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Even if you're not a Dave Barry fan
September 16, 2001 11:34 PM   Subscribe

Even if you're not a Dave Barry fan you might appreciate reading his thoughts on the 9/11 disaster. For me, this piece was evidence that one of America's most prolific humorists has talent that goes beyond just being funny.
posted by Bixby23 (10 comments total)

 
Part of the reason that Barry is so funny (when he wants to be) is that he's a brilliant writer. He writes few serious columns, but they almost always make me cry. I still remember the one he did when he took his son Rob, who's now in college, to kindergarten for the first time. It was killing him to leave his little boy at school, and the column was the most touching thing about parenthood that I'd ever read.

This one had less effect on me -- he wrote it too soon after the fact to have had much chance to exercise his usual creativity, and he still seemed pretty numb. Even so, just a day after the attacks, he managed to be thoughtful, in addition to angry, shocked and patriotic. Nice link, Bixby23.
posted by diddlegnome at 12:04 AM on September 17, 2001


I'm glad that so far few people have tried to make light of this situation, like someone trying to tell you to cheer up at a funeral. There's nothing funny about this, and the fact that columnists are rising to the challenge and recognizing this is a good thing. There was an article on MSNBC (the station) about comedians, and the fact that so much humor is played off current events. There's nothing funny to be said about this, and making comments about other current events can only come across as shallow. They concluded that, right now, people aren't ready to laugh.

But, I am starting to feel a need to have some relief from the mental pressure of all of this. I know we can't go back to the way things were before this, but I also need to start to get on with my life as much as possible. I need to be able to think about something else for a few minutes and not feel guilty that I've done that rather than think about what's going on. Not to forget for good, but just for a few minutes, as a breather.
posted by sharlskdy at 12:24 AM on September 17, 2001


Nothing wrong with that, sharlskdy. Staying glued 24/7 to CNN/MSNBC/FoxNews is a prescription for depression. We all need to get away from it for a while. On Thursday, for example, my wife and I decided we'd had enough of current events for the evening, so we rented a movie.

Unfortunately, we chose "Sweet November." Nothing's perfect, not even escapism :)
posted by diddlegnome at 1:05 AM on September 17, 2001


nahhh, I'd recommend "Duck Soup", the old Marx Brothers flick. Timely, too.

"I think he said we're going to war!"
posted by Vidiot at 2:11 AM on September 17, 2001


Observing this as a Scot, I have gained a new respect for the complexity of American identity. Eg, the way that name US intellectuals - who I'd believed to be almost blandly cosmopolitan - turn out to be deeply, emotionally American has surprised and moved me. For two amazing examples, read Richard Sennett in the Guardian and particularly a posting from Doug Rushkoff in his Media-squatters list. If screenagers ever get patriotic, this is what it'll sound like.
posted by theplayethic at 5:22 AM on September 17, 2001


The link didn't work for me. Here a link from the Miami Herald.
posted by stchang at 6:53 AM on September 17, 2001


I, for one, actually don't want to go back to junk food (although I'll admit I enjoyed watching, erm, Babe the other night). I hope people don't want to rush back to Britney and Love Cruise. Something with a little complexity, a real touch. It would help now.
posted by argybarg at 7:55 AM on September 17, 2001


You could see that Dave Barry could write more than just comedy in his first novel, Big Trouble, which has just been turned into a movie that appears to be in release limbo because of the attacks.
posted by SiW at 8:15 AM on September 17, 2001


I remember him writing something very touching about his son, too, but it wasn't about kindergarten. I can't quite remember the details, but it seems like his son had a brush with death, bike accident or something. I remember feeling then as I do now, just amazed at his willingness to expose his emotions, his vulnerability. That's something that comedians, funny people in general, seem to be reluctant to do. Makes me think he's a pretty decent guy.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:19 AM on September 17, 2001


Saturday night the missus and I saw a performance in Tucson by a Cambodian dance troupe. Talk about a country that has gone through hell! The artistic director was in North Korea when the Khmer Rouge took over, and he returned to Cambodia anyway, hiding his identity in order to survive. There are estimates that as much as 90 percent of the artistic community in Cambodia died during the Khmer Rouge regime. But the survivors have pieced back together their art and traditions and continue to share them with the world. Unless we manage to completely destroy the world and everyone on it (which doesn't seem as farfetched today as it did a week ago), there will always be art. (And things masquerading as art.)
posted by jdbanks at 11:33 AM on September 17, 2001


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