Take A Walk On The Wild Side

Lou Reed pulled off something that few people could ever do.

Every pop radio station was playing his song "Walk On The Wild Side" at the end of 1972 and
nobody knew what it was really about.

There were some rumors that it was about a transvestite but this was dismissed.
After all, commercial Top 40 radio stations would never play such a song.

RCA knew. Because they edited the song for the single release.
It originally contained clear X-rated references.

It was many years later when we were out of the Carpenters-influenced musical innocence
phase that it became apparent:

Yes, the song was about transvestites, prostitution and drug abuse.

And thousands of radio stations had not know that.

Lou Reed, who already had created a very unique artistic vision with Velvet Underground
had gone solo. And David Bowie produced the song.

A fusion of Blues-Jazz--Rap (even before there was such a thing) created a sound
unlike anything else on Top 40 radio.

Lou Reed went on to influence many diverse artists that wanted to present
something other than Top 40 mush.

Top 40 needs a Lou Reed badly right now.

Christopher Columbus Would Be On Trial Today As A Mass Murderer

Today is Columbus Day--a Federal Holiday celebrating the man who allegedly
discovered America.

This is no different than having a Federal Holiday to honor Hitler.

 I remember our grade school activities in the late 50's and early 60's.
We would make paper ships, learn songs, write tributes to this "great" man.

All over America, millions of children would do the same.

The teachers forgot to tell us something important.
That's because they didn't know about it either.
And the textbooks were devoid of any such information.

Christopher Columbus and his men were mass murderers,
torturers, sadists, rapists, slave holders/traders and the purveyors of
every despicable thing you could do to other human beings--
Indians already living in the Caribbean--who they decided were
not human beings at all.


The list of atrocities is quite stunning:
Mass slaughter of Indians that protested being slaves;
Enslavement of Indians to gather gold daily from the mines;
Cutting off noses, ears and arms of Indians that did not retrieve enough gold daily;
Forcing women into prostitution for the crew;
Forcing 10-year-old girls into personal sex slaves;
Killing babies for dog food;
Unleashing vicious dogs on uncooperative Indians;
Burning alive uncooperative Indians;
Hunting Indians for sport/games;
Splitting up families to take as slaves for sale in Europe

I don't remember reading about any of this in my MacMillan history book.

The word started getting out in the last 30 years and if you decide to attend
a Columbus Day Parade--you are giving your approval to Genocide.

This holiday needs to be revoked.


Thomasina -- Cute Disney Cat Film -- Not Quite

"The Three Live of Thomasina," is a Disney film which I saw at age 11 in 1964.

I saw a VHS copy for $1.00 and thought "I haven't seen this film in almost 50 years. I don't remember anything about it at all. And look at that cover. This has got to be beyond cute!"

I am glad I made this decision--but did not at all see what I thought it was going to be.

"The Three Live of Thomasina" is a very, very dark drama.

It is the kind of movie that happens to have a child as star, and would have normally been made by Warner Bros. or Universal.

Filled entirely with adult concepts--death of the mom, a bitter isolated father, death of the cat, mistrust, prejudice and ultimate redemption--it is from a novel and apparently was kept close to it.

The film has an intense scene which is still too strong for children.
The little girl, who is angry with her father, is asked about him.
She responds "My Daddy's dead. I killed him" which is delivered
in a quite incredible emotional manner.

This is not a Disney "My daddy's dead." It is not a comedy Flubber line.

It is absolutely breathtaking and stirring.

There are other moments like this which you may not remember or don't know
because you would never buy a movie with a cute cat cover like this.

There is the ultimate one animated scene--Cat Heaven.
Magical and mystifying.

Teen Angel

I live across from a large apartment building in Burbank.
People come and go, have their parties, and I just mind my own business.
For the last few years, a very nice man always says hello to me and I say
hello back. I figured he is either Armenian or Middle Eastern. I saw him
once having trouble with his car and I asked him if he needed a jumpstart,
but that's been the extent of any conversation.

After I pulled in yesterday and was getting some groceries, he walked over
and asked me if I heard about the tragic accident. I was totally unaware
of anything and told him I didn't.

"5 young people died in a fiery crash just 5 minutes from here," he calmly said.

"I didn't know about that. What happened?"

"They were coming down Scott road at too fast a speed and at the curve
the car smashed into a wall, exploded in flames and they all died. They were all
18 and 19. It's all over the local news."

"I don't watch the local news, only the national things going on.
That's very terrible. I didn't know anything about it."

"My daughter was in there."


"My daughter was in the car."

I didn't know what to say. I was speechless.

I suddenly realized that I had a number of times seen a girl about 19
who would be joyfully picked up by friends with their stereo blasting
and everybody laughing and carrying on.

As I listened he told me that she went to college and worked at Best Buy.

She was 5 minutes from being dropped off.

I realized then that the "party" I had heard going on for the last two nights
(I saw dozens of young people coming and going to the building) was
a traditional Mid-Eastern wake.

5 young people just starting their lives. A tragedy of untold proportions.

That's all I have thought about for the last two days.
What this man, other family and her friends are going through.

I've had almost 61 years of some incredible experiences filled with
joys and sorrows. A full life. Hers was just starting.

I continue to ask a higher power how this could happen.