I thought about Art Buchwald today as I looked at this quote tacked to my office wall.
“And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use. And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried: “Look at this God-awful mess.” — Art Buchwald, 1970
“Hmm. It must be near his birthday.” I Googled it and yes, his birthday was last Friday, October 20th. (He would have been 92.)
Cover of I’ll Always Have Paris
Art was one of my favorite humorists. He was well known for his biting political satire. I fell in love with Art when I read his autobiographical book, I’ll Always Have Paris. I read it in the throws of my own love affair with Paris. I liked that we shared that love, as many generations of Americans traveling to the City of Light undoubtedly did, and then brought home their own unique stories as well.
Today, I miss Art. He was a voice of sanity in an insane world. He loved to point out the absurdities and contradictions that are so prevalent in human nature and make us laugh about them. He was so poignantly funny, I think, because he also spent years studying his own pain.
So happy (belated) birthday Art. I’m honored to remember you today. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.
When I left Florida five years ago, hurricanes weren’t high on my list of reasons. It was more the rat race; the traffic, the cost of living, the apathy and oh yeah, no more hurricanes.
Living in South Florida for over twenty years, I’d seen a lot of hurricanes, most notably Hurricane Andrew, a cat 5, that… Continue reading
There are a lot of words being used to describe Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath; unprecedented, historic, catastrophic, one-in-500, one-in-1000, costliest natural disaster in US history. You get the idea; Harvey’s devastation was massive and on a scale that is hard to wrap our brains around.
I even heard one stat that said we’ve had 10 1/1000… Continue reading
I spoke with my friend Robin this week. Robin lives in Miami Shores, a mostly upper-middle class neighborhood located in Miami Dade county. It’s near the causeway that takes you to the beach. Robin was born on Miami Beach; she’s a native.
On our call, Robin recounted a conversation she recently had with a friend who lives on… Continue reading
My grandfather was a coal miner. He was also an American immigrant from southern Italy. He served in the US Army and proudly participated in our in democracy. My mother remembers him putting on his best suit and walking for miles to cast his vote on election day.
Back in his mountain origin of Bocchigliero, he was a peasant farmer. Like others, he came to America to… Continue reading
“A fool with a plan will go farther than a genius with no plan.”
It was late 2008 and everyone in the room laughed as billionaire T. Boone Pickens retold this story from his college years. His father was concerned with Boone’s lack of direction in choosing a major. Dad came to visit his son and said;
“Listen son, a fool with a plan can beat a
“There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.” Victor Hugo
Lately, people have been emphasizing that the climate movement is really about saving ourselves.
Yes, I agree the problem is with humanity; it’s a crisis of consciousness and how we relate to life’s inter-dependencies… Continue reading
So, the dust has settled after the… Continue reading