As you may, or may not, know I live here in the glorious Northeast PA. NEPA. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. Fall is in the air, and the leaves are beginning to change into their autumn colors. Yay.
Back in the spring, this happened.
Now, more than once I have stated publicly and for the record that I adore John Oliver, and I do. He is hilarious, delightfully, self-deprecatingly British, and without the cliché teeth that make your mouth look like a cemetery after an earthquake.
NEPA, as you can tell from the segment, likes to react to stuff. All sorts of stuff. And it likes to react in the most over the top way in an inverse proportion to the silliness of the thing at hand. Channel 16’s train? Outrage! Broad Support! No in-between!
Joe Paterno hiding a child molester? Meh. Leave his statue up! Yay, sports!
In a nutshell, this:
Anyway. After the original segment aired, of course, a reaction. Or, rather, TWO reactions: YAY! BOO!
I, of course, was in the “Yay!” camp. If you can’t take a little good-natured ribbing about the area in which you live, you may as well just hang up your jock and go home. And by home, I mean a cave where you never be troubled by the opinions of others ever again.
Fast forward three months to last night, and now this:
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, they tell us. Here it is, 8 feet tall [I’m guessing], in glorious color, with sparkles. And sparklers.
At the end there, John Oliver offers the fan-fucking-tastic train display to Channel 16, and I think they’d better hurry up and take it. It’s hilarious. It’s perfect. It shoots fireworks.
I am certain they meant it. John Oliver and his crew have paid off delinquent parking tickets, sent t-shirts to Africa, sent an anti-smoking mascot to countries overrun by big tobacco, and bought up the mortgages of people who have been fucked over by hideous mortgage practices. So HE FUCKING MEANS IT.
I am also fairly certain that however lovely the new train display is, it was put together in a scene shop in Brooklyn for a TV show, so it’s not sturdy enough to put in Channel 16’s backyard forever and always, where their current train lives. That’s okay. If Channel 16 takes it, they can do a thing, then place it in the Marketplace at Steamtown’s central area until Santa shows up in November. I’m sure they’d be happy to store and maintain it as an attraction. They’re looking for things to draw people into their shops, and they have some place to store the masses of Christmas decorations they put up every year, I’m sure they could squeeze in one more bit of awesomeness.
But if not…
How about give it to the Scranton Fringe Festival? They can make a fundraiser kind of thing of it during the upcoming Fringe Festivities. [September 27 to October 1, 2017–you should go, it’s a good time.] Then, since it most likely isn’t able to survive in the wild, say, on Courthouse Square, the Scranton Fringe could pass the torch to the upcoming Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces which happens before Halloween and is also a bloody, if smoky, good time. And, since it would be a burden for these two non-profits to store and maintain the fabulousness that is the Last Week Tonight Scranton Train, and it won’t survive in the wild, burn the fucker. Make it the centerpiece of the bonfire and let it go out in a blaze of glory that its glittery, fireworky, landmarky-mark goodness deserves. It’s so symbolic of SO many things. We should totally do it. I’m more than happy to help. John Oliver, call me. Um. Email me. Let’s work this out.
I usually participate in both. I’ve been part of the Scranton Fringe for three years running. This year, I’m taking part in the Big Gay Story Slam at the Scranton Cultural Center on September 30, 2017 at 10 PM. It’s my third time competing, and so far I’m one and one. Let’s see if I can do best of three before I retire my tiara. At the Bonfire, I often am lured out of my burrow to spookily read tarot cards in a tent while the bonfire burns [I haven’t been asked yet this year, but my Ryder deck is standing by.]. Another good time.
So Mr. Oliver, John. Bubie. Let’s talk.
I love you, mean it, call me.
I’d like to think I had some small hand in this, but I also like to think I’m still 19, thin, with a full head of hair. I’m just glad that WNEP doesn’t have a stick up their butts. It gives me hope for when/if the Sinclair Media scum takes over.