Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What you are now is who you were when.

A colleague and I were talking the other day about moments in our lives that are etched in memory of where exactly we were when they happened.
Sure, we both had the obvious including September 11, Columbine, even Princess Diana’s death. But what became most interesting were the more obscure memories.
Mine included the first time I saw a microwave oven being used, the Patty Hearst kidnapping and the 1989 World Series Earthquake. But the one event that clearly stands out in mind that remember every word, every feeling, everything that was going on - happened on December 8, 1980.
1980 was a pivotal year for me – I had just started college at 17 – and was pretty unsure of what my life ahead had to offer. The only things I did know were 1- I was way too young to be away from home for college and 2 – I loved the Beatles. Pretty simplistic by today’s standards, but in an age before computers, CD’s, remotes or cell phones – it was complicated enough.
On December 8, 1980 my girlfriend, Brenda, called me to tell me the news. “Did you hear John Lennon’s been shot?” Of course I didn’t believe her, there was no reason to shoot John Lennon. He wasn’t a radical or a political player; all he wanted was to give peace a chance. The man made people happy, and except for his bad taste in wives, he was a genius – my girlfriend must be mistaken. So I turned on the television, again remember this is an era before a lowly college student could afford cable – so all I had was CKVR Barrie. Nothing – no mention, I was positive she was wrong.
Then the 11:00 news – they replayed an earlier announcement from Howard Cosell during a football game “This, we have to say it. Remember this is just a football game, no matter who wins or loses. An unspeakable tragedy, confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City: John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City, the most famous, perhaps, of all The Beatles, shot twice in the back, rushed to the Roosevelt Hospital, dead on arrival.”
And at 11:20 Walter Cronkite confirmed John Lennon was dead.
I cried, all night. I cried the next day at school, I went to the vigils, I held my Bic lighter in the air, I sang, “give peace a chance” but I never understood.
That week, I can honestly say, changed me forever. I was no longer the naïve teenager from Fonthill from a sheltered background – I was someone who had the person they believe in the most ripped out from under them, for no reason at all. There was no reason for Mark David Chapman to do what he did. He even sat there and waited for the cops to come. He took everything away from me, and millions of others just like me.

That was the day I realized life wasn’t fair.

This December will mark 30 years … Life still isn’t fair, people are still doing unthinkably cruel things, but lucky for me, I’ve found more heroes to get me through the day.
Here’s to you John.

There are places I remember

All my life, though some have changed

Some forever not for better

Some have gone and some remain

All these places had their moments

With lovers and friends

I still can recall

Some are dead and some are living

In my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers

there is no one compares with you

And these memories lose their meaning

When I think of love as something new

Though I know I'll never lose affection

For people and things that went before

I know I'll often stop and think about them

In my life I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection

For people and things that went before

I know I'll often stop and think about them

In my life I love you more

In my life I love you more

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oscars Good, Bad and Ugly

Yes, it’s my annual post that has nothing to do with music – indulge me for my usual Academy Awards rant.

It was a good tribute to director, writer, producer John Hughes. I had no idea he was responsible for so many of the 80s teen movie classics (Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Uncle Buck) tribute. Watching the movie clips with my teenage daughter was a hoot; we’re going to rent every one of them.

Writer Geoffrey Fletcher’s acceptance speech was so sincere. As the first African-American to get an Oscar for a screenplay, he really showed that writers have heart. I believe in you Geoffrey! Due to copyright issues I can't post the speech, but to see it click on here.

I have never been so excited to see a commercial, over and over again. I’m talking about the trailers for Russell Crowe’s new movie.

I can’t wait to see Robin Hood – it’s like Gladiator set in Sherwood Forest.

I can’t believe CTV’s terrible job of substituting the American signal. Commercial breaks cutting off parts of the show in more than one embarrassing occasions, plus bleeping out the swear words.
Judd Nelson – what happened to him?
The tribute to the deceased actors – again they screwed it up. These guys spent their lives in the movies; give them the credit they deserve. Don’t they know by now not to start with a big actor because he stupid camerawork still has to figure out what’s going on? So no one saw Patrick Swayze – and why the hell would they have Michael Jackson and NOT Farrah Fawcett? She was in more movies than Jacko, who can forget Cannonball Run. I wonder if Corey Haim will get any recognition next year. I loved the Lost Boys.

The Ugly
Sandy Powell, winner of Best costume design wins the most ungrateful acceptance speech. “I already have two of these” beeyotch.

Who was that bitch who rushed on stage and Kanye’d Roger Ross Williams’s acceptance speech? Elinor Burkett – “isn’t that the classic thing a man not letting the woman talk” if I knew you I wouldn’t let you talk either. Rumour has it that Williams’ 87-year-old mother tried to block her with a cane. Way to go granny!