Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 8, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 13



Mountain View News Saturday, January 8, 2022 





Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola


Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

Meghan Malooley

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee






 This column centers round a movie. The movie 
title is "Not That Funny".

 Many of you are familiar with the 1948 film “The Treasures 
of the Sierra Madre. This famous Humphrey Bogart 
film is considered by many to be one of the best 
American movies ever made. The story of the film is 
about a man who wants what he does not have. That 
thing that he wants is called 'gold' and Bogart is consumed 
by his desire and pursues his goal relentlessly 
through the rugged Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico. 
This column is not about that film. Instead it is about a man who also wants what 
he does not have. The thing he lusts for is the ability to be funny in order to win 
the heart of a woman he desires. The search takes place in our city of Sierra Madre. 
Seemingly every commercial establishment in Sierra Made is visited. Considerable 
action takes place at Mary’s Market, Beantown, St. Rita’ Church, Arnold’s Frontier 
Hardware, and the Buccaneer Bar.

 My wife stumbled upon the film on Amazon Prime and referred me to it. 
Frankly the film feels like it was made especially for me. The residential action in 
the film takes place on Alegria Street just on the other side of Mountain Trail. If 
you view the film you will have no trouble finding the house which still stands 
looking pretty much the same as it does in the film. The main character is a serious 
man who wants to be accepted by a woman who describes herself as looking for a 
man who is funny. The protagonist does everything he can to gain what he does not 
have. He reads books on humor, listens to tapes, writes down other people’s jokes, 
goes so far as to stalk a successful comedian in an attempt to learn how to be funny.

 This desire is to be appreciated for his humor particularly resonates with 
me as I have always thought of myself as being very funny and having the ability to 
allow people to laugh. It feels good. Unfortunately, I am unable to affect my wife 
in that way. She does not laugh at my humorous attempts. Ten or fifteen years ago 
I asked her why I failed at making her laugh. She answered in words I shall never 
forget; “You just aren’t that funny. I’ve worked with professional comedians and 
you just aren’t that funny.”

 I was crushed but since she has stuck with me for almost thirty years there 
must be other traits of mine she found and continues to find appealing. In the “Not 
That Funny’ film the hero is appreciated by the woman because 1) he is a good listener 
2] he is a good caring person who goes out of his way to help others, and 3} 
and for other reasons he does not understand. I think my wife and I have a similar 
bond but I know enough now not to ask what she likes about me. Maybe I don’t 
want her to think about it too much.

 Another similarity I found in the film is the belief that the little city of Sierra 
Madre is just too small and confining. She wants to the travel the world. This 
is analogous to my feelings over the past two years. I am now retired and wanting 
to travel. The Covid protocols have restricted all of us but as I thought about 
things today I realized that life here in little Sierra Madre ain’t so bad; in fact, it’s 
pretty unique. Today our house is decorated with the beautiful flowers a neighbor 
dropped off after they were removed from our Prizewinning Rose Bowl float. 
Right now I am looking out my balcony and see a spectacular sunset. This morning 
my wife pointed out the huge shadow of an angel across the mountains to the 

 After breakfast on this beautiful clear morning I looked to the East and beheld 
beautiful clear snow-covered mountains. Of course it’s not like this every day, 
or almost any other day; but it’s here today and it’s wonderful. . I ask you, isn’t it 
amazing that I have been granted this space to write about absolutely anything I 
want to write about? Let’s celebrate what we have and not focus on what we lack. 
There will always be time for that. Thanks for sharing moments with me. It feels 
pretty good! 

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Before I attempt to amaze and delight you with 
funny New Year’s quips, I’d like to thank my 
Facebook friends. I went out to drive to work 
two mornings ago and my key would not turn 
the ignition do-hickey and I was stuck at home. 
Contemplating my fate, I shared my feelings 
and frustrations on Facebook.

Well, the outpouring of empathy and sympathy for my plight, 
created an out-pouring of comfort and support for the ordeal 
that lay before me. Thank you to the two people who recommended 
locksmiths, the two people who offered me the use of their 
vehicles and the general encouragement by dozens of Facebook 
friends. I experienced extraordinary support which was very 
heartwarming. I did consider putting up a Go Fund Me link. I did 
not, however, and encourage anyone with spare change to find a 
noble place to spend it.

Now, back to resolutions. Possibly the greatest resolution you 
could make, is to live up to and fulfill at least one of your New 
Year’s resolutions.

In 1955, Marilyn Monroe resolved:

“…must make strong effort to work on current problems and 
phobias…, making much, much, much more, more, more effort 
in my analisis (sic). And be there al-ways on time…no excuses for 
being ever late.”

“…if possible, take at least one class at university, in literature.”

“…take care of my instrument – personally & bodily (exercise)”

“…try to enjoy myself when I can – I’ll be miserable enough as it 


In 1942, singer Woody Guthrie promised to:

“wash teeth, if any”, “shave”, “take bath”, “drink very scant if any”, 
“write a song a day”, “wear clean clothes-look good”, “change 
socks”, “save dough”.


