Solving The World’s Problems Over Dinner

I’ll be taking a week long blog break so in the interim, Imma post a couple of time capsule shots. This was the first ever post here at Sorryless and it made its appearance on October 18, 2017.

A question was posed to me some time ago. One to which has been posed many times over between friends and associates, from the beginning of more civilized thought to right here and now.

If you could have dinner with anyone from history . . who would it be? 

I answered the question then in the same way I answer it now. It depends. My reply isn’t meant to be contrarian or irreverent. It’s just that, to my way of thinking, history doesn’t possess a static quality. History is fluid. When we talk about the past, we usually do so within the context of our given time.

So it stands to reason that my dinner with a famous person would grapple with the issues of the day, these days. See, comparisons are useful if you’re willing to apply the education they provide to current events in order to cull a better understanding of ourselves and our time. I think people dismiss history because they’re looking for the encyclopedic resemblance rather than the spiritual resonance.

By the late seventies, I was applying my favorite Dickens novels to inflation, gas lines, a hostage crisis and the death of disco. There was a post-Vietnam ennui whose creep seemed everlasting back then. So I’ll start from back then. Imma give you a guest list, by decades, from all the way back there, to here.

1970’s: Andy Warhol. I would have asked this genius where he parked his time machine. Because he not only predicted our future, he colored it in all the provocative tints of a man whose brilliance was a stardust driven thing.

1980’s: Ronald Reagan. Because he presided over the new age of Hollywood politics. He was a middling actor who somehow forged an empire of political ambitiousness that is replicated by both sides to this very day.

1990’s: Prince. His reach is something our grandchildren’s grandchildren will still be lip syncing to if humanity is still around. His timing was masterful, his lyrics doctorate level and his talent was the gift that my generation got to feast on . . . daily.

2000’s: George W, Bush. Strange one, right? Not really. For as much vitriol as I heaped on this man back in the day, perspective has been kicking my ass over the last year and change. He was more complicated, and human, than we ever gave him credit for.

2017: Martin Luther King. His example feels like the most necessary of things inside these increasingly divided times. I would love to hear his thoughts on the chasm that exists between people of different races, creeds and colors inside of this supposedly advanced age. And I would really love to hear his blueprint for hope and peace and better days Because I really need someone like him right now.

We all do.

36 thoughts on “Solving The World’s Problems Over Dinner

  1. I agree with you about GWB and how his humanity and decency has shined through after he left office. But … when he was in office and had power and authority, as far as I’m concerned, none of that was there. And I still think he wasn’t smart enough to actually be President. He was one who desperately needed good advisors around him, and he didn’t have that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • His advisors were men from the Cold war era, and it showed. Which is why I would want to talk with him. Not to tell him what a teddy bear he was, but to ask why on a lot of different things. From his take on Osama to the war we weren’t looking for to the WMD debacle to his dropping the ball (or maybe just ignoring) immigration reform.

      Let’s just say I was a proponent of him remaining the Texas Rangers owner, and I was a Republican.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I forgot to add that I agree with you about MLK. I would live to know what he would think about things today. I have this feeling he would make a lot of enemies, particularly with those on the left who somehow believe their divisiveness is carrying on his legacy.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Wow what a great list! I’m afraid I’m not nearly as practical as you. I would love to have tea with Jane Austen and Agatha Christie. No great discussions, just a friendly biscuit and a cup of tea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no, I ain’t practical on most matters including this one. These invitees would have been interesting to me. And that’s why you break bread and biscuits and it’s why having Agatha and Jane over for tea sounds like a great place to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. B,

    Oh how wonderful of you to share this, your first post (from back before I knew you so to me? this is brand new!) And wonderfully relevant, to boot. Because I really feel these choices would still apply now, almost four years later.

    I’m thinking MLK would be even more more needed today than ever. I think he would be so discouraged at how his words seem to have been swallowed up by all the hate surrounding, well, everything.

    I’m with you on Dubya. Hindsight has a softening effect and he may not have been the best or the smartest president, but he sure was a real human with all that that encompasses.

    I can’t help but think a sit-down with Prince could be fascinating. I hear he had a really good sense of humour and I like to believe that, for all his talent, somehow, one on one, he would have been approachable.

    As a Canadian, I admired Ronald Regan as president. I’ll forever be amazed at how he settled the air traffic control situation. You wanna strike? You’re fired!

    Methinks Andy Warhol would have been interesting. The way he is portrayed in movies leaves me curious.

    Excellent post, B!

    Q

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      I think the guy who was not invited back to the White House for an encore created a reset on my expectations and my outlook. My perspective has changed for sure.

