Once upon a time, comics didn’t make jokes about their own neuroses.  I honestly don’t know how they survived.  [Numerous authoritative accounts point to booze, drugs, and sex as their preferred coping mechanisms.  -ed.]  Luckily, those dark ages are over.   And thus now, not only do comics get a more direct way to channel their deep-seated pain into their art, but also we in the audience get a cheaper source of mental health advice.   For example, I think the following’s pretty good advice:

 I prefer not to think of myself as depressed.  I prefer to think of myself as paralyzed by hope.

Maria Bamford


(For those who were amused by this joke and are tickled by mental health humor generally, note that Maria’s new half-hour special on Comedy Central should be repeating umpteen times over the course of the next month.)


Valentine’s Day Poetry

February 14, 2007

So, after an utterly unplanned 8 month hiatus, I’ve decided to resume blogging. I plan to start slowly in order to make sure I don’t pull a blogging muscle or sprain my brain. So, don’t expect any long original essays for a while… just some links and quotes. Along these lines, given that today’s Valentine’s Day, it’s pretty obvious what to do: find some pithy poems about love, quote ’em, and call it a day. But this is in fact pretty tough, especially as I feel one should somehow not only pay tribute to the intoxicating ideal of pure, eternal love, but also pay heed to the bittersweet reality of conflicted, transitory love. After some thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that the middle verses of Regina Spektor’s song “On the Radio” best fit the bill:

This is how it works
You’re young until you’re not
You love until you don’t
You try until you can’t
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else’s heart
Pumping someone else’s blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don’t get harmed
But even if it does
You’ll just do it all again

While the lyrics are quite swell all by themselves, the song really deserves to be heard. On the off chance that you don’t immediately want to part with your hard earned cash and buy Regina’s album Begin to Hope just on my say-so, you can hear the song free via the radio player on Regina’s website. The more-or-less direct link is http://www.reginaspektor.com/radio/begtohope/radio.html. Click through to the 4th track.