Saturday, April 12, 2014

Everything is A-ok with David Letterman

Dave.  I love the guy.  Not like a stalker who breaks into his home.  Not like an obsessive fan who duct tapes him to a chair for an intimate dinner.  More like I loved my bicycle when I was a kid.  Or something similarly essential and integral to who I am, a brick in the foundation of my personality, from way back when, but not something I make much fuss about on a day-to-day basis.  Yeah, like my bicycle.

It was 1984 or 1985.  I was 13 or 14 and spending the night at my sister's house so we could catch an early flight to Chicago to visit our Grandparents.  My sister and her husband were up late, packing and doing laundry.  I was bored and not tired, just sort of floating around their house, unsure what to do with myself, and so they told me to watch this show they had on.  So I did.

When I returned from Chicago, I programmed the family VCR to tape Late Night each night and watched it each day after school.

The reason I'm writing about this isn't to stake a claim, or to somehow create a virtual band T-shirt to prove that I was there first.  I wasn't.  I was a kid.  And I was there a couple of years late.

But I was loyal.

But that isn't even the point.

The point is:  I'm not sure what to do without Dave.

I was raised by television, and during key years I was mostly raised by Dave.

And as an adult with regular insomnia, or rather an adult who experiences occasional restfulness, I still catch The Late Show a lot.  It's comforting and soothing to me.  It's like I can still take my bike out and coast down the empty backroads of the exurb where I grew up, pink, purple, blue summer sunset on the horizon.  When I spend time watching Dave's show, it's like time flattens and compresses, every time is occurring at the same time, and all is a-ok.

To think that won't be an option soon makes me seriously concerned about my world.  Well, that sounds dramatic.  Maybe more dramatic than accurate.  No, that's it.  I am seriously concerned.  It's not like this is a surprise.  I had been feeling like the end was coming soon, and that Dave was nearing "Imminent Carson" (an appropriate, classy and elegant exit).  Intellectually I understood it and supported it, but now that it is here I find I am wholly unprepared.

Look, I know his retirement will be a-ok, too.  He is leaving me with a similarly bright, nerdy, AP-class kind of a guy who, like Dave, has learned to use his powers for good and not evil.  Not always nice, but definitely good.  Plus, I've got some time to adjust to the idea.

Yes, I know it's all going to be a-ok.  I'll always be able to find him on YouTube or whatever comes after that, and whatever comes after that.  And no matter what year I find him, and no matter the year of the clip I find, nor the quality of the clip, I will feel the calm, cool confidence of tooling around on my purple bike, wearing my purple Esprit sweatshirt, surrounded by a purple dusk - all alone, but a-ok.

Still, right now, I'm just not sure about it all.

Regardless, it's time for me to stuff my feelings about all of this and focus on the day:  Happy Birthday, Mr. Letterman.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, yours is the only celebrity birthday I have memorized.  I know that says something about me, and whatever that is, I'll take it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

DIY Double Feature: THE KING OF COMEDY and NETWORK | Past, Prescient and Future

THE KING OF COMEDY and NETWORK.  I know, not a super inspired pairing, but I owe this blog a post, so...  Let's get to it.

When you watch these films, think about the cliche things everyone thinks when they watch these movies now.  Specifically, how eerily prescient these pictures were.  Think about how quickly these movies went from illustrating where we might be going, and instead are about where we are...  And then think about what things will be like 20 years from now.

Then think about how great it is that we don't live that long.
So many lesser and greater horrors out there just itching to become the norm.

A lot of beauty and redemptions ahead, sure.  But the point still stands:  Getting old and dying isn't the worst thing.

Maybe it's not so bad that the U.S. ranks 35th in life expectancy.

Stay tuned, it feels like this unnecessarily bleak jag of posts is about to let up soon.

Released: 1976
Writer: Paddy Chayefsky
Director: Sidney Lumet
Leads: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall
Plot summary and what not of NETWORK @ Wikipedia

Released: 1983
Writers: Paul D. Zimmerman
Director: Martin Scorsese
Leads: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Sandra Bernhard
Plot summary and what not of THE KING OF COMEDY @ Wikipdedia