      I think about MLK a lot. I think you’re right about that, but I also think he would have kept that from the public view. And I also think he would have not been defeated by this. His voice, so necessary. Even now.

      Let W be a team owner of the Texas Rangers, I say. That notwithstanding, yes, time has produced a softening effect. I think the last four years moreso for me. But my invitation for W would be filled with debate, to which I think he would engage. The last guy? He never debated, he just detonated.

      Prince understood music, and the industry, both. On a doctorate level, because to him, the music was the thing. The business was spreading its tentacles into places never before seen, and he was there for all of it.

      Reagan, like him or not, had a very different effect on the masses. John talked about how he told Gorby to take down that wall. Yes, it was political, but let’s face it, would Reagan ever have built a wall or even talked about it? Never.

      It would have been an odd conversation for sure. But he was a genius, and I’m okay with that.

      Gracias Q.

      B

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sure it has. How could it not?

        And I agree, MLK would not have shown his despair, he would have been motivated by it to push forth that much more.

        Yes, I could see W as willing to exchange ideas and thoughts and a laugh, to boot. The other guy? Please. Don’t even consider it. And I think the last four years have changed many peoples’ thoughts.

        Oh boy did he ever. And he must be so pissed from the ether seeing his music out and about for all and sundry to download.

        He did. Oh yes! I had forgotten he said that. No way in hell would Ronald have ever considered a wall.

        Nothing wrong with odd, I say. Matter of fact, how better to broaden one’s horizons?

        Gracias a ti for sharing this, your first post on this particular blog 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • MLK was a transcendent figure, so I think that plays in any time. But for a leader like him right now, how important would that be.

          W was a minority owner of the Texas Rangers and I was good with that. It was his stint as the boss of all bosses that left me wanting. But his manner and his accessibility in the years since has been surprising.

          He was so careful. I mean, you could NOT find his stuff.

          Which is why any comparisons the last guy made to him are laughable.

          Right?

          For shizz.

          Liked by 1 person

          • He was and man oh man, if he were around today…

            I hadn’t realised he was a minority owner. And he did, shall we say, stumble, during his tenure but yes, his accessibility (perfect word) has been rather lovely, even.

            He was. Oh you could find it… but it was taken outta your hand before you could play it!

            No kidding. He really is in his own world that one.

            Absolutely.

            MWAH!

            Liked by 1 person

          • He’d put some peeps in their rightful places.

            He’s a real person, at the very least. Or as real as a person of that stature gets in today’s world where everything has to be presented in a certain way.

            I know!

            I wish he were in his own world. Far, far away.

            Positively.

            MUAH!

            Habs!

            Liked by 1 person

          • He would!

            He is very real and fallible and vulnerable and humerous…

            So, while I am sure Prince would not be pleased, I can’t say I’m overly upset…

            Seriously. Like another planet. Let them deal with him!

            Posilutely!

            MWAH!

            GO HABS GO!!

            Liked by 1 person

          • And W is a painter as well. Who knew?

            Right. I mean, how can WE complain about something that gifts us his music?

            If only . .

            Now you’re catching on.

            MUAH!

            To win number two!

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent post, Marc. I agree with all your choices. However, I think my favorite is Ronald Regan, given his ability to cut through the crap and getting to the issues. “Mr. Gorbichov, take down that wall.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Eilene,

      I feel like we’re moving so far away from that place where people can actually create a dialogue. Both sides get to be right on every single thing because they have so much information out there. They mold it, customize it and then shut down to any other opinion.

      We don’t have to agree with everyone on everything. That’s not the point now nor was it ever the point. But a middle ground, yeah, we need to save it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. have a nice break – and I thought you have been blogging longer than since 2017??
    I loved your time capsule idea here – and a fe posts brought me right back to the time when you posted and we were chatting it up – like the Prince one

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Fab dinners list!
    I could segue into one of my tales here, but think I’ll just say, have a great blog break!
    Oh… and if by some miracle the Habs win tonight….I’ll leave a star!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting question. Compared to The Orange One, W looks absolutely brilliant – but doesn’t make my to-consider list. His dad? Maybe. I would also want someone to talk about baseball – so Joe Morgan it is. Go back in history, it’s Thomas Jefferson. MLK is a good pick – anyone looking for a substitute, Nelson Mandela In her heyday, Shania Twain – just sayin’. Enjoy your blog break.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think his dad is someone I have interviewed in the past, what with the WW2 veterans I’ve sat down with over the years. W is different, and he would be my pop culture fix.

      Joe Morgan, the cog in the Big Red Machine. Good one!

      Jefferson, Mandela and then Shania to sing us home . . . for the WIN!

      Liked by 1 person

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