothes tension. This leads to lowered blood pressure and better circulation and beats the hell out of downing a handful of meds every day.
All Baby Boomers have suddenly found themselves in a battle with Father Time. And because we know in the end he will win, we fight valiantly each day to make life as easy and rewarding as possible. Many days we are accompanied by pain, fatigue, trying

to remember where we put our keys or what the hell we were calling a friend to tell them as we are plagued by senior moments. Where once we were excited to see a friend’s number pop up on our phone, now a small part of us wonders if they are calling with more bad news about someone who became sick or died.
We all know how it has become necessary to cheer ourselves up when life comes crashing around us and reminding us of our own mortality.
Yet the very coping mechanism that once served to relieve us in times of difficulty is being stripped away and has become a political tool for those that would tell us how to think, feel, act and what is or is not funny.
Dude Perfect is a group of guys on YouTube that my grandsons turned me onto. They exploit people’s stereotypes and their video about the pandemic quarantine points out so clearly how alike we all truly are. I can’t imagine anyone could watch that video, see them hoarding toilet paper and not be doubled up in laughter. The very fact that an old broad like myself and my young grandsons can both laugh at the same craziness proves the universality of Dude Perfect’s humor.
One thing I have never had any problem with is grasping what is humorous. The Lord may not have provided me with Heidi Klum’s looks or body, but he did give me an innate sense of funny. Yet despite the fact I believe certain jokes or comics are funny I understand fully that not everyone has the same sense of humor or point of reference. I think what bothers me most is the fact there are others that deign to tell me my sense of humor is inappropriate and judge what I should find funny.
Milton Berle dressed as a woman; funny, Nazis in black boots dancing and singing Springtime for Hitler; funny! Monty Python Life of Brian; funny!
Despite the fact we all may not share the same cultures or life experiences certain things affect humans in the same ways. Finding and sharing love, fear, death, getting old and mothers-in-laws all seem to be universal. The things we strive for and care about are

shared. Our families, our children and finding a place for ourselves on this crowded planet bonds us all.
Once it seemed no one was off limits. When Chevy Chase fell down every Saturday night to point out President Gerald Ford’s clumsiness I laughed, not because I disliked Ford, but because it was damn funny! In fact it made Gerald Ford more endearing. And unfortunately gave Chevy a bad back. Yes, it’s true sometimes we suffer for our art.
Now we have politicians that are ridiculous and hilarious and we dare not even point out how gigantic the caps are covering their ears. And the fact they actually take themselves seriously, well that’s enough comedy material for a lifetime. Congress…Blazing Saddles, it’s a toss up which is funnier.
I have written before about why so many have tried to understand the roots of Jewish humor and why we are a people that have so embraced the funny. It’s quite simple really, instead of accepting ourselves as victims we choose humor as the coping mechanism to lighten our circumstances. A close second is chocolate and that explains the Jewish food thing.
Laughter cuts the enemy down to size, allows us to laugh at that which scares us and unites us in the best of ways. It helps release the pain inside and exorcises our demons.
If you will notice, Fascist governments have no sense of humor and allow none in their victims. They know the benefits of a society that can share a laugh and the power it ignites. That is why it is so important to stop people from laughing together because it keeps them separate and easier to control.
If everyone can laugh at their leaders it unites them in a way that scares a totalitarian more than any weapon.
Of course too many today fail to understand the intense importance of accepting ourselves as human beings with flaws and failures and laughter’s immense power of healing. In a non-simplistic way to “laugh it off” and how humor helps do that. And if one chooses not to laugh, please don’t tell others they have no right to their chuckles. No one should castigate those who need a good Yuk to

get through the day and where to find one. In a free society we can all change the channel, so to speak.
I recently came cross Abbott and Costello on the old people’s network where they replay “retro” shows. They were doing their “Who’s on First?” routine. I sat in amazement as I laughed as hard as I had so many hundreds of times before. Funny is funny and we all need funny to get through life.
The French have a wise expression, (Yes, I know hard to believe right?) “Vive la Difference!” In other words embrace the differences in others and celebrate them.
We all don’t have to be the same, think the same and act the same. Robots and people under totalitarian regimes must do that. Case in point; Iran.
Being lucky enough to grow up in a free society I long ago discovered the best way to keep it free was to share a laugh. I’m white, but I’ll bet I laugh louder than anyone when Tyler Perry puts on that costume and turns into Madea. Not because of the character’s blackness, but because he’s satirizing all strong, not- taking-any-crap women in a brilliant and hilarious way. Madea is every woman.
When my husband and I were first married Cheech and Chong’s Firesign Theatre album had us rolling on the floor crying and laughing. Humor crosses all color and religious lines. Our struggles no matter how individual affect us all in the same ways. Laughter is one of the greatest gifts we can give each other as a species. Laughing feels good, it releases endorphins that raise us up and spark happiness while uniting us in powerful ways.
No audience laughing together can deny how it bonds us and paves the way for friendship and camaraderie. It amplifies our sameness and minimizes our differences. It is the great equalizer.
If we didn’t need a sense of humor, God wouldn’t have given us one.
Making someone laugh is giving a present, a gift that makes a moment happier and is a beautiful experience to share. It creates the positive energy we need to survive.

