YOU JUST HAVE TO LAUGH

November 10, 2017

Recording Studio - Linda’s Lair, Monroe, Washington State

I was telling some friends the other day that when I die I… wait, I’ll finish that sentence later.

The prospect of war has been rearing its head a lot lately, not only in the context of Syria and North Korea, but many other places. Today, for example, Saudi Arabia declared war on Lebanon, or so the leader of the Hezbollah claimed. Wars shape the present and future of the human race.

From World War I:

  1. The sanitary napkin - Kotex
  2. Facial tissue - Kleenex
  3. Sun lamp
  4. Daylight Savings Time
  5. Wrist watch
  6. Vegetarian sausage
  7. Zippers
  8. Stainless steel

From World War II:

  1. The Jerrycan
  2. Pressurized cabins
  3. Radio navigation and landing
  4. Penicillin
  5. Synthetic rubber and oil
  6. Radar
  7. Microwave oven
  8. Jet engines
  9. Nuclear power
  10. Computers

During World War II, women were given new privileges, like being able to have a job. "If you can drive a car," the government said, "then you can run a machine.” Women were the backbone of the economy. They built the ships, planes, and guns. They dealt with heavy machinery. This new perspective of women-as-equals opened the door for a brighter future for womanhood.

The war helped end (or so they thought) discrimination against African Americans. As the war progressed, stores of white owners changed their signs of "No Help Wanted" to "Help Wanted". At first, the white owners didn't want any African Americans working in their stores, but as many white men went into the war, there was more work assistance needed. That helped many African Americans earn a job and when they began to work, they earned the respect of being able to work like any other person. Also, more than a million African Americans were enlisted and many were also drafted. In the war, they fought with pride and courage. This finally convinced President Truman to end segregation in the Armed Forces in 1948.

The benefits of war throughout history are many and hugely important to humanity today. I believe it’s possible that a new kind of war could save us from the dreadful direction we seem to be headed now. What the world needs is a common foe. Sure, we already do: global warming; potential pandemic; pollution; scarcity of resources, etc. But what if we had to arm ourselves for an impending collision with an object that would undeniably “TAKE US OUT?”

All the countries of the world would have to share information, skills, resources, assets, military secrets, corporate secrets, everything possible to create a weapon so powerful it could knock this thing out of the sky. We would have to establish a means of global cooperation and government that would allow us to focus on the task-at-hand. If we failed to do this, it would be over. We would have to improve communication, travel, infrastructure, and health for all people. And with the resources of the combined assets of the world, we could guarantee every human being, and all life on the planet, a more supportive, nurturing existence.

And you’re thinking that I’m an idealistic pipe dreamer? I just have to laugh. I’m envisioning a bright future, and how that might be possible. :-)

So, during your day, when something in your computer glitches and foils your attempts to meet the deadline of the project you’re working on; when you’re driving and some knucklehead cuts in front of you, almost causing a wreck; when you’re innocently walking through the kitchen and painfully stub your toe, do you get really pissed off and mentally and/or physically retaliate? Do you think or say, “FUCK!” Do you wish others harm? In my old-age wisdom, I’m learning, “you just have to laugh.” I mean, what can you do? What is a positive way of handling crap?

The live-performing musician, at some point, will have to learn that you can’t draw attention to every thing that goes wrong, or is extremely undesirable during a performance. That’s OK and even necessary in some scenarios, but challenges happen so often, one learns how to carry on as if nothing happened. After the show, in the dressing room, the musicians look at each other and… you just have to laugh.


The Fisher Brothers experimented with helping create a prototype festival that we hope to someday tour, Moonfest, which was the brainchild of Jim Munn, a dear friend, who lives on Lake Leland and owns the property. With Jim and partner Sheryl's major contribution, we produced Moonfest 2012, 2013, and 2014. Turns out the Olympic Peninsula isn’t the easiest place to draw people to, given the need for ferry-travel from the mainland, which proved a wonderful training ground for building what we have in mind. Despite this, our concerts were wonderful events, loved by all who attended.

At Moonfest 2014, a perfect “storm” occurred. The event took place adjacent to lovely Lake Leland, a short drive from Quilcene, a quaint town on the Hood Canal, in Washington state. Roger Fisher and The Human Tribe were scheduled to go on shortly after dark. It had been a warm, comfortable day, partially sunny. As soon as the sun set, moisture from the lake got thick in the air and condensed on virtually every surface, guitars; microphones; drums; and MIXING CONSOLES. Suddenly, both the frontof-house consoles and on-stage monitor console were running themselves, changing volumes, channel assignments, generally creating complete havoc for the sound engineers and band members.

This delayed our performance… a lot. It is extremely uncomfortable to be ready to play, standing on stage in front of an expectant audience and then WAIT. It went on so long, we finally said, “OK, we’re gonna have to just start and do the best we can with this.”

Photo by Michaela Fisher

The moisture on my guitar necks was like glue. I had to try as hard as I could to eek out an almost-acceptable sound. Our in-ear monitors were completely wacked, completely distracting and debilitating. Our drummer’s in-ear mix was unusable, so because we didn’t have audible amps or vocal monitors on stage, he couldn’t hear the band! IT WAS HELL! (Rick did admirably well, by the way).

So there I am, performing, struggling for my life, and…SMILING. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! I can laugh now, but at that moment, I simply wanted it to be over. While it was happening, I felt so embarrassed, humiliated, disempowered that I just had to laugh. There was nothing that could be done. Our band members soldiered through it, a testament to their strength and professionalism.

That was a lesson I’ll never forget. I’m confident I’ll never be tested like that again, although it is truly amazing that, no matter how carefully one prepares, tries to see all the pitfalls before they occur, “shit happens.”

Like war. Sure, humanity has been riddled with a history of hostilities and atrocities, but when do we evolve out of that madness? Can’t we see the wisdom of embracing a lighter side to achieve peaceful relations between each other? We each are a microcosm of the big picture. We are each a country in a world. Our skins are our borders; our brains are our governments; our thoughts are our actions toward all the other “countries” around us. So if we begin by thinking more positively about EVERYTHING, we are creating a better world.

Get Together - by the Youngbloods

Love is but a song to sing
Fear's the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
Or make the angels cry
Though the bird is on the wing
And you may not know why

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Some may come and some may go
We shall surely pass
When the one that left us here
Returns for us at last
We are but a moment's sunlight
Fading in the grass

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

If you hear the song I sing
You will understand (listen!)
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It's there at your command

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Right now
Right now

So, in order to have any semblance of peace and happiness in one’s life, no matter the circumstances, being able to assume a light side is very valuable.

I was telling some friends the other day that when I die, I don’t want to be groveling for another couple weeks, days, or minutes; I don’t want to be begging for forgiveness; I don’t want to be miserable.

Photo by Michaela Fisher

I WANT TO LAUGH. And that’s what I intend to do :-) I mean, what’s the worst that could happen… DIE?

L O L !