As much as I don’t want to reflect on it, the last four years and what happened on Jan. 6 has left us looking at our country in a different light. I believe that many of us were concerned before the breach of the Capitol and even more were concerned afterward. 2020 has been a hard year and 2021 hasn’t gotten off to the best start.

But last week we saw one man unite the nation, no I am not talking about President Joe Biden. I am talking about Sen. Bernie Sanders. 

If you are like me, I began to “feel the Bern” Thursday as photos of the senator attending the presidential inauguration was all over social media. Sanders was all bundled up for the inauguration and looked visibly cold. 

The internet ran wild with Sanders superimposed into a variety of different situations. I saw Bernie getting an MMA fighter in an armbar, sitting on the couch next to the characters of “Friends,” being painted into a Bob Ross painting, sitting next to Forest Gump and more. If you scrolled through Facebook, it was nearly impossible to escape.

But what I was most impressed with was that I saw posts of Bernie coming from my friends on both sides of the political spectrum. Conservative and liberal friends were each having fun with these memes and none of them were being hostile toward the other party. I couldn’t believe it.

I know that when I am struggling or in a bad mood, comedy is something that helps me get through it. It seems like Sanders and his mittens have really helped people with some of their political hostility. While political banter was still out there, it went into Cold War mode rather than full blown anger.

I know that the fame of internet memes is short-lived, but I wish that the chilly Bernie (as I am calling him) was made into a “Where’s Waldo” type book. It would be great to look through the pages of a book trying to spy Bernie sitting somewhere. Or even another idea could be having Bernie as the new Elf on the Shelf (might be dated by then, but would still be funny).

Anyway, the 79-year-old Vermont senator was able to reset and refocus our attention, even if it was for only a week. Let’s hope that our political hostilities become disagreements and we work together for what is best for our country.

 

Hank Aaron and Larry King

Two people that personify their professions, Hank Aaron and Larry King, each passed away last week.

“Hammerin’” Hank Aaron will forever be known as one of the best home run hitters to ever play baseball. Aaron slugged 755 home runs in his 23-year career. While I was not alive to see any of Aaron’s games, I have seen his home run that broke Babe Ruth’s record hundreds of times and it is still impressive.

Although he now sits second behind Barry Bonds (*), I still consider him the home run king. I don’t believe anyone will ever reach the same heights that Aaron did from a home run standpoint again.

Growing up, there was only one face that I recognized from CNN — Larry King. King was a master at the face-to-face interview and provided a more serious level of personal interview journalism.  The broadcaster was an icon with his over 50,000 interviews that ranged from heads of state, athletes, musicians and celebrities.

Known for his suspenders, tie and glasses, King became a caricature that young people could not escape from their children’s shows. Watching shows like “Tiny Toons,” “Animaniacs” and others, King would pop up in his monotone voice and ask a questions to cartoon characters. One of his last caricature cameos came in the movie “Bees” where he played Bee Larry King.

Personally, King’s interview style is what I hope to have later in life. Calm, cool and relaxed but able to get the hard-hitting questions answered.

The two left a undeniable mark on both their professions and history. 

 

Zach Stich is the managing editor at the Fergus Falls Daily Journal.

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