Some Gratitude for Gravity

While I don’t usually dig into the archives to re-purpose old material, I’m inclined to do so on MAO Day, which is not a holiday set aside to celebrate Chinese Communism but rather, my acronym for  the Monday After the Oscars.

This one goes way back – to the old Trial Balloon blog in 2010.  Many current Trail Baboon commentators had a thing or two to say to this five years ago – take a look and see if you still feel the same way!

Awards show season can be frustrating for artists and their fans. If your favorite singer, actor, writer, set designer or foley artist doesn’t win, it’s a reminder that these shows are a pointless waste of time, an exercise in snobbishness, the purest form of self congratulation and the voters are a bunch of no-taste noodle heads.

And if your favorite wins, well, this is a date that will go down in history! Justice was served. The world acknowledged greatness.

My favorite awards show thank you speech pre-dates television. I loved what Nephew Thomas said when he accepted the prize for 1938 Stunt Man of the Year, receiving his first Marconi (the “Oscar” of the radio world) thanks to his uncanny ability to make it appear he was flying through the air using only his voice and manipulating his proximity to the microphone. He said:

I have so many people to thank, I’m going to have to disappoint them equally and not mention any names at all. Sorry, everybody. Kill me if you must, but that will be hard. I’m a Radio Stunt Man after all.

My only thank you tonight goes to gravity, because it has made my career possible.

It was gravity that pulled me off the side of HMS Indomitable when I played “Semaphore Operator 1”, valiantly trying to signal Vice-admiral Beatty aboard HMS Lion during the riveting WW1 drama, “The Battle of Dogger Bank”.

Gravity kept me from getting launched all the way into space when I played the Human Cannonball in “Carnival People!”.

And it is gravity holding me here right now, at a time when I am so happy, I could float right to the ceiling of this auditorium, which would be a wonderful effect to do in some future radio dramaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaa…”

Of course at that point he did a vivid fade off mic that sounded for all the world like he was being inexplicably lifted upward – the sort of detail only a master can pull off.

If you had to give an acceptance speech right now, who would you thank?


55 thoughts on “Some Gratitude for Gravity”

  1. Good morning. Hearing one award winner after another thank a long list of people is very boring. I like the ones that shorten their list by not giving names and just saying: “there are people I should thank and you know who you are”. Perhaps instead trying to be humble by saying I didn’t think I would win, I could just hand the award to one of the other nominees and say this really belongs to you. If I did that I wouldn’t have to thank anyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Rise and Misunderstand Baboons!

    And I thought it was in honor of the terrorist threats at Mall of America/MallAmericaOf. That dyslexia thing causes me all kinds of misundertakings. Morning After the Oscars–I watched only Doogie’s opening song and dance (excellent) and turned to Downton Abbey. I say.

    By the way, I did stay away from the Mall yesterday, but then I almost always do! Shopping is not my thing.

    Happy belated 60th Bday to our tim. I hope you celebrated with gusto and joy. Beat Gravity!


  3. Someone with too much time on his hands went through all the past acceptance speeches and counted those who were thanked. Number One was Steven Spielberg (42 times). God came in a weak 6th place (9 times). This is troublesome unless, of course, you believe Steven Spielberg is God.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Just sorted my junk mail for the week. Five times I was accepted into Who’s Who in Business. I am writing my acceptance tweet right now, except I do not tweet, neither do it twork nor twink nor twalk.


  5. Happy birthday, tim. I thought of you when we wrote a few days ago about the toughest person we know. I think it takes courage–a form of toughness–to work so tirelessly at inventing new ways of creating profitable business ventures. I don’t know anyone who is as entrepreneurial and original as you are in business.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I want to thank the Academy of Trail Baboons for accepting me. The ventricles of my heart have been warmed. Just months ago I was a lonely internet troll but now I bask in the warm glow of a “Minnesota Nice” screen saver. My mornings are brighten by a simple HTTP (Hi There, Trail People!”.
    Such has not always been the case. I was banned from World News Daily for posting a reference to Landru from the Star Trek episode Return of the Archons. I simply suggested that the anti-Obama posters there would… “be absorbed. Your individuality will merge into the unity of the good, and in your submergence into the common being of the Body, you will find contentment and fulfillment. You will experience the absolute good.” It was a low point in my internet life to be called Satan’s helper.
    Now I come to gentler internet climate and rest a byte with a loving virtual community. God (Of the celestial regions not the infernal) bless you all.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. You fit right in here, Wes. Of course, that is a terrible thing to say of anyone. But it seems you won’t mind. A note to Dear Leader: maybe we should add Wes to the Baboon Congress. He has become a serial poster.


