Mind over Matter: Stuff I cared about at the time


For what you are about to receive
May the lord make you truly thankful.

from the lyrics of Oliver! from the musical Oliver!

Last night, we went to see John Oliver perform standup comedy at the MGM Music Hall at Fenway. We used to watch The Daily Show pretty religiously back when Jon Stewart (cousin Jon, as we referred to him) was host. We followed the career trajectories of correspondents Stephen Colbert and John Oliver. And then we were given the gift of the Colbert Report, which was a magnificent creation. We dropped our cable tv subscription some time ago, but we watch a lot of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight pieces on YouTube these days. These guys are all well informed, well educated, bright, opinionated, witty, and able to present the most depressing news (well, bits of it) in a way that both informs and entertains.

John is touring at least in part to support his staff during the current writer’s strike. Opening for John were Brooks Wheelan and local legend Eugene Mirman of Bob’s Burgers fame, who were both very funny. Wheelan’s most memorable bits were about drugs and alcohol, while Mirman’s were about trying to enroll his son in an exclusive preschool.

After they had warmed up the crowd, John came on

and entertained us with material ranging from the origin story of the British royal family, to Florida’s newly approved history curriculum, “educating” young Floridians about the benefits of being enslaved. As always, John’s acerbic wit, when applied to injustices great and small, can be very cathartic for me.

I wanted to include a link to at least a small sample video from the current tour, but it must be that his lawyers are very expedient in issuing takedown notices, because I can’t find anything out there.

Anyway, a great and memorable evening was had by all

We chose to bike in to the show because we hate: trying to find parking in the area; paying for parking in the area; and getting out of the area in a car. We didn’t realize it at the time we headed in to town, but there was also a Sox game at the same time. So Lansdowne Street was packed as we walked our bikes down its length to get to The Fenway, and coincidentally, the game must have ended about the same time the show got out. So we were super grateful we had chosen to bike. On the way home, we essentially rode over to Mass Ave, and then took it all the way from Boston, through Cambridge, and right to Arlington Center. 6.5 miles in 33 minutes, which is not too bad, and very likely faster than it would have been by car.



, ,