I am going to do a little ‘explainin’ on this post about the foundations for RJsCorner. Everyone knows that a good house has to have a good foundation in order to survive. Since RJsCorner has been going on for almost nine years now and has over 3,000 posts it must have a pretty good foundation, even if it is not mentioned very often.
I started RJsCorner primarily because I had an overwhelming desire to write about my view of the world. I have always loved writing but had never tried to do it around a theme. I needed something as a common thread throughout my future posts. That something turned out to be based around my biggest hero/mentor/inspiration in life. His name was Will Rogers. He died almost 15 years before I was born so I really only knew him by his words and stories about him. If you do a search for “Will Rogers” in my search box at the top of each page you will find over a hundred posts about Will.
Will Rogers was a very prolific writer. Here are some words about him from the back of one of my favorite books:
Will Rogers “was” America. Part Cherokee Indian and former cowboy, he captivated audiences around the world with sparkling gems of wisdom cloaked in gentle and uproarious country wit..
A simple, plain-spoken man, he was the voice of a nation during the ’20s and ’30s. Movie star, vaudeville headliner, radio commentator, his views and observations were syndicated daily and weekly in over 600 newspapers across the country.
Here is the essential Will Rogers — the story of his remarkable career, from Oklahoma “cowpuncher” to international star . . . and the warm, knowing and hilarious philosophies of the man embodied the heart and soul of the nation.
Will Rogers was a very prolific writer. He had a lot to say about the ‘human condition’ in America during his years. He tackled on a myriad of topics but by far the one he wrote most about was politics. He described politics of his time as “applesauce”. It’s hard to find the original source of this term but to me it means that the political process takes something that is good and wholesome and pulverizes it into an unrecognizable mush.
His most famous quote was the title of the book above. He wrote some pretty critical words but they were always with respect for the subject at hand and with a dose of humor.
The descriptions of Will Rogers is quite varied. Some call him a humorist-social commentator, some a humorist-philosopher, and some a satirist. His words were primarily with a “Tongue In Cheek” spirit. For those of you who might have a different view from me on that phrase here is a pretty good definition:
When a statement is “tongue in cheek” it is ironic, slyly humorous; it is not meant to be taken seriously, however it’s sarcasm is subtle.
Though not meant to be taken seriously, it is not overt joking or kidding around, it is “gently poking fun”. A “tongue in cheek” statement may have a double meaning, some sort of innuendo or is witty in some way, particularly to the speaker. The tone or the context of the statement may make it to be taken seriously by the listener.
Here at RJsCorner I try to always keep Will’s philosophy of writing in mind. Some who read my words just take them too literally when they are primarily intended as ‘tongue in cheek’.
These are indeed dark times for America but they are not the only time there have been dark clouds. We will get through them as we have in the past, if we only don’t take them too serious. In that vein I will close out this post with one of my favorite quotes from Will.
Do the best you can but don’t take life too serious.
That’s darn good advise for our times if you ask me….
Will Rogers is perhaps my primary hero in life. He is the reason I started up blogging ten years ago and still today I try to follow his philosophy when blogging here at RJsCorner.
From Will’s Facebook page
Like Will I can tell from a mile away those folks who only watch Fox News for all their info about the political world. Their obsession with fear of almost everything shows through in much of what they do.
Like Will I try to think for myself but I don’t make up facts to align with my worldview. Common sense can explain much of the world today but it seems that so many of the pundits at Fox News and most of the others for that matter don’t have much of it. When our news sources turned from an information providing public service to for-profit institutions what sells the most is what is important to them. Giving balanced “reports” of the day has been long since abandoned.
There is just not enough people with common sense around anymore..
Even though you died several years before I was born I miss you Will and will try to carry on your tradition here at RJsCorner…
From my friends at the Will Rogers Institute. It is a down right mystery this year. 🙂
This thing about being a hero, about the main thing to it is to know when to die. Prolonged life has ruined more men than it ever made.
Will Rogers July 1928
I have been avoiding one of my heroes of late and that is a shame. Will Rogers has as much to teach us in the 21st century as he did almost a hundred years ago.
I’m not much of a sports guy but from what I can get from it there are too many heroes that just don’t know when to hang up their cleats or whatever they use. They are really great at doing that one thing but then when their abilities wain many just seem hang on. I know that Green Bay quarterback was a recent example. He just didn’t know when to take his millions and retire to something else.
Mark Twain was another guy that didn’t know how to exit stage left as old show people used to say. He wrote some books that were pretty famous (I didn’t personally care for them but so what), then as he got older he became extremely cynical about almost everything. It ruined his persona as a literary hero to many.
I never really did much in my life to gain much attention. I helped invent the Trimline telephone and worked on several other things in that area but all have long since disappeared. I built quite a few painted country cabinets that are family heirlooms to those who bought them but that is a pretty limited crowd and of course I have been blogging for seven years now. I don’t have much of a legacy to tarnish in my old age. So I can think and say pretty much whatever I want on RJsCorner and nothing much is damaged.
I know some of my heroes are tarnished by their actions. Cosby is one of the more recent ones. I didn’t get married until I was almost 40 years of age and I used to say that everything I knew about marriage I learned from Cosby. Of course I don’t say that anymore as it has now taken on a completely different persona. Instead of being on my hero list Cosby is not occupying the black list.
Another hero was Henry Ford, he practically invented the middle class in America by paying his employees their share of the gains they produced. Without him and the processes he invented the 1950s and 60s would have been quite different place from the one I grew up in. But then their is his racist stands in life. Every hero seems to have a dark side.
In some ways its kind of nice to not to have to live up to a hero status. No one expects much from me, an unknown old and deaf guy so I don’t have much of an ability to disappoint anyone. I can pretty much say whatever I want and it doesn’t matter much. But I like to think that I am of my hero Will Rogers genre. I try to always treat everyone one with the respect they deserve. Even here on RJ’sCorner…
I spend a lot of time at my iMac and iPad so I am used to seeing this type of message. If it was only that easy….