Every Little Thing Matters
Last week, I attended the special performance of Bill Santiago in McGuire Hall. He is a famous comedian who has been seen on Comedy Central for quite some time now. Mr. Santiago presented some of his best and well known jokes, but they all had a central theme. The theme was "don't take the little things for granted". The theme set forth in the event was comparable to The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe, Suburban by John Ciardi, and Ode to American English by Barbara Hamby.
Bill Santiago opened up the night with a very funny but also seriously true joke. After he ended the joke, he explained to us, "I know that I may be funny but every little joke I tell you has a meaning. Figure out what it is that I am trying to get across to you. This joke is saying that you people out there have to enjoy everything, no matter the size of it. It will always help you in some way". I think that Bill opened with this joke because he really wants us to know that even though he is funny, there is still a serious and hardworking person inside of him. This opening joke's background relates to the narrator in The Cask of Amontillado. In this short story, the narrator has been hurt and insulted by Fortunato. The narrator gets revenge and meets Fortunato at a carnival celebration. Fortunato is very drunk and the narrator takes advantage of this and gets Fortunato to a higher drunken stage. So, the narrator and Fortunato go to the catacomb and the narrator later tortures Fortunato until he ends up deing. The reason that the narrator killed Fortunato is because he insulted and hurt him. This killed the narrator so bad inside that his only option was to kill Fortunato. Little things can really effect people. Little things can drive people insane until he or she can ultimately do something bad. In this scenario, the little thing was bad but they always aren't bad. The overall point that the narrator, in my opinion, is trying to make is that no matter how good or how bad a little thing, it can lead to a seriously bad or good outcome. That's why when Bill said, "It will always help you in some way", he wasn't kidding and the narrator wasn't kidding as well with leading into his decision of Fortunato's death. I know that Mr. Santiago is viewing little things in a good way and the narrator of The Cask of Amontillado is viewing little things in a bad way, but they all come together with that same outcome of helping a person in some way.
Santiago's fourth joke was very funny as well and it also had a meaning that related to John Ciardi's, Suburban and to Ode to American English by Barbara Hamby. In Suburban a neighborhood's dog deposits onto another neighbor's lawn. I know that isn't the main theme of the poem but there is a whole larger picture that can't be taken for granted. When a dog deposits onto another persons lawn it is wrong, but overall it is not that big of a deal. It is just a thing that happens in suburbia living. That is what suburbia living is all about. It's about enjoying the little things, laughing, and loving nature to its fullest. It happens in everyday life and a dog doesn't know better, he or she just has to go to the bathroom. Suburban areas are exciting and even dogs depositing on other peoples lawns should make us laugh, not be angry. It takes five seconds to clean up. Bill Santiago's fourth joke told us that we should really consider nature on top of other things for a moment. Nature surrounds us and it is very crucial that we consider this little thing as a big thing. With the earth's global warming and other problems, Santiago just wants us to take a minute and change nature from a small to big thing because it really does matter. The little things matter, and in this case nature is a little thing because everyone is so hooked on technology and other things. Take time to explore and take in the littlest big thing of them all, nature. Nature and suburbia areas should always be acknowledged because the fun and smiles are mainly taken place outside. Memories of my past with my suburbia friends are huge, and I will always remember the fun times I had building forts and riding bikes to my neighbor's houses. Remembering past experiences like this one, just wants to make a person understand and accept the little things to its fullest.
With remembrance of my past living in a suburbia town and Bill Santiago's nature joke, I would say that this relates to Ode to American English as well. In this poem, Barbara Hamby is sitting in Paris missing American English. In the bigger picture, Hamby is missing the whole American culture. Towards the end of the poem, Hamby states, "Cheetoes, Cheerios, chili-dog diatribes. Yeah, I miss 'em all". Hamby is missing the littlest things a person can miss in American culture. Cheerios and chili-dogs are fantastic but they are such little things to miss. Bill Santiago and Hamby all have that one thing in common and it is, "every little thing matters". Nature, in regard to Santiago's perspective should be considered bigger than it actually is today in some peoples eyes. Hamby is saying that the little foods such as Cheetoes and Cheerios should be considered bigger than it actually is as well in peoples eyes. Hamby and Santiago understand everything that goes on in the world but they also have what other people don't, and that is respecting all the little things God or the world throws at you. I am team Santiago and team Hamby because I think the same way in regards to the little things. It is an amazing quality and I am blessed to have it.
Overall, that central theme of "every little thing matters" is presented in The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe, Suburban by John Ciardi, Ode to American English by Barbara Hamby, and above all, the great Bill Santiago. Bill Santiago's stand up performance was incredible and it inspired me to not only go see more stand up shows and become an actor, but it inspired me to keep on laughing and loving the little things that surround me day to day for the rest of my life.
Check out Bill Santiago!!!: http://www.billsantiago.com/