I have not done one of these in a little while, so I thought it was about time here at Kickin' it Old School that I again point out a few stories that strike me as kind of sad, kind of happy and just kind of weird. If you go back through the archives you will find 3 previous times where I have done this. Now on to this issue's picks...
HAPPY STORY In a true Cinderella story, Fresno State won the College World Series (CWS) in baseball. Here is a link to an article discussing this unlikely champion. The Bulldogs barely made the field of 64 and became the first number 4 regional seed to reach the CWS since the tournament expanded in 1999. This would be the equivalent of a number 16 seed winning the NCAA basketball tournament. Fresno State ended the season with a record of 47 wins and 31 losses which is more losses than any previous National champion. They defeated many higher seeded teams which featured players that were 1st round draft picks heading for the major leagues. Fresno State's highest draft pick was a 2nd round pick who even missed the postseason with an injury. It is always fun to see a true underdog come out victorious. As became the slogan in Omaha at the CWS, this team went "from underdog to wonderdog" and that is a happy story to me.
WEIRD STORY As you probably are aware, the 2008 Summer Olympics are to be held in Beijing, China. In a very strange form of Olympic pride, many Chinese babies are being given