Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Passage

Happy second-week-of-the-new-year to all.  Busy day yesterday kept me from this space, but found some time this morning.

I watched most of the Golden Globes with my wife Sunday night, and my primary comment (other than to say that Ricky Gervais is pretty funny while being fearless and unconcerned with reaction to his jokes, which is a rare gift in show business today) is to ask "who's watching some of the shows that were recognized with awards?"  I watch a fair amount of TV, and while I don't have every pay channel and streaming service, I have enough awareness of current culture to know about some of these shows.  But I had honestly never heard of "Mr. Robot," "Mozart in the Jungle," "Wolf Hall" or "Show Me a Hero."  Who's watching these shows, aside from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association?

I did not see Sylvester Stallone's acceptance speech live, but was touched that he's finally getting some recognition for his work as boxer Rocky Balboa.  I remember so well the story of how the original "Rocky" was made on a shoestring, and that Stallone would not sell the screenplay unless he was also cast in the title role.  That movie went on to win the Best Picture Oscar and it made Stallone's career.

Denzel Washington's acceptance of the Cecil B. deMille lifetime achievement award (I believe that's the correct award name) was charming for its ineptitude.  An actor who always seems so prepared for every role forgetting his speech and then his glasses was fun and cute, as was his insistence at having all family members present on stage with him.

And some of the presenters were almost as much fun as the award winners, which is normal.  The producers of this show must try to be very stringent about how quickly a winner is shooed from the stage upon acceptance, as numerous winners (Taraji P. Henson and Ridley Scott come to mind) essentially ignored the command to "wrap it up," and rightfully so.

I didn't win a Globe again this year, but since I wasn't nominated, I wasn't expecting to.  But with all of these unknown shows winning some of the TV awards, who knows?

I was sorry to hear of the passing of singer/actor/cultural icon David Bowie.  He was 69 and apparently had been battling cancer for more than the past year.  The irony is that he just put out his final recording and there apparently is at least one song that serves more or less as his epitaph.  How often do our stars have the opportunity to say goodbye to their fans and admirers by doing what we know them to be good at?  I can think of two, one more recent, the other some years ago:  singer/songwriter Warren Zevon, best known for "Werewolves of London," died a few years ago from lung cancer (ironically, he had quit smoking years before and his former habit and his fatal disease were a coincidence) but not before he recorded a final album, weak voice and all.  And John Wayne, the Duke and one of my all-time favorite actors, made "The Shootist," a turn of the century Western about a terminally ill gunfighter who prefers to leave this world the only way he knows.

Back to Bowie---I would not characterize myself as a fan, though I did own one of his albums back in the 80s.  Still, some of his music is pretty memorable.  All day yesterday I found myself subconciously hearing "Under Pressure," the anthem he recorded with Queen.  That's a great song, despite what Vanilla Ice did with the rhythm track!

Finally, after a couple of fits and starts, and a spate of early winter warmth, it looks like Kentucky has finally entered winter.  A dusting of snow greeted us yesterday morning, and we're due for an inch or more today.  Fun while it lasted.

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