This year, with Hillary Clinton so very close to winning her place in the Oval Office and making history, I recall this earlier expression of history. It’s what I think of when I cast my vote, which I did last week during early voting in my state.
Polls are already open in the east. They close at different times during the day, but if you are already in line, STAY THERE. You have a right to vote, no matter when the polls close.
This brilliant music video tribute to the Doctor in all his forms is a fabulous mash-up of a-ha’s “Take On Me” video and clips in the style of the video taken from the series. I’ve been holding on to these for a while, so here’s your Twofer plus bonus tracks for today.
For reference, here’s the original video, by a-ha. You can really see how the style translates in color:
But wait! There’s more!
And I’m warning you now – swallow before you watch either of these. Yeah, they’re long, but the payoff is SOOO worth it.
There’s too many ways I could tag this. Leaving off at 12…
I wanted to include something to recognize my connection to Shirley Temple Black, in light of her death on February 10th of this year. This is the first chance I’ve had to include a few links to her life and work.
You can certainly go search YouTube for more, but I’ll tell you I’ve had a thing for Shirley Temple’s work ever since my sitter first wrapped my curly hair in vertical ringlets at a very tender age. I wanted dance lessons like crazy, I thought I could sing just like Shirley. I’m certain I wasn’t alone. Long, long after she stopped making movies, I was a staunch fan. I knew this song by heart, but it wasn’t the only one I could sing (in my own, off-key way):
In later years, after she ended her movie career at the top of her game, Shirley Temple Black became a diplomat, serving in a variety of locations. She also became one of the first public figures to highlight breast cancer, when she was diagnosed with the disease in 1972. She received lifetime recognition through both the Screen Actors Guild and the Kennedy Center Honors.
In the long, long list of child stars, Shirley Temple’s early works remain a sweet, sunny reminder of childhood’s best moments, even if her own life wasn’t among the fairy tales with which she became associated later in life. This biopic from 2001 tells a lot of her story. In a lot of ways, she led the way through a minefield for child stars, and she did it with poise and grace. I’m glad to have experienced her work.
I debated adding this clip to the blog, but I’ve decided it’s appropriate. Christianity gets a bad rap a lot of the time, because many people who claim to believe use their faith in ways that run counter to the concepts taught in the New Testament. I find it more than a little disturbing that so much of what is passed off as faith actually serves as an excuse for bigotry and exclusion, the exact opposite of what the New Testament says Jesus taught.
If people stopped cherry picking the text for the things they liked, I think they’d come to the conclusion that either the bible wasn’t what they thought it was or that the agendas of those who compiled and printed it were not the Christians they said they were.
I’m not Christian in any conceivable way, but I can still get the teachings. And this man speaks a great deal of truth. And after the horrible bill Kansas almost enacted against a portion of our population that could have taken them back before 1960, I think it’s the right thing to share today.
[The original clip is gone. This is a replacement. -BMD]
Here are three clips that show what love looks like, though they’re not what you might think that at first. Oh, sure, there’s chocolates and hearts and stuff, but when the chocolates are gone and the cards disappear, it’s the thought that really counts.
First, a tip of the hat to the Seattle Seahawks for what sounded like a well-deserved rout, comes this fan-tastic clip that shows super fan Sophie Ayers receiving a gift from her favorite running back Thomas Rawls and how connected we are to our favorite people, and how awesome some of them can be in return. [The whole meeting was up on YouTube but is now gone. –BMD]
Second, a clip that shows our hearts can connect across species just as easily, as long as we remember that respect is a gift we can share with everyone, whether on two legs or four.
Finally, yes, there was a Coke commercial in the news. This isn’t it. Not because it’s not appropriate, but because I already featured it elsewhere. This one is more about the levels and depth of love. Yeah, it’s a commercial. That’s not the point.
As a child growing up in Rochester, NY, my favorite place in the world was the Strasenburgh Planetarium in Rochester, NY. I loved the place so much, it’s where I chose to go on my first date. So it should come as no surprise that when I tuned into PBS in 1980, for the first episode of Carl Sagan’s 13-part series, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, my perspective on science and our place in the universe shifted radically. I watched the entire series, then watched it again when they repeated the episodes. Finally got a copy of the DVDs so I can go back and watch again whenever I feel like it.
