In honor of my inability to accomplish anything at all during these last few weeks of the election, I'm going to talk a little about people who are distracted. I feel like I'm holding my breath and trying not to be sick at the same time. And I keep dropping the many balls I normally keep in the air.
So - here are some famous examples of people who have been as I have been, these last few days.
There is the story in Struwwelpeter about Hans Look-in-the-Air:
"Once, with head as high as ever,
Johnny walked beside the river.
Johnny watched the swallows trying
Which was cleverest at flying.
Oh! what fun!
Johnny watched the bright round sun
Going in and coming out;
This was all he thought about.
So he strode on, only think!
To the river's very brink,
Where the bank was high and steep,
And the water very deep;
And the fishes, in a row,
Stared to see him coming so."
This is just one bit of a longer poem, but you can see the rest at Project Gutenberg.
Note: these stories are very funny and rather strange, and the Tiger Lilies did an opera based on the book, called Shock Headed Peter in English, which is really, really worth checking out if they ever perform it near you. Oh, what the heck, I'm distracted and scattered, so I'll include the video of the songs "Bully Boys" (really a pastiche of the whole opera) and "Snip, Snip" (intact):
I love this so much. What more could you ask for? 18th-century grotesqueness, marionettes, grubby creepy sets, accordion, demented falsetto singing, and LENSES...
Harrumph. Let's see, who else?
Well, there's Thales of Miletus, an early philosopher regarded by Aristotle to be the first philosopher in the Greek tradition:
"It is said that once he (Thales) was led out of his house by an old woman for the purpose of observing the stars, and he fell into a ditch and bewailed himself. On which the old woman said to him—'Do you, O Thales, who cannot see what is under your feet, think that you shall understand what is in heaven?'"—Diogenes Laertius, Bohn's edition.
Then, in the 2001 Darwin Awards, there's this:
"A 27-year-old French woman lost control of her car on a highway near Marseilles and crashed into a tree, seriously injuring her passenger and killing herself. As a common place road accident, this would not have qualified for a Darwin nomination, were it not for the fact that the driver's attention had been distracted by her Tamagotchi key ring, which had started urgently beeping for food as she drove along. In an attempt to press the correct buttons to save the Tamagotchi's life, the woman lost
To be honest, the world right now is about as strange and scary as the video above, and I'll be back after the election decision is made, brain (hopefully) intact, to talk about less important things.
Final addendum: EEEK! The Tiger Lillies are playing in San Francisco the day after tomorrow (November 3rd) at the Swedish American Hall. Yow! Looking at the reviews, though, it looks like it could be incredibly offensive. Be warned.