The Purfuit of Happineff
For several years, people have been telling me “You should blog.”
“Why the @#$% should I blog?” I’d reply. I got a range of answers, including:
- “You should write about instructional design and eLearning – as a way to market yourself.”
My eyelids grow heavy just thinking about this – perhaps that blog would provide relief from insomnia. Mainly though it sounds like unpaid work and I’ve got enough of that already! Suffice it to say, this didn’t interest me in the least.
- “You should write about wine… you know so much about it.”
Hmmm… I guess they think that I drink a lot or something. Just what the world needs – another aspiring Robert Parker. Anyway, my fellow Great Western Bank alumnus, Allen Meadows, set the bar pretty high with his burghound site http://www.burghound.com – it didn’t hurt that he was better connected and better capitalized either.
Nevertheless, I’ve decided to start the dorn blog. My focus will be the things that I know better than anyone else on the planet – my observations, thoughts and experiences.
[Memo to self: Investigate cost of outsourcing blog to ghostwriter in Bangalore].
I’m hoping to take a light, humorous approach. I guess my readers (if any) will be the judge of that.
So… why now? I’m not exactly sure, but 2009 is the year when many of my friends are turning the Big Six-O (some would say the Big Six-Oh-No). Perhaps that has put me in a philosophical frame of mind – specifically, I’ve been pondering that great American pastime – the Pursuit of Happiness. However, whenever I see or hear that phrase I always think of a bit from Stan Freberg’s classic 1961 comedy album Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America: Volume One – The Early Years, which has been a favorite of mine since it came out. In one sketch, Thomas Jefferson is trying to get Ben Franklin to sign the Declaration of Independence. In the late 18thcentury, it was common to use a long “s” – which looks like a lowercase “f.” As Franklin reads the document, he questions the phrase “Life, liberty and the purfuit of happineff.”
[here’s a link to a Real Audio clip of the bit] http://freberg.westnet.com/sounds/persuit.ra
I seem to recall acting out this bit in an assembly at Ross Grammar School. It wasn’t until today, preparing to write this blog, that I looked at the actual Declaration of Independence. As you can see…
…it says “pursuit of Happinefs,” which isn’t nearly as funny.
So what can we learn from this?
- Don’t over analyze a joke.
- As Carleton Young said to Jimmy Stewart in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
Our founding fathers said we had an inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. Sadly, there’s no guarantee that we’ll catch up to it.
Perhaps this blog will help me – and you too, dear readers – to pursue and maybe even attain a little happiness.
Filed under: Humorous Musings | 6 Comments
Tags: humor, m. j. dorn, Stan Freberg