WILL ROGERS

March 28, 2017


It seems as though our country, our great country, is now having difficulties sensible people could solve if they had the resolve to do so.  Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, Right, Left, Moderate, Independent, we just do not seem to want to come together to resolve our most pressing problems.  We are remarkably fortunate in this country to have a very “deep bench”.  We have people who can do things, do them properly, and do them correct the first time.  You would think with this reality, we could at least come together to discuss our differences.

Some countries simply do not have the capability to accomplish.  Hundreds, maybe thousands, of women travel miles each day just to “fetch” water for their families. Hundreds of children die each day due to malnutrition.  Little girls in some parts of the world still undergo the painful and humiliating process of Female Genital Mutilation.  Honor killings take the lives of hundreds each year.  Individuals seeking only to express freedoms we take for granted.

I think no one expresses our human condition better than Will Rogers. Will Rogers was an American humorist, actor and author best known for his Broadway and film performances, as well as his folksy persona. In 1905, Rogers began performing a lasso act on the vaudeville circuit. His charm and humor, along with his technical ability, made Rogers a star somewhat overnight. Audiences responded with enthusiasm to his off-the-cuff remarks delivered while performing elaborate roping tricks. Rogers parlayed his vaudeville success into a Broadway career. He debuted in New York in 1916, performing in The Wall Street Girl. This led to many more theatrical roles, including headlining appearances in the Ziegfeld Follies. Rogers also brought his act to the burgeoning medium of the moving picture. He appeared in dozens of silent films, often playing a country bumpkin trying to negotiate the modern world.

In addition to acting, Rogers became nationally known as a writer. He penned a column for the Saturday Evening Post that ran in newspapers across the country. His columns dealt with contemporary issues from a perspective of small town morality, emphasizing the integrity of working people. It was a viewpoint that resonated in the rapidly industrializing twentieth century United States. Many of his books, including The Cowboy Philosopher on Prohibition and There’s Not a Bathing Suit in Russia, achieved best-seller status.

Rogers’s fame had eclipsed his country bumpkin persona by 1930. No longer believable as an uneducated outsider, he was able to voice his characteristic wit and wisdom while playing a professional. Legendary director John Ford worked with Rogers on three of these later films—Doctor Bull, Judge Priest and The Steamboat Round the Bend. After filming concluded on the final Ford film, in 1935, Rogers set out on a trip to Alaska. An avid aviation enthusiast, he planned to explore remote stretches by plane as well as on foot.

A digital picture of Will Rogers is given below.  I have chosen this JPEG to give you some indication of his public persona.

One thing that greatly endeared Rogers to a loving audience was, as mentioned earlier, his off-the-cuff remarks.  I would like to indicate several of those now.

  • Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to somebody else.
  • Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
  • If advertisers spent the same amount of money on improving their products as they do on advertising then they wouldn’t have to advertise them.
  • Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction.
  • An onion can make people cry but there’s never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.
  • Take the diplomacy out of war and the thing would fall flat in a week.
  • If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?
  • Liberty doesn’t work as well in practice as it does in speeches.
  • A remark generally hurts in proportion to its truth.
  • If I studied all my life, I couldn’t think up half the number of funny things passed in one session of congress.
  • This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.
  • Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators.
  • People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing
  • If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.
  • About all I can say for the United States Senate is that it opens with a prayer and closes with an investigation.
  • What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.
  • There ought to be one day – just one – when there is open season on senators.
  • The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.
  • When the Oakies left Oklahoma, and moved to California, it raised the I.Q. of both states.
  • If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.
  • A fool and his money are soon elected
  • The man with the best job in the country is the vice-president. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, ‘How is the president?’
  • Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.

There are many many others but you can see his brand of humor is right on the money especially with today’s political climate.  A little humor never really hurt anyone.

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