Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wistful Weekend

This was a week for Gen-X nostalgia.

For starters, I was never a Farrah fan, although I was an enthusiastic follower of Charlie’s Angels in its first two seasons. (Cut me some slack here, I was nine in ’76!) Gender equality was still in doubt in the 70s and was a frequent topic of debate. Charlie’s Angels, for all its jiggly camp, showed glamorous, uber-hetero women who could look fantastic and still solve the crime and bring down the bad guy. They did it without smudging their makeup or tripping in their spike-heeled Candie’s. Is it any wonder I grew up with never a doubt that I could do calculus, run marathons, and still be totally fem?

Thank you, Farrah.

As for Michael Jackson, I watched the Jackson 5 on TV as a kid and heard their songs on the radio. I never owned any of Michael’s albums, but most of my friends had Off the Wall and Thriller, and Michael’s early-80s hits were staples at school dances and friends’ parties. We all tried to moonwalk and we watched his videos to pick up the latest moves.

Then I grew up and MJ grew weird. His '70s and '80s hits continued to bring a smile to my face, but I’d be lying if I said I was a true fan. It was comfort music, the soundtrack of my childhood, and I craved it now and then in the same way I sometimes need a grilled cheese sandwich with a side of tater tots. Comfort music, like comfort food, is something you know isn’t all that good for you, and you wouldn’t want a steady diet of it, but oh, how you need it now and then!

No matter what one believed about the scandals of the ‘90s and ‘00s, it was clear that MJ went off the deep end. And yet, we couldn’t mourn that talented, charismatic kid we grew up with because there was a freakish caricature walking about still claiming to be him. The Michael of our memories never re-emerged. Now we can finally say good-bye to that other Michael, the one whose soundtrack ran in the background of our childhood, and who will always be inextricably intertwined with our memories of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

So here I am this weekend, waxing nostalgic, even more aware than usual of the passage of time. I wasn’t a big fan of any of the recently departed, but they were part of Then, and their passing reminds me that I can only live in Now.

I must also accept that Ed McMahon will never show up at my door with a big fat check, since he died this week, too. It does no good to argue with time. And after some time spent pondering and listening to a little Jackson 5, I’m okay with that.

8 comments:

Hef's Mom said...

Very well spoken Bunnygirl

Glenna said...

So true. The loss of both was so sad. I haven't been an MJ fan for a long time--I didn't care for the falsetto or any of the weirdness post-Thriller, but jeez, I loved to see the guy dance. I'm a little older than you, so I had probably more connection to FF, whose hairdo I copied in the same way that women copied Jennifer Anniston's 'do 10 years ago. I was sad to see that FF had clearly had a lot of work done on her face as she aged; I wish she could have been a "natural" role model for women of a certain age. I can see tightening the neck, but the startled look just isn't attractive or young-looking. But I loved that none of the angels were dummies.

d. moll, l.ac. said...

I actually never watched Charlie's Angels, but Michael Jackson and I are born in the same year, so I guess I we kind up grew up together. I think he was manipulated as soon as his dad found out he could sing and that left him ill prepared for the fame that found him. I wish he had stayed black, I had such a crush on him in the early days. I hope he has found peace now.

Glenna said...

And if Lisa Marie Presley Whatever her Lastname is Now truly did twitter about her relationship with him and her insights into his behavior (assuming it wasn't a hoax), what a sad, sad thing.

No! Someone bathed Cadbury regularly? Terrible! Is he afraid of water as a result? I'm betting he's like my buns--has a naturally pleasant scent all his own. The only bathing we've ever done is for the rare sticky butt, and then it's just a gentle sit for a few minutes in a sink of warm water until the stickiness dissolves.

Little Peaches is quite the daredevil. She's younger than the guys and more prone to exploration and getting into trouble.

Rabbits' Guy said...

I liked Farrah!!!! :<)

AW ... all the great old baseball players are dying too ...

As Boogey the bunny in Baton Rouge exclaims "Ceiling Cat - Why?"

the Bag Lady said...

Well said, BG. I shall mourn Michael of the Jackson 5... not the caricature he became.

I missed hearing that Ed MacMahon had passed away - that's sad, too.

I am saddest about Farrah. I think her abilities were under-appreciated because she was so stunningly good looking. I was of the generation who copied her hairstyle - we all did, if we could get away with it! I loved Charlie's Angels - it presented women in a different light than previous television programs had done.

Thomma Lyn said...

Wonderful post, Bunnygirl. You articulate much of what I've been feeling. I haven't been a big fan of either in my adulthood, but yes, they were and will always be inextricably bound to my growing-up years.

I was a MJ fan as a kiddo and as a young teenager. He inspired me because I knew of his very shy personality, yet oh my goodness gracious how he could shine and kick ass on stage. Just so uber-cool. I'd feel pumped just watching him. :) And yes, so sad what he morphed into -- a caricature of himself. So much talent, but so much anguish.

And Farrah -- yup! I watched Charlie's Angels as a young kiddo, too, and yeah, I loved how they kicked butt. :)

RIP, Farrah and Michael.

Alice said...

my aunt used to pretend to nurse her candies before she went to bed. she was so happy her mom let her have a pair. she was also around nine i think.