Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
April 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor comes to the Rochester Civic Theatre for a night of stories, songs, poetry, and humor. Tickets $50 and up
February 19, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 2 of 2. Tickets $30+
February 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 1 of 2. Tickets $30+
A day of spring appeared out of nowhere Monday, trees blooming in the park, a troop of tiny kiddos roped together with teachers fore and aft, sociable dogs, and yellow daffodils in bloom, though I’m not a botanist, and maybe they were begonias but to me they’re daffodils because begonias sound like pneumonia and so Wordsworth and Herrick wrote poems about daffodils. Let’s just assume that’s true.
I came home to try to read the instruction book for my new printer, which was written by an electrical engineer for another electrical engineer, one pro trying to impress another, two guys who whizzed through college math courses that to me were a solid brick wall, and here I sit, reading through pages of fabulous technical know-how trying to figure out how to print on one side of the paper, not two, and it simply isn’t there — the secrets of the universe are freely available through this machine, but I can’t find the ON switch.
This is my complaint against poets: they write for each other, knowing that nobody else is interested, and for that reason nobody else is interested.
Candidates for public office speak to others of their ilk, fellow politicians, officeholders, coatholders, executive assistants, so when Joe Biden stood up Tuesday night in victory, he tried to be exultant but politics doesn’t lend itself to exultation. He cried, “All of you who’ve been knocked down, who’ve been counted out, who’ve been left behind, this is your campaign!” But that’s not his line, it’s Bernie’s. And Bernie stood up and said, “I tell you with absolute confidence that we are going to win the Democratic nomination and we are going to beat Trump.” I know a number of guys from Brooklyn and none of them would say “with absolute confidence” except ironically. “Absolute confidence” is the code word for Highly Dubious.
Bernie is out to correct the glaring inequality of book ownership in America: 90 percent of the hardcover books in private hands are owned by 5 percent of adults. Five percent whose shelves are jammed with expensive books that they will never read and that they keep on their shelves merely for decor, to appear to be literate while countless young people live with nothing to read but food labels and Facebook. It’s unjust.
As a published author, I get free copies of books from publishers hoping I will provide a blurb such as “full of wistfulness and futility yet somehow spangled with hope,” which I send to every book publishers give me, including Proust’s “A la Recherche du Temps Perdu” all about when he was temping at Purdue, doing research, and there it is on my shelf, and meanwhile, America needs a woman to take charge — I speak from experience here — and instead we have a choice between three elderly men.
I know about old men, being one myself. They have fragile egos and hang onto old grudges and every day they feel a powerful urge to lie down and sleep. They can pick up new jargon but their competency is declining at an alarming rate. We face four years with an old man in charge: which one would you entrust with the care of small children? Which one would be an adequate teacher of remedial English? If each of them were your wife’s ex-boyfriend, which would you be okay with as a weekend houseguest?
Politics is all about optics. Jimmy Carter fainted while running a marathon and fell, knees buckling — presidents should never run in public view. Ronald Reagan rode a horse and looked good and beat him. John Kerry went windsurfing in a wet suit and lost: presidents don’t go around in spandex. The three old men all look rather old. One wears a red cap, “Keep America Great,” and the other two are capless. Joe is not going to take up golf but why not a chainsaw? Bernie needs to be seen with his arm around a dog who is looking at him lovingly.
It is spring, hope is springing, young people out running, and dogs are meeting their friends and daffodils are here. I give up on the printer. The statistic about 90 percent of all hardcover books being in the hands of 5 percent of the adult population was invented by me in order to get your attention in an authoritative way. The daffodils were genuine, assuming they were not begonias.