It's the Simple Things

With the nation facing fiscal uncertainty (actually, complete and absolute certainty—just like the in­evi­table wedgie I got every day in junior-high gym class), maybe it’s time to take a break from our anxieties and appreciate the simple pleasures in our lives, the ones not yet taken away by rogue bands of unemployed bankers.

What really matter are the daily celebrations of life, those little moments of com­passion and joy that separate us humans from the animals (except for dolphins, whales, mountain gorillas, Canada geese, and various other species who have highly developed social orders that have not, at this point, been compromised by a failed banking system).

Personally, I like to watch a little television of an evening, a cost-free activity that, though joyful and deeply satisfying to a superficial person such as myself, has not been without controversy in the home. My spouse and I have a long-standing difference of opinion about the TV’s location. I like it in the living room. She prefers it sitting on a shelf at a thrift store. So we compromised: I can watch, but without the sound. This way she is not distracted from the reading she so enjoys, including her latest book, an autobiography of a woman who lived for three decades in Stalinist Russia. (I skimmed through a few pages, and maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t think it was that funny.)

Not that I don’t enjoy reading myself. I, for one, can’t wait for John Grisham’s next novel, The Noun. But in these days of fiscal uncertainty … which reminds me of an incident at my junior high cafeteria ... [Editor’s note: We GET it, already! Move on.] I prefer television—specifically, really bad television. Even with the sound off, nothing purifies the soul and elevates one’s battered sense of superiority like watching the worst the small screen has to offer. I refer, of course, to the Home Shopping Network.

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Sojourners Magazine April 2009
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