Forty years ago today, "The Empire Strikes Back" was released, which makes me smile.

Why? Because that movie takes me back to childhood, to a time when debates were about which "Star Wars" movie was the best or which character was the coolest.

Now, like everything else, our debates are way more serious, way more heated.

In some ways, they are just as meaningless as a sit-down between Ewoks and Jar-Jar Binks.

I don't care that Nancy Pelosi called Donald Trump morbidly obese. Was it rude? Yes. Would we as a society blow an O-ring if that comment were about a famous woman? Of course.

But Trump is just as rude and insulting.

Neither rude nor insulting is funny, no matter the origin or the volume. Both are petty and childish while our country barrels into a public health calamity and potential economic abyss.

I can't help but wonder if America had the leadership today that we had when we learned that Darth Vader was Luke's father whether the coronavirus fight would be going better.

Some of the efforts of our elected national leaders are laughable, but that's surely not their intent.

If they want truly laugh-worthy, they can read Ron Hart in Friday's TFP. Now that's funny.

If they want comedy, well, one of the final redeeming qualities of Twitter is the occasional funny video. (Check out Rex Chapman's work on Twitter. Trust me.)

And if they want a real punchline in a political moment, well, let's go to the state of Mississippi and check in with Gov. Tate Reeves, who was reading a list of shout-outs to students in the Magnolia State who had completed their school work but did not get to go through the graduation ceremonies.

Among the names was "Harry Azcrac," and if that does not seem like a big deal, say it out loud.

And you know what? The governor took it in stride, putting on Twitter that whoever submitted that name had a future as a TV writer for "The Simpsons." Someone in Mississippi state government took the time to congratulate the entire Azcrac family on the accomplishment.

Wow, a joke. People laughed. No one sued or made a huge deal about it.

Makes you long for the good ol' days, huh?

Contact Jay Greeson at and follow him on Twitter at @jgreesontfp.

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Jay Greeson