Episode 324 – ‘Apparently She Thought Not’: Tyrone Davis and the End of the World

This new podcast explores the element of humor in resourcing one’s detachment from the “boxing ring” of everyday life. I want to say that when you “lose your life and thereby gain it back” — in the New Testament view of the world — humor takes on an almost crucial role in smoothing the uncomfortable edges of withdrawal.

PZ’s Podcast / 8.21.21

There used to be a monthly column in Reader’s Digest magazine — of which one number featured a photo of John Zahl on the back cover — that was entitled “Laughter Is the Best Medicine”. It was a fairly “middle-brow” column, but its heart was in the right place.
This new podcast explores the element of humor in resourcing one’s detachment from the “boxing ring” of everyday life. (Did you wince at that ‘English’ use of “resource” as a verb?) I want to say that when you “lose your life and thereby gain it back” — in the New Testament view of the world — humor takes on an almost crucial role in smoothing the uncomfortable edges of withdrawal. Whuh?
When I was sick in the hospital recently, just about all one’s previous attachments — excepting, vividly, Mary, our sons, and their children — faded away. Like, almost instantly. And when that happens to you, it kind of stays with you.
Thus humor, a la Tyrone Davis’ impossible-to-make-sense-of lyric in “Something You’ve Got”, becomes, well, important. The song’s impermeable confusion about who is being addressed and to what end — albeit in the context of a great ‘Soul’ arrangement — is a matchless “Song Without End”. I mean, I’ve studied this song for years and still can’t tell you whether it’s a dialogue between two people concerning a third person, or a trialogue with three persons in the room. The alternating pronouns stump me every time.
Anyway, think for a minute about your own sense of humor. When do you find yourself losing it — your sense of humor, I mean — and what always works to (re-) “tickle your funny bone”. You tell me.
The cast ends with another Tyrone Davis track — there are many contagious songs by this wonderful artist. “I Had It All the Time” is a perfect and delightful exercise in attractive insincerity. And where actually is the singer while he is addressing the girl? You tell me. LUV U.
Podcast 324 is dedicated to Jim McNeely and Derek Nelson.
P.S. One small correction: When I refer in the cast to Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, I really mean Battle in Outer Space (1961).