“I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!” — Comedian Steven Wright

A couple of times in the past I have written here about rhythm and how there is evidence of rhythm in just about everything we do. Whether it is noticing the bulging, oppressive nature of numerous identical huge columns on a federal building in downtown Chicago and just watching repetitive waves of ocean slamming the beach, there is rhythm all around us. I take a great deal of comfort in spotting these rhythms occasionally.

Just recently, I noticed, however minutely, the profound amount of irony that surrounds us, too, and how sometimes, if we’re not paying attention, this irony just plain passes by us.

Today, I was glancing through the online NYTimes, reading an update on the government shutdown and how Congress is going all out to get us through it. For a little extra oomph, the article mentioned all the catastrophic events that will slam the U.S. if the House and Senate do not get something going. The online page looked just like a regular printed page, except the advertisements on the screen were in color, while the normal printed page, they would likely be B&W. So, I am reading about all the gloom and doom, but one ad on one side of the screen talked about the absolute divine fashion of a designer with at least six syllables in his/her first name and two-to-three in his/her last. Hey, I could not tell gender in the name alone. And, I’m sorry that I don’t remember the names of fashion designers.

Also on the page was an ad that was willing to show me the photos of Sandra Bullock‘s new home in New Orleans. Wasn’t that sweet? Years ago, when I worked in newspaper journalism, editors got 8×10 sheets for each page in the paper. The sheet would show the names of the ads, and the space left over for the news.  Editors did not have a clue what the ads said until just shortly before the first edition hit the street.

So, I found it a bit IRONIC that I would be reading a story about the end of the western world (perhaps a slight bit of exaggeration), but I could also leave that page and see the latest fashion designs and intimate pictures of Sandra Bullock’s new home. Maybe the shutdown is just a speed bump and not a cliff after all.

And, here’s another example. Yesterday, Patti and I had to make a grocery run. It had rained earlier in the day, so the store was packed. Carts trying to dodge each other, people staring at products on the shelves and blocking others. Typical grocery run. But what was also slightly noticeable was the music playing over the store’s speakers. Not loud, mind you, but just enough that the sound would capture your attention if you were so inclined and listen a little more intently to recognize the song.

As Patti and I were going through the organic foods and vegetables, a song from the 60s, The Association‘s Along Comes Mary, began to play. And, for a few moments I found it incredibly IRONIC that we were walking through the freshest part of the grocery store, and a song I recognized from my youth about marijuana was wafting through the rows. For a few moments, I stopped and smiled while I listened to the lyrics. The Association was the very first concert I ever attended as a teen living in Houston. I loved Along Comes Mary, Cherish, Never My Love and Windy then, and I love the songs now.

If you are a little younger than me, here is a clip from the Smothers Brothers show in 1967 that shows The Association at their prime:

If I have to explain who the Smothers Brothers are, then go ask your mom or dad.