First, back on July 23 of this year I did another Stream of Consciousness entry on time. I was going to say the same thing here, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not to read it again. I do want to say this, though:
Today is the last day of the year. December 31, 2016. For many of you, this day couldn’t come soon enough. Celebrity deaths, a hotly-contested election that has people thinking we’re in the end times, dead gorillas, bad weather, etc. I haven’t noticed a lot of it.
Mark Twain said “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.” Same thing holds true for cable news channels, the Internet, and especially social media. I quit visiting Facebook some time in October, and Twitter about the same time. I kept advertising the blog in both places, and found myself visiting Facebook from time to time because Mary would tell me “I tagged you on a video,” and to get comments on blog entries from people who comment there, but after a couple of minutes there, I was like, “why do I torture myself like this?” A suggestion: read Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man. What he said about TV also applies to the Internet and social media.
Yes, we had a lot of celebrity deaths this year. The one that might have meant the most to me was the death of Carrie Fisher the other day. Not because of Star Wars, not because of her books and other film and TV appearances, but because she’s another member of the class of 1956. She was born in October, I was born in March, our mothers were born a week apart… I felt a connection.
Does anyone remember all the shit she took a year ago, when she was in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (I had to look up which movie it was), because she had the temerity to age forty years and put on weight? She said this about it…
Really, what did they think? She’d look like she did in the gold bikini? Some folks need to get a life.
My car broke down on my way to work one day (long story) about thirty years ago, and I ended up taking a taxi. The driver said, “Hey, look who I drove the other day,” and pulled out an autographed picture of Debbie Reynolds. Said she was really friendly and talkative, just like regular folks. She went up in my estimation about a thousand percent that day. A Hollywood star, one of the last from the golden age of cinema, and she’s just normal folks?
Those two, I’ll miss.
As for the others: WGN did a list of all the celebrity deaths this past year. Look at how many were in their eighties and nineties. They were around a long time. Maybe that’s why we’ll miss them. I mean, who’s coming up behind them? Likewise, where are the David Bowie, the Leon Russell, the Prince of this generation? No wonder people are upset.
Well, it’s almost over. Right now, it’s quarter to two in the Eastern time zone, so in nine hours and 45 minutes, it’ll be 2017. In Sydney, it’s been the new year for almost six hours now, meaning some of you are just getting home from parties. It’s been the new year in India for fifteen minutes. Wherever you are, Happy New Year, and hang in there. 2016 is at an end.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Happy New Year!