        1. I have a cousin named Wes who lives in Columbus. You aren’t a retired librarian from Ohio State, are you?


  7. As a seamstress, knitter and coffe drinker, I am grateful for gravity every day.

    Being a servant to my two delinquent cats, I would be ok with a little less of it.

    One of them will reach out a paw and look right at me while smacking something over the edge (unlike the previous science cat who would watch the object fall-this one is taking notes on the human response).

    Yes Ben, that would be Purrfessor Kitten. Thanks for sending me someone to help with the devluttering efforts 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When I see MAO I think of MAO inhibitors, a type of antidepressant that isn’t used too much any more. There are some dietary restrictions when taking them, so, for example, one can’t eat cheese without dire consequences.

    Our two cats don’t push things over like other cats we have had. I guess I could say I am a pushover for the cats, and forgive them for the other naughty things they do.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah, a topic that I can twist to my own devices and write a totally OT response in a somewhat on-topic manner. Gravity brings me to Newton which brings me to Newtonian telescopes, which were recommended to my nearly 5 year-old granddaughter at an astronomy class she attended last week. Hence, this somewhat on-topic report. The class was geared more toward her 12 year-old brother but as it turned out, she was the one who was enthralled by it. She normally needs quite a while to adjust to new situations and people, but astronomy grabbed her and her inquiring mind needed to know stuff. Like what kind of telescope she would need to “view the constellations.” When she got home she enthusiastically told the family about how stars were made of gas and that gravity held the sun together and in the sky. Then she brought out a chart with some of the constellations printed on it with lines connecting the stars to better define them. She pointed out the bear; it’s head and tail, and made sure that everyone could see the various body parts. Then she asked her dad if she could “use his binoculookers to view the bear in the night sky.” Obviously using terms she’d heard in the presentation and adding her own newly coined and spot-on word. I may never refer to those two lens optical enhancement devices by their conventional name again.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Happy birthday, tim! I hope your party was fun.

    I can’t imagine ever having to give an acceptance speech(what on EARTH would the award be for???) …but if I ever did, I would thank Lake Superior, the north woods with all its moose, deer, wolves, and smaller creatures (except black flies and mosquitos) the northern lights, various creeks, the snow and ice, silence, great blue herons and sea gulls, the shining moon and the sparkling stars – all these for their beauty and sacredness; and last but not least, the baboon congress for making life fun.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I looked, and I feel pretty much like 2010 – “I would have to thank my parents for letting me make my own (big) mistakes; Mrs. Latch (6th grade teacher) for helping out a new kid in town and for reading The Secret Garden in brogue; Sister Bernice Clifford (Principal) for letting me do previously untried things in my kdgn. class…”
    I’d just add Husband, who puts up with a lot.

    Liked by 1 person


    There really should be no thank you speeches. Following Jim’s line of thinking: some day someone will wave a magic wand and twinkle that Statue in to five gold Statuettes. The “winner” will then hand four of them out to the other nominees.

    This is from the book section of yesterday’s Strib, in a book about the Scandinavian countries called “The Almost Nearly Perfect People”:
    “…Jante’s Law, which admonishes people never to think they are better than anyone else and tells them they are not likely to amount to anything special.”
    Turns out Garrison didn’t make this stuff up!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Like others here I steer clear of awards presentations and the Mall of America both. I can’t think of any other industry that is so needy as the entertainment industry. Truly, how many awards shows do they need every year?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I was reminded of this, which I must have posted before.

    Award Season

    Smiles orthodontic
    And grins moronic
    Bulging body parts
    Crafted by plastic arts
    Expensive dresses
    Hair coifed in messes
    Jewels that are rented
    Faces cemented
    With layers of makeup
    With whom will they take up
    When this spouse
    Is determined a louse
    To the awards they come out
    When they lose will not pout

    We are at home laid on our coaches
    But unlike them we have fat pouches
    Our faces have dropped
    With our noses unlopped
    Our hair has turned gray, if not fallen out
    Our bodies have turned into homes for the gout
    We are weathered by life
    And coping with strife

    Beauty we assign to the famous and young
    But I find more in those who are strong
    To those whose faces are proof they are lovers
    That they have given to families and others
    How they have been good fathers and mothers
    Who made each place they visited better
    And sat down and wrote the hard letter
    To friends wrapped up in pain and in grief
    Who lived a life that claimed a belief
    By actions taken
    And duties unforsaken

    Beauty is seldom found by TV reporters
    Of the rich the famous they are sure courters.
    Think how the world would improve
    If they would get out of this grove
    And show real people doing their best
    To help everyone pass all of life’s tests.

    Liked by 3 people

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