Notable resolution suggestions for 2022:

Unfollow the Kardashians

Unfriend every person who shares unsolicited diet or exercise 

Stop making lists, particularly if they include making more lists

Accept the fact bringing in groceries from the car will take more 
than one trip

Resolve to either stop telling the same old jokes, or make new 

Stop hitting elevator buttons repeatedly attempting to make the 
elevator go fast-er.

Finally, some profound children’s New Years Resolutions:

Joey – age 10, “…to not eat as much sugar. But I probably won’t 
keep it.”

Hadssah-age 7 “…stop picking my nose. It is going to be hard.”

Brianna-2nd grade “…to not wig out like I’m seeing the Lockness 
monster when I see a bug.”

Will-age 4 “I will eat all the cake.”

“I’ll color on the paper and not on the walls.”

Let’s all endeavor to enjoy 2022 more than 2021. Savor existing 
friendships and make new friends.




We yawn as we drift toward doom. The news is relentless, for 
those who deign to pay at-tention.

For instance, scientists discovered last month that a massive 
(and, until now, stable) ice shelf at the bottom of the globe is 
rapidly crumbling, with serious consequences for us all: “The rapid transformation 
of the Arctic and Antarctic creates ripple effects all over the planet. Sea levels 
will rise, weather patterns will shift and ecosystems will be altered. Un-less 
humanity acts swiftly to curb emissions, scientists say, the same forces that have 
de-stabilized the poles will wreak havoc on the rest of the globe.”

The havoc is here already. Unprecedented tornadoes destroy entire Kentucky 
towns, un-precedented wildfires destroy Denver suburbs, the sea routinely runs 
wild in the streets of Miami, New York City subways drown in floodwater…it’s 
just life in the 21st century.

According to one report about last week’s Colorado conflagrations, “heat and 
dryness as-sociated with global warming are major reasons for the increasing 
prevalence of bigger and stronger fires, as rainfall patterns have been disrupted, 
snow melts earlier and mead-ows and forests are scorched into kindling.”

And yet, film critics and armchair curmudgeons are whining that the Netflix satirical 
film Don’t Look Up! – a bitter attack on climate change deniers – is too 
“heavy-handed,” too “broad,” too “angry,” a veritable “sledgehammer” at the expense 
of subtlety. I watched the film during the holiday doldrums – like many 
of you in semi-lockdown mode, I was bing-ing TV – and I frankly can’t fathom 
those complaints.

Because the same indictment could be leveled against Dr. Strangelove (on orders 
from a general named Jack D. Ripper, a gung-ho Texan rides an A-bomb), and 
against Network (a lunatic anchorman is assassinated on the air because his ratings 
went bad). Heck, you could say the same thing about Jonathan Swift, the 
18th-century satirist who suggested, in his treatise entitled “A Modest Proposal,” 
that poverty in Ireland would be cured if only the impoverished Irish families 
would agree to fatten their children and sell them as food to the English landowners. 
He even suggested some yummy recipes.

Spoiler alert: Nobody thought that Swift was literally serious. Satire, by definition, 
uses “humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s 
stupidity or vices,” – and, in case you haven’t noticed, rampant stupidity currently 
reigns in our benighted disunion. Witness the latest deluge of lies on social media, 
with keyboard loons insisting, despite all scientific evidence to the contrary, 
that the Greenland ice sheet has not been losing billions of metric tons of ice each 

In “Don’t Look Up!”, a killer comet is hurtling toward earth – there’s incontrovertible 
scien-tific proof – but the morons on social media still call it a hoax. A male 
astronomer gets a lot of air time only because the viewers think he’s hunky, while 
his female assistant gets canceled by the Twitter haters because she’s deemed too 
“shrill.” Meanwhile, a MAGA-type president and her dimwit chief of staff (her 
son, naturally) worry that the comet will sink her poll ratings. An Elon Musk-
type billionaire thinks there’s money to be made from the comet, brainless followers 
chant that the comet will “create jobs,” and in no time a sizeable chunk 
of the doomed populace is refusing to look up, wearing buttons that fea-ture an 
arrow pointing down.

And finally, when it’s too late to do anything, Leonardo DeCaprio’s astronomer 
says plain-tively, “We had it all, didn’t we?”

This is the fractured and fool-infested America we know all too well. If anything, 
the film is a documentary masquerading as a satire – a veritable metaphor for 
life as we know it, with tens of millions of people (mostly Republicans and other 
Trump chumps) still spew-ing, circulating, and swallowing COVID-19 lies, adamantly 
refusing to look up.

Anyone who thinks “Don’t Look Up! “lacks subtlety needs only to look around 
and behold what mass stupidity has wrought.

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a 
Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at 
Email him at

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