I witnessed a bunch of tiny clown people turn one of my favorite authors into a monster made of ground beef. I permit you to re-read that last sentence. I was part-listening, and part-watching, animated versions of Anne Lamott and Duncan Trussell talk about life, death, and ego. And then it happened. My beloved author was pulverized, pulped, and turned to parcheesi. Not really. The board game is colorful, but the author-meat-monster was…I don’t know. That is where WTF comes into this.
Bare with me as I try out my new Spanish lessons. I’m calling Anne Lamott, “La Mujer de Carne.” For you native speakers, how did I do? I was going for the name “the woman of meat.” I also believe we can translate this as “the woman from meat.” And that’s where this gets profound.
Pizza, porn, and Mr. Rogers to author-meat-monsters
Yesterday I wrote about reading a book that compared Tinder and turkeys. The chapter I quoted talked about pizza and porn. I then took the liberty to talk about Mr. Rogers and porn in several of the same sentences. Do you know what’s cool about all this? Christianity.
Mike McHargue, aka Mike the Science Guy, wrote the book I’m reading. He used to be a Christian fundamentalist. Or, he was a fundamental Christian. Maybe both. Mike and I both used quotes from Mr. Rogers about loving yourself and exploring life through questions. Mr. Rogers was (before and up until he died) a Christian minister. Now bring in Anne Lamott. She’s a Christian author, but don’t worry, she’s cool. She talks about Jesus AND Buddha. On Duncan’s podcast, The Duncan Trussell Family Hour, he and Anne chat about life, death, and the ego.
And then they turned it into a cartoon
I stalk people on Twitter talking about mindfulness and meditation. I enjoy talking about those topics. I’ll search Twitter for either “mindfulness” or “meditation” and then eavesdrop on their conversations and give my unsolicited two-cents. It’s a blast. Anyhow, I saw a bunch of people talking about the Midnight Gospel and quoting Ram Dass. Hmm. I like Ram Dass. So I interjected into their conversations and asked, “what is the Midnight Gospel?” Their reply was something akin to, “it is only the purest and most existential show on the internet.” They had me at, “be here now.”
I watched two episodes so far. I’m pretty sure I need to re-watch them because IDK WTF my eyeballs saw. A furry dog with a galaxy for a belly in the first episode? Then Anne Lamott as “La Mujer de Carne” the next episode? Yeah, I love this.
While watching these shows, my mind drifts off as I listen to the conversations. The cartoonish and colorful mayhem serve as equalizers to the music of profound meditation conversation. The visuals are the background to the noise that’s filling my mind. Fittingly so. Duncan’s podcast is the foundation for the show’s dialogue and (we’ll call it) plot.
And then I listened to the podcast
This morning, I queued up the podcast that inspired the Anne Lamott meat monster. I was deeply touched as Duncan shared his story about his dad passing away a few days before recording the podcast. And then I heard last night’s cartoon come alive in the form of an interview between people talking. They talked about things I like to ponder. They spoke of sitting with pain and being comfortable around death. They shared their experiences of heartache and sorrow and still being able to live life with presence and joy. They brought vulnerability. They brought authenticity.
I’m now a bigger fan of Anne Lamott. I’m now a new fan of Duncan Trussell. I’m all on board for taking the Midnight Gospel train. Choo-choo!