Jack Voorhies is funny. Genuinely funny. The kind of funny that can make a man put iced coffee through his nose, including the cubes.
I first stumbled onto him when he was working with The Fresh, a hard-rocking band that did hilariously perverse songs about erections and insecurities and the genre in which they worked. I was hooked.
Then something happened. I’m not quite sure what it was, whether it was family-related or financial or what, but Jack moved to Ohio, to the town of his youth. For more than a year he’s been posting long notes on Facebook under the title From Ohio With Love (Week x) and he tags me on each one so I know when one goes up. I have to admit, I haven’t read all of them. I may have missed some key bits of back story.
Here’s the thing. (There’s a thing? Isn’t there always?) These little blog-like postings of his are beautiful. Each one looks inward to his own experience as it looks outward to the world in which he finds himself. Returning to the place from whence he comes carries natural nostalgia, a bit of the outsider’s experience for perspective. As is the case with most good humorists, he faces the world with significant intellectual self-awareness, an underlying instinct for irony that pervades his thought process even when he is not writing jokes or, in his case, joke songs.
One has the sense – or perhaps projects onto his writings the sense – that he feels apart from his own life much of the time. Jack might well believe that leaving his band, departing Los Angeles, taking regular, non-creative jobs to survive represents some kind of a failure. He might think that this is a delay or an abandonment of his creative endeavors. A deep melancholy resonates through his lovely posts.
And they are beautiful. Each one appears on my screen as an elegantly wrought look into the mind of a man who is trying to learn who he is as an adult, making the best choices he can within the context of life’s requirements.
It’s possible that the posts themselves could someday be compiled, edited and structured into a cohesive piece of literature. It is possible that they will exist only as the transient, connected, beautiful things that they are and will serve only as the public journal work that Mr. Voorhies does on his way to his next exploration of self-expression. I don’t care. The writings themselves are lovely gifts that come to me through the ether and remind me that there are people in the world, working and writing and growing and making the world a richer place.
Jack Voorhies is funny but it also turns out he’s a whole lot more. He’s also smart and dark and depressive and decent and human and an ever-improving, ever-evolving organizer of words and images. See if you can get him to start tagging you when he writes. You won’t be sorry.