When I heard that Neil deGrasse Tyson would be producing an updated version of Sagan’s show, I was thrilled. Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey airs beginning March 9, 2014 on Fox. (I’m trying not to let that scare me.)
I’m psyched beyond all reason, because I hope the new show will bring in a whole new audience, and we’ll see an update that will carry us beyond Sagan’s original series, into places we couldn’t imagine when the original series aired.
Tyson talks about the new series and science with Bill Moyers on PBS. Seriously. Can. NOT. Wait.
On February 9, 1964, the Beatles appeared for the first time on the Ed Sullivan Show, and the world changed.
This “shaky cam” video of the three appearances by the Fab Four over three consecutive Sundays that year shines some light on the craze that became Beatlemania. Fifty years later, radio stations still have all Beatles highlights. That’s the timelessness of their music and the devotion of their fan base, in action.
The Beatles paved the way for The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and other members of the British Invasion over the years that followed.
But how did the shows happen in the first place? Here’s Walter Cronkite to explain.
When I first started watching The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson sat in the driver’s seat and I always imagined what life would be like when I got on the show. That never happened, of course.
Jay Leno first appeared on the show as a stand-up comic in 1977 (the year I started high school). Here’s the clip from that first appearance.
There was never, ever, a time in my life when Johnny hadn’t hosted the show…until 14 years later, that is.
Jay was preparing to take over for Johnny, who was finally ready to retire after thirty years with The Tonight Show. But not before Johnny had David Letterman on to discuss the change in regime. Raucous hilarity ensues.
Those of us who are still here are a lot grayer, but Leno’s done what relatively few men or women have managed. And I still haven’t been called to the hot seat. What’s up with that? Maybe I’ll have better luck with Jimmy Fallon. You never know.
[An aside – internet outages and college classwork may interfere with getting these posted on schedule. I’m back in the ‘net for now. Hope it stays that way for a while. I’ve got homework to do!]
Before I post the following three videos, I’m going to say something that stands a chance of making me unpopular. Shocking, I know.
Morgan Freeman, in an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” in December, 2005, said “I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.” I agree. I’m not confining my exploration of history to a single month. I chose Monday to highlight the subject entirely at random. But it’s clear after Google celebrated Harriet Tubman’s life with a Google Doodle, folks aren’t so keen on American History that they know who Harriet Tubman was or what she did to earn her place in history.
Sojourner Truth has a similar place in American history, and equally hazy recognition. She is best known for her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, given at the Women’s Convention in 1851. Tubman and Truth, Cady Stanton and Anthony. They helped lay the foundations on which we stand and continue to fight for equality.
I owe a great deal to all four of these women, who fought for equality at a time when we were considered property, not free to pursue our own destinies. So do all the women in this country who enjoy the freedom to vote, to work, to own property and to live independently.
Here are two interpretations of Sojourner Truth’s famous speech:
No, this year, thanks to the calendar, February 2nd is a different sort of holiday (for some, anyway). It’s Super Bowl Sunday. And in the spirit of the day, I’m presenting several commercials. They might not seem related on first glance, but they are. Here’s why.
The first comes in three parts. Part one is the original commercial, published on YouTube by General Mills on May 28, 2013. It might not seem like a big deal, until you hear that General Mills had to shut down all the comments on its YouTube post because the ad sparked a flood of racist vitriol. You can read all about the controversy by searching on the words Just Checking Ad.
This evening, Cheerios is doing it again, with a follow-up to the first commercial, which General Mills published on YouTube on January 28, 2014.
This is, by all accounts, a normal family, but a lot of people don’t see them that way. “Gracie” is played by six-year-old Grace Colbert. She and her parents have been interviewed on a number of news outlets, and the conversation goes very much the same each time. And yes, considering our president’s heritage, it’s a discussion that has to happen, out in the open, because we assign far, far too much importance to the differences in race in this country. Clearly, we still have a long way to go, recognizing that our differences are nowhere near as important as our similarities.
Well, what does that have to do with the commercial below? It’s not airing during the show because the cost for the slot was prohibitively expensive. But it’s on a subject that is at least as important as the normalization of families from multi-ethnic backgrounds and it is specifically aimed at the National Football League, which should make it a top priority. But since it’s not airing this evening, let me share it with you so you can share it with others.