Growing old is not for sissies nor is growing up and we all benefit from laughter no matter the age, race, religion or sexual orientation. Inside we are all just people struggling to get through the craziness that is life on Planet Earth. And in case you haven’t noticed it’s getting pretty crazy out there. So call a friend and share a laugh. Then have a piece of chocolate cake, look in the mirror naked and laugh your ass off. Oh, if it were only that easy? Gee maybe it really is!

Veggie Chicken with Grapes and Wine

Four chicken thighs cut up

½ package of frozen veggie mix of corn carrots and peas

½ cup White wine

1 ½ cups of Red or green seedless grapes cut in half or whole if small.

2 cups of Yukon Gold potatoes cut up 

Butter and oil for sautéing

2 cups whipping cream

Salt to taste

Saute cut up chicken thighs in mixture of butter and oil.

When almost done add potatoes, veggies and cream and continue cooking until veggies are done. 

Add ½ cup of white wine (I use Sherry) and grapes then salt to taste.

Let cook until cream thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. 

May serve over rice or noodles or with a sheet of baked puff pastry over top 

We Need to Watch Blazing Saddles Daily


We Need to Watch Blazing Saddles Daily

“Look at Jewish history. Unrelieved lamenting would be intolerable. So for every ten Jews beating their breasts, God designated one to be crazy and amuse the breast beaters. By the time I was five I knew I was that one…” Mel Brooks

I was about ten or so and I knew I was the crazy one when my fellow campers nicknamed me Giggles. I was often reminded of this designation by my father’s constant inquiries about my remarks and behavior when he asked, “What are you, some kind of comedian?”

Yep, Dad I guess I was. I learned at a young age that the only escape from the unpleasantness of life was Milton Berle, Sid Caesar and Jackie Gleason.

My escape always included someone saying or doing something stupidly funny. Milton Berle in a dress, Sid Caesar spouting some outrageous accent, or Jackie Gleason and Art Carney exhibiting their brand of the sublimely ridiculous week after week. Stupid equals funny always worked for me.

“Does anyone of our generation not laugh when they remember Art Carney’s attempt at addressing a golf ball, “Hello, Ball.” Or Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks as the 2000-year-old man or Jack Benny’s alleged stinginess? Perhaps you had your own favorite comedian on The Ed Sullivan Show; Myron Cohen, Richard Pryor, Jackie Mason, Flip Wilson, Jack Carter, Totie Fields, Henny Youngman, Senor Wences, Jack Benny, Godfrey Cambridge, George Burns, Bob Newhart, George Carlin and so many many more.

One could count on little in life except that there would be one of the world’s great comics performing on Ed Sullivan each week.

I’ve been asked countless times why so many Jewish people are comedians and the answer is not all comics are Jewish, perhaps they are just more obvious. Maybe their pain is more palpable than others. While many comics of that era observed the times, Jewish comics observed their own circumstances.

Laughing at their own existence is what made life bearable in a strange new world where so many struggled to feed their families.

For example Melvin Kominsky, AKA Mel Brooks was two years old when his father died leaving his mother with four young boys to feed. She worked tirelessly and suffered for her children and it would be impossible for Mel not to have been affected by his mother’s plight.

So many young Jewish comedians of that era found their release in laughter.

I can’t honestly remember any Rockefellers or Carnegie’s stepping on stage to tell jokes to the masses, can you? Not too many comedy clubs in Newport or Palm Beach back then.

Humor comes from pain and the greater the suffering the higher form the humor.

There is a legacy of suffering in Europe and throughout time that has forced Jewish people to look toward laughter to lighten their load. Humor is one of life’s greatest gifts that can be had for free.

The ability to destroy one’s enemies with a joke is an art that has been cultivated for centuries by Jewish and all people and must continue to be embraced in these harrowing times.

