(I would like to preface this in saying that I attempted to make this blog post about three and a half years ago and it never fully posted. My next blog post tomorrow will explain why, but nonetheless, I felt it was a decent piece of writing at the time. So, I’m completing the posting of it now.)
A New Hope (originally written December 28th, 2016)
The human body is a strange vehicle which encases our souls. That sounded so much better in my head earlier today as I inspected a weird little sore on my thigh near my knee. It was just an infected pore, really. It happens often with no rhyme or reason. It gets red, I scratch it, put some cortisone on it and call it a day. But then I think, out of all the millions of pores on my body (I’m sure I have quite a bit more than the average woman), why did that pore right there chose to volunteer as tribute? It’s a mystery and one I’m sure I’ll never quite figure out.
Well, I will someday, but I’m not sure I’ll be around to share the knowledge of it. Afterall, I would by then have shucked off this strange vehicle of a human body and will most likely be wandering the ethereal plane seeking out the next vehicle to inhabit. I’m a reincarnationist, after all. And what every higher power guides me with wisdom to pick out the next one, I’m sure I’ll be on the lookout for better, thinner, and less acne-prone genes.
One can hope. Perhaps one will never know.
The last time I blogged, aside from that little Super Bowl post, I was coming off of the shock of the passing of Alan Rickman and David Bowie within the same week. What can I say, not much has improved on that front. The year 2016 sucked. ASS. As if the passing of Bowie and Rickman wasn’t a big enough shock, the death of Prince a couple months later really threw me for a loop. You see, me and 2015 didn’t depart the best of friends. I really stared out 2016 with higher hopes. But nope. It had to take Prince. Nothing could beat that, right?
So here’s the deal. And I’m going to try to write this with as much reverence as I possibly can. I’m not a Star Wars fan. I’ve seen the movies, can quote a few good lines and can tell anybody with surprising accuracy the plot of pretty much all the movies. But it doesn’t consume me like other works of sci-fi/fantasy. However, comma, don’t let anyone mistake that for my disrespect for the franchise and what it means to others. I’m a nerd. My nerdiness honors and recognizes the nerdiness in you.
So, when I heard about Carrie Fisher’s hospitalization after the massive heart attack she suffered while flying back to the states a few days before Christmas, I understood the collective gasp heard around the world as the world prayed for her recovery. But, 2015 and the beginning of 2016 left me gun-shy. I felt little hope. I remember looking at my brother and husband and saying, “I bet she’ll be the last one of the year.” Yes, it was a morbid thing to say, but it was realistic. I didn’t want to see it happen. All of my friends, ALL OF MY FRIENDS, are Princess Leia fans. And to be fair, Carrie Fisher fans as well. Yet, as the world gathered for collective prayers for Carrie, as well as prayers for her mother who was worrying for her sick daughter, the world was left venerable to a very unlikely candidate.
On Christmas evening I scrolled through Facebook and settled on a post from The Irish Independent that announced the passing of George Michael. My first thought: what the holy fuck? I searched other news sources and none had picked up on it yet. Obviously it was a mistake. Maybe a bad joke. Perhaps a weird hack on the Irish Independent website. But slowly, and sadly, surely, I Heart Scotland posted about it next. Shortly CNN and Fox picked up on it and I sat on my mom’s couch totally dumbfounded.
Seriously, George Michael? Suddenly dead? From heart failure? None of the words were matching up. In fact, even a week later, the words still don’t seem to match up.
Let’s talk about the 80s for a moment. I am a proud child of the 80s. I entered kindergarten in 1980 and for the next 10 years I relished in everything the 80s had to offer: the weird styles (day glow, anyone?), the toys (the Cabbage Patch craze just to name one), the music (Team Cyndi vs. Team Madonna, then later, hair band glory), the TV shows (where do I start?), the movies (again, where do I start?), the odd politics (the Reagan years), the American obsession with the British royal family – the whole thing. Well, I experienced as much as someone between the ages of 5-14 could experience. I might have watched John Hughes movies, but I was nowhere near experiencing a John Hughes movie life. I was the 80s and the 80s was me.
I even took a class in college dedicated to the 80s. I don’t want to brag, but I made an A.
And boy, Wham! I sometimes joke to others with “Remember, Wham! started out as a rap band.” (seriously, look it up). But say what you will, what wasn’t there to like about Wham? Cute, clean-cut accessible boys with adorable accents and a catchy pop rhythm you could dance to. But like all good things of the 80s, after a dozen or so hit songs, Wham! ended, but George Michael emerged as a powerhouse solo talent and the world never really looked back. And boy, did George throw off those cute, clean-cut shackles. A funny memory I have was getting the Faith album (on vinyl, no kidding) and telling my aunt about the song, “I Want Your Sex.” Horrified isn’t even close of an accurate description of her reaction. I can look back and laugh. And just think, this was only a year before Madonna put out a song with an accompanying video about giving fellatio to a saint. Damn, what wasn’t there to love about the 80s?
(By the way, did anyone realize that Pete Burns of Dead or Alive also passed away this year? That one kind of slipped under the radar.)
The year 2016 was without a doubt the year of the Loss of the 80s icon. That’s all I really know how to describe it. When I started writing this blog, I thought something more poignant would come to me whilst writing, but that’s what I have. Perhaps I still can’t put it all into words. This will have to do for now.
Yet, I want to leave this with a little hope. I ended 2015 with a calendar burning. I won’t be doing that this year. There was definitely a higher power at play other than a calendar. But I will go into 2017 with something resembling hope. To say it can’t get worse is clearly asking for a jinx and I simply won’t do that. (update from July 2020, how little did I know I love some good irony)