Our local football team chooses to keep a racial epithet as a name. I say it’s time we retired the word, so that it may join its brother, the N-word, because that is how we show respect for the values and lives of Native Americans. And that’s where these two commercials tie in.
We are all brothers under the skin. Our perceptions, our judgments, are all wrapped up in the exterior package. Wouldn’t it be better to understand and respect each other instead of judging and vilifying what we don’t know or understand?
In a few days a large percentage of the US will plop down in front of their televisions and watch either a game involving an odd-shaped ball that gets tossed between two teams or every single commercial that comes between tossing and running after said ball.
When I went to bed last night, a rumor was circulating on Facebook that Pete Seeger had died. I went where I usually go, out to the larger Internet, to substantiate the rumor, and I couldn’t find anything to prove it was true, so I went to sleep. This morning, Morning Edition confirmed what a sizeable chunk of my FB Friends now know is true.
My father is largely responsible for my introduction to folk music. Without his reel to reel tape recorder, I wouldn’t have known about Pete, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Phil Ochs, Peter, Paul and Mary, Woody Guthrie or any of the other musicians who made up the fabric of my early childhood.
A search for Pete Seeger on You Tube generates hundreds, if not thousands of links to his work. For me, a visit to the Hudson Valley as a young child (in Woodstock, after THE concert) landed my closest association with the man as I recall sitting on his lap. I also remember watching his series Rainbow Quest on PBS, when they broadcast the series in 1967-68.
[Full movie requires rental from YouTube or other site.]
Last year, I made a point of attending the Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival and I got to thank him again, in person. Didn’t have enough time to say it more than once, but I noticed he was all over that festival. I saw Toshi, once, while we were waiting for the Richie Havens memorial to begin, and I knew then that she was quite ill, but I also saw that he stayed with her until that concert started. Their devotion to each other, for just shy of 70 years, was inspirational.
He remained active right up through this year, but was too ill to attend a parade he helped organize:
So, in the spirit of Twofer Tuesday, in this special edition, have a second cut, with Buffy Sainte-Marie, who I also saw last summer at the festival. Explore the clips on YouTube. And take comfort that the folk movement isn’t dead so long as we pass our values on to the generations to come. After all, that’s how the music remains with us. Pass it on.
Okay, so technically this isn’t a Twofer Tuesday in the traditional (?) sense, but it’s my blog and I can do what I want.
Back when Saturday Night Live was a new thing, they featured Kate Bush doing both Wuthering Heights and another song from The Kick Inside. The first version is the one I remember from that introduction to her music. (I have all her albums and I’ve snagged more of her videos for featuring this year.)
So when someone started circulating the parody Noel Fielding did for Comic Relief, I was surprised to discover the second version of the music video was also on YouTube, and darned if he wasn’t dead-on accurate.
Here’s Kate’s version (Number Two):
And here’s Noel’s. I’d put the coffee mug down if I were you:
This seems like a great place to start the conversation over Spirit. For me, Sunday is an arbitrary selection, but since many people are keyed to think that the weekend is tied to spiritual connection, it’s as good a day as any other to select for the exploration.
Jim Carrey’s comments might seem an odd place to start, but they’re not. In fact, based on his work with The Truman Show, I think this is a dandy place to start the conversation. Look for future conversations, about the planet, religion, nature and more on Sundays throughout this year.
Welcome to Throwback Thursday. It might not be what you expect, but then, where would we be in this world if everything was the way everyone expected?
I ran across this little clip while looking for a reference for a short story. I confess, until I looked her up, I had no idea who Beatrice “Bea” Lillie was, but I thought of Fanny Brice (a sort-of contemporary of Bea’s). Ed Sullivan’s intro is so very typical of his shows, which were among my favorite things to watch.
Starting off the New Year in style with my favorite funny man Steve Martin and one of the best there is or was, Gregory Hines.
I would have featured this video during Steve Martin week, but I found it after I’d already compiled all the clips for the week. Which just goes to show, if you wait long enough, you can find enough material for an entire year. And so here’s to the offbeat and unexpected. And to our first Dancing Wednesday!