I won’t even get into the fact that anti-Semitism has had a great resurgence, suffice it to say we need our senses of humor now more than ever.

Yet, that is the conundrum we now face as a people.

The Jewish people have throughout time been credited for two healing discoveries aside from their other numerous accomplishments, chicken soup AKA Jewish penicillin and their sense of humor. I’m willing to bet the king’s jesters were the Cohens and Goldbergs in the kingdoms.

If nothing else the Jewish people discovered that laughter is the best coping and defense mechanism and have honed comedy as a method of survival. Sadly, today many lack understanding of the power of humor to heal and restore.

Great comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and others have lamented the fact they can no longer work on college campuses because young people are too politically correct and according to Jerry, “Don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.”

This lack of a sense of humor and understanding the true essence of how to do funny has been seriously corrupted.

Today too many comics bring the mean in lieu of the mirth. There is an art to humor and just insults and mean spirited attacks do not “bring the funny” but only add to the anger filling up space. There is a way to punch a hole in what one feels compelled to destroy and letting the air out of a negative balloon.

Being critical and destructive is no substitute for humor. There is a path to hilarity in every unhappy situation in the human condition and true comedians can find and exploit it with wit and skill.

Despots possess no sense of humor but have honed the art of ridicule. Humor should never emulate criticism laced with cruelty and far too many comic posers can no longer discern the difference.

Aside from Mel Brooks, one of the comedians capable of taking someone to the distant outposts of discomfort is Larry David.

Yes, some of Larry’s humor can make you squirm, but if you get his joke it can also make you laugh harder than anything. Great humor must occasionally broach thorny subjects to achieve its goals, but without that bravery humor is only a superficial laugh and no more.

Great jokes dig deep down into your soul where pain lives and exorcise that ache to rid it from your life.

At times winning a war is not always enough to destroy residual pain.

Case in point, “Springtime for Hitler.” Come on, is there anything funnier than a bunch of Nazis singing and dancing about their attempts to take over the world with chorus girls dressed as beer and pretzels? Mel Brooks is the master at doing Hitler but he is not alone.

Charlie Chaplin created the little tramp character to imitate the most evil man on the planet and reduce him to an object of ridicule, and he succeeded beautifully.

Laughing at or mimicking someone plunges a knife into their bubble of evil and contempt  puncturing the harmful effects and deflating the injury.

No one can be taken seriously when we are doubled up with laughter at his antics. Not too hard to figure out why becoming the class clown was preferable to becoming the class punching bag.

That’s why kids today miss the point. They mistakenly believe that by not mentioning it they can destroy the bugaboo. They are patently wrong. Hate cannot be eradicated by ignoring or legislating it out of existence.

If there is one thing I’ve noticed over the years it’s that comedy clubs are the great equalizer. People who are laughing together are not shooting one another.

No one screaming in pain at a joke is spouting hateful remarks toward others. Humor creates camaraderie among all people and bonds them in their suffering.

No society can exist without laughter and more than anything else I’m witnessing today that must give one pause is that the lack of humor is palpable. Laughing at our fears diminishes them while anger elevates. Everyone is allowing rage to fill his or her spaces in lieu of hearty laughs.

We need to chuckle together to solve many of the world’s problems, to seek out the tenth crazy among us to entertain with hilarity and we must chill out and let it all go. More than ever it’s imperative comedians bring the mirth not the malicious.

Every laugh lowers the level of hatred and pain, so laugh your asses off daily and encourage everyone else you know to do the same.

Watch Blazing Saddles, The Producers or your favorite comedy or comic and roar hysterically until you’re writhing in pain. If you do this I guarantee you’ll consume less calories and live a far happier and more positive life.

Puffy Chicken Apple Cheddar Bake

6 boneless breasts pounded until thin

Grated cheddar cheese

6 thin apple slices

3 strips of cooked bacon

1 box of puff pastry

Salt and Pepper to taste

½ tsp. Paprika

1 cup of heavy cream

Season chicken and place 1 slice apple, cheese and ½ slice of bacon on top and place inside square of puff pastry. Place egg wash around the square edges and cover with another square. Crimp the edges together with a fork. Brush with melted butter or if you prefer an egg wash and place on cookie sheet and bake according to the package instructions. Before serving pour cheese sauce over the top and sprinkle with grated apples.

Apple Cheese sauce

2 cups of cream

Grated cheddar

Salt and pepper

1 Teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

½ tsp. paprika

Grated apple

Mix together and pour over pastry or serve on the side.