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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

I will remember you....for....

I will remember you, will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

 Sarah McLachlan is a famous and talented singer. That is how she will likely be remembered when she is no longer around. Some might also remember her for starting Lilith Fair, and how that empowered some female artists in the ways it did.
I just love her music, and I will always remember her for one specific song, which haunted me the first time I heard it, and still does. I remember I was working at a dispatcher gig at the time, which was how I made money back in the day, and You Tube had just started to exist. It was a slow night and things were going well. Dispatchers have a hectic job, but when things go well it can be boring because you have so much time on your hands. This was one of those nights when nobody screwed up or asked me to make something happen that seemed impossible to make happen.
So, I just listened and played this song, over and over again, because it haunted me with the melody, the sentiment and the lyrics. The video is also unique, and generally I'm not one who even looks at the video when I listen to the songs. Anyway, here it is, and its the thing that I think of first whenever I think of Sarah McLachlan , and its what I always will think of first.

Cause I can't be the one 
you wanted me to be
A made up story, to fit a picture perfect world

 Yesterday came word that two people died. I admit I'd never heard of either of them. So, whatever was said in the headline is likely what I now know and remember. Here is what I now know about Mark Salling and Jay Switzer.

Mark Salling was 35, an actor on Glee, and he liked child porn, to the point he had a bad addiction and the police had to raid his house. He then was convicted and was about to do jail time, but he committed suicide for whatever reason that we might never find out or understand. Ten years from now, if someone mentions his name, what I will remember is he was on Glee and he liked child porn. That is what defines his life to the masses. I'm sure there was lots more to him, as there is for everyone.

Jay Switzer was 61 and died of brain cancer. While many wont remember that part, I will. My mother was young like Jay Switzer, in that she was 66. She also got brain cancer and while she lasted longer and lingered for a while, it took both her and Switzer fairly quickly, as brain cancer is prone to do. Seemingly, Jay Switzer never did anything bad in his life, not bad enough to make his obit, although we all do bad things at some point in our lives. So, what I know about him is that he was 61, a media icon who helped turn City TV into the conglomerate it now is by expanding the CHUM brand. He was well loved and liked and a good family man. That is what I know, and how he will be remembered.
As I said in a roundabout way, I wont really remember Mark Salling much. I don't watch Glee, never have and never will. He had no effect on my life and while it is sad he died young and had the issues he did, there are lots of pedophiles out there, and he is just one among many. He was not significant to me.
Jay Switzer did have some effect on my life, even though I didn't know his name until yesterday. But because he died of brain cancer, and young at that, whenever I see him referred to, I will think of my mother. Others who don't have that connection wont. He will be the guy that ran the City TV empire and never did anything wrong enough to speak about on the day of his death.
When I write blogs like these, I start out with a premise, but while I am in the middle of writing them, memories pop up I didn't expect to pop up and change the direction of the blog. It happens to me as fast as you can read the words I write.
As I was writing this one, Tiger Woods name came to my mind. Why? Well, he is the textbook example of the thing I am getting at in this blog. Tiger Woods will die one day, as we all do, and on that day, he will be remembered as the first really prominent black golfer, possibly the greatest golfer ever period, and also as a guy with a sex addiction. The thing he was most famous for and the worst thing he did that we know about.
While I certainly will remember those things, I have two different memories of Tiger Woods, both that popped back into my head as I wrote this blog. The first is of a Tiger Woods, still fairly young, but definitely at the top of his game, playing Glen Abbey, which is where they held the Canadian Open tournament for many years in Oakville. I had been a few times before I saw him that year, as I grew up a big golf fan and player. But, this time, we were going to see Tiger Woods. My wife wanted to see Tiger Woods. When we got to the hole he was playing, we actually got a very close up green side position. He finished the hole and moved right towards us. Like Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods had a set of fans that followed him from hole to hole, like he was the leader of a country or a Royal Prince or Princess. It was tough to get near him with that mass of people around. As he passed us, my wife was in some sort of trance. "Oh my god, its Tiger Woods, he's so good looking." She started to cry. I still tease her about that every time he is mentioned for some reason. At that point, he had a god-like image.
A few years later, it was the day my mother got even more sick. The brain cancer had finally been diagnosed, and some of us were waiting in a small waiting room with a TV. As I sat there, it was the day Tiger Woods image began to shatter in front of the world. The day he drove his car into a tree, and some of the details of his not so picture perfect life were starting to come out. I connect that moment with my mothers illness. For me, when I think of Tiger Woods, I already think of his insane fame and his sharp fall because of his demons.
Also yesterday, it came out that Diane Keaton is supporting Woody Allen, who at this stage is pretty hard to support. The fall from comic genius grace to whatever you think of Woody Allen now has been an ugly one. Keaton is a long time friend, former lover and frequent star with Allen in some of his biggest movies, including the one I will post a clip from shortly, which is my favorite of his.
Allen cheated on his wife Mia Farrow, and that doesn't distinguish him from millions of men and women who have done that in their life. But he did it with her 19 year old daughter in their own house right under her nose. That certainly separates him from the pack. He admits to all of that and never denied it. But, while that tarnished him in many eyes, that is not the nail that sealed his fame coffin for good. Farrow has also accused him of molesting their then 7 year old daughter Dylan at the time they were breaking up. There is debate as to whether that actually happened, and Dylan claims it did, while the vast majority say Farrow coached and brainwashed her into thinking it did. Nobody knows for sure, or probably ever will know the truth. But the truth doesn't matter in the context of his legacy. Allen talks about all that back in 1992 on 60 Minutes, and near the end, how he is now thought of. That is part of the idea that led me to write this blog.

Woody Allen is an old and frail man at this stage in 2018. He will surely die in the next few years.
When that day comes, he will be remembered as a comic genius who created many great films, and also as the man who cheated on his wife with her daughter and might have been a child molester.
I will remember him as a comic genius and the guy who taught me in a roundabout way how to be funny without making obvious loud jokes like Rodney Dangerfield and Henny Youngman do, although I loved both of those guys in their own way also. This scene, the undertone of how it is written and played, is what I am getting at. You have to watch it to see how the punchline was setup. It is the comic genius that is Woody Allen.
What are you doing Saturday night?
Committing suicide.
What about Friday night?
That is how I will remember Woody Allen. And of course, I wont forget the other bad things he did.
When you die, you will be remembered for the things that made you famous, and the worst thing or things you ever did. That will be your legacy...unless you did something that connected on some other level with specific people. In those cases, they remember you for that.
How will I be remembered? I don't know. I'm not famous, and most of the bad things I've done in my life weren't bad enough that others remember them. I'm more likely to be remembered as the Jay Switzer type, but who knows? I'm sure Woody Allen and Tiger Woods didn't think they would be remembered more for the bad things they did when they were at the height of their fame. I would hope those that remember me have some personal memory that sticks with them, something I did well, or did for them, or an interaction we had together.
For Mark Salling, I'm sure there are many people that have those memories of him and possibly with him. To others, he will just be that guy on Glee, or a sick pedophile who liked child porn. The remembrances belong to those who remember them. They own those.

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Daily profile about a specific artist,their life, their work and their impact