Thursday, January 24, 2008

The End Days Have Come.

Click on the image for the whole nightmare.

The Cure? Comotude.

RELAX. We'd hoped it wouldn't come to this, but it has. Here's just a selection of key Drudge headlines today (quite similar to what they've been ever since the first of the year):

More Russian nuclear fuel delivered to Iran...
GORE: Climate change 'significantly worse' than feared...
Soros: Worst crisis in 60 years...
Dutch Braced for 'Koran Insult' Backlash...
Rice offers Iran 'normal ties' if it drops nuclear plan...
UPDATE: India battles worst bird flu outbreak...
PAPER: Bill risks tarnishing his global brand...
Michelle: 'They will say anything'...
POUND FOR POUND: U.K. considers paying obese adults to lose weight...

So absolutely everything in human affairs has gone insane, including the global arms race, the climate, the economy, religion, international diplomacy, contagious diseases, Bill Clinton, racial strife, and voracious nanny state social engineering. Should we just wait pitifully for the merciful end of everything? Or should we resort to our last-ditch defense against world-wide lunacy?

We opt for the latter. It's time for a global wave of Como-ism. You may think Perry Como was just an Italian crooner and TV star, but the truth is he was the most advanced mystic of late western civilization. He was also the Cary Grant of American music, without the five wives. He had grace. He knew how to deal with all the stress. He could reconcile responsibility and ease of mind, Christianity and cardigan sweaters, fame and fidelity. If you listen to his music -- and I mean really listen -- you'll hear a truly luminous spirit of precisely the sort we all need to persevere through the silly season we're experiencing now. Perry had political views, but he never wished a painful death by cancer on the opposition. He may even have had concerns about things like global epidemics and total nuclear war, but he never went bug-shit about it. He was, in the earliest and truest sense of the term, cool.

You probably think we're kidding. We're not. Here's an excerpt from his Wikipedia entry:

A popular television performer and recording artist, Perry Como produced numerous hit records with record sales so high the label literally stopped counting at Como's behest. His weekly television shows and seasonal specials were broadcast throughout the world and his popularity seemingly had no geographical or language boundaries. He was equally at ease in live performance and in the confines of a recording studio. His appeal spanned generations and he was widely respected for both his professional standards and the conduct in his personal life. In the official RCA Records Billboard Magazine memorial, his life was summed up in these few words: "50 years of music and a life well lived. An example to all."

Well known American composer Ervin Drake said of him, " . . . occasionally someone like Perry comes along and won't 'go with the flow' and still prevails in spite of all the bankrupt others who surround him and importune him to yield to their values. Only occasionally."

What we really need as a culture right now is an end to the Internet string-jokes about how murderously tough Jack Bauer and Chuck Norris are, and a replacement obsession with just how cool and enlightened Perry Como was.

But it all begins with a simple first step. Whatever your musical preferences, put them aside long enough to get the feel of Perry Como. It's more than music. Yes, he had enormous talent as a light tenor, but his singing is also creating a philosophical atmosphere you can't begin to appreciate without taking a deep breath, leaning back in your chair, and letting go of all the tension and angst you carry with you from day to day and minute to minute.

We're going to give you a couple of YouTube clips to get you started, but the real healing will begin when you dig into his discography and procure the albums that will enable you, through repeated listening, finally, to quit being so goddamned pissed-off about everything. We call that attaining Comotude. Step One:

Note that his mien is beatific but far from dumb.

Step Two. Just his voice. (YouTube is predictably weak on Perry.) Use this clip to practice your breathing, leaning back, relaxing, not taking things so damn f___ing seriously. We really can get through all this.

Step 3. Go to the discography and start saving your soul.

P.S. He's no longer with us now, obviously, but do yourself a favor and remember him while you listen to his recording of "O Holy Night." You'll feel better for it. We promise.

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