GROB: Yesterday, when all our troubles seemed so far away
By James Grob, [email protected]
I once read somewhere that the children of former Vice President Mike Pence have a pet rabbit named “Marlon Bundo.”
After I read that, I knew that I could never bring myself to hate the guy.
I don’t care much for Pence’s political views, and from what I’ve seen of him and what I’ve heard from him, he doesn’t strike me as a person I would get along with personally.
But if the story I read wasn’t fake, at one time in his life, he let his kids get a pet rabbit and they named the furry little thing Marlon Bundo, and I absolutely love everything about that.
On the same hand, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi turns 81 years old next month and is a mother to five children and a grandmother to nine grandchildren. She loves them, and they love her. She’s maybe like your grandma. She bakes pies. She cuddles. She’s put Band-Aids on ouchies. She’s seen a few temper tantrums.
A little over a month ago, a misguided and largely illiterate mob had a huge temper tantrum, and desecrated the U.S. Capitol with destruction and murder on its collective mind. A bunch of people were killed, and a whole bunch were put in the hospital. It was disgraceful and embarrassing, and one of the worst moments in American history.
Many people in the mob loudly and proudly proclaimed they wanted to hang Mike Pence and shoot Nancy Pelosi in the back of the head. The poor little lost souls were mad because they lost, and losing hurts their poor little feelings. Their disproportionate sense of entitlement has lowered them to a level where they no longer have the mental capacity to function normally. They are not self-aware enough to understand this, they just know their little hearts ache and when they cry, they feel weak.
Even though it wouldn’t have changed one thing about the election, I guess murdering the House speaker and the vice president, in their minds, would have made them feel better. Or maybe they were desperately looking for Band-Aids in Pelosi’s office.
The then president of the United States reportedly watched the whole thing unfold on his White House big screen, cheering away, bag of Cheetos in his hand, like it was is own personal Super Bowl party. As usual, he was ultimately found blameless in the attempted insurrection, because in the United States, math is upside down and 43 is somehow a larger number than 57.
The reason I bring this all up has a lot to do with lasagna, cold weather, the Beatles and Valentine’s Day.
The wife and I never do all that much to celebrate contrived holidays such as Valentine’s Day. I mean, we acknowledge the day and tell each other we love each other, and this year I wrote her a little note and left it on the fridge, and that was about the extent of our romanticism.
Some years we may do a little more, but this year it was 170 degrees below zero outside, plus there’s the whole COVID thing, so we were content to pick up some lasagna dinners they were giving away at the church and watch some movies in our warm and comfortable house.
One of the more interesting movies available is a cute little film called “Yesterday.” It is by no means a great movie, and it might be a stretch to even call it a good movie, but it was a movie I really enjoyed, with a few laughs and a lot of good music.
The basic premise is this — the Beatles never happened. The universe is pretty much the same as it’s always been, but there was never a Fab Four pop culture movement. The mop-topped, cute and wise-cracking crooners from Liverpool never arrived on the international scene and never created and sold their multitude of music for the record-buying multitudes.
But there is one guy, the movie’s protagonist — a highly unsuccessful singer-songwriter — who somehow remembers all the Beatles songs that no one else has ever heard of, and he’s intent on recreating them and delivering them to the masses. And maybe he’ll become a big star along the way, claiming credit for songs he didn’t write.
I’ll let you watch the movie yourself, if you’re wondering how it all works out for him, but there was one scene in the film that really hit me.
Our protagonist decides to track down John Lennon. In the film, Lennon is just an old guy who lived a nice long life, and never became famous. There were no songs, there was no stardom, no psychedelic era, no controversial comments to the press, no “give peace a chance,” no Yoko Ono. No one gently asked us to “Imagine.”
And there was never a reason for a deranged assassin to murder him when he was barely 40 years old. There was just a 78-year-old man who seemed like a nice guy, who had worked a normal job, married a normal wife, and led a normal life.
The damn humanity in that scene was so sweet that it raised my blood sugar level to borderline comatose.
Had there never been the Beatles, there still would’ve been a guy named John Lennon. A human being who didn’t deserve to be killed. Could I do without the Beatles, if it means that human being would have lived his life in full? Could the world?
I’m happy to say that the choice is easy for me. I’d wipe the memory of every Beatles song from my mind if meant that John Lennon could still be alive today, an old man anonymously sipping tea in his home, somewhere near a shoreline.
If it’s a matter of life or death, I can listen to the Stones.
So the next time a homicidal mob of morons is hunting down the speaker of the House, with intent to kill — remember that they’re murdering an 80-year-old grandma with nine grandchildren who love her.
And the next time they say they’re going to lynch and hang the former vice president — remember that they’re talking about murdering a father of three children, and possibly the owner of a pet rabbit named Marlon Bundo.
When you kill someone, you don’t kill what they are. You kill who they are. And you never, ever make anything better, for yourself or anyone else.
That’s enough now. Put your pitchforks away and go get a shower, brush your teeth and knock off the crap. Learn how to be situationally aware. Go to work on improving your own literacy, social skills and basic hygiene.
And let’s not be so damn cavalier when we disregard humanity out loud. It’s so breathtakingly not cool.
It would be dreadful — to the point of literary criminality — to end this column with the words, “all I am saying is give peace a chance.”
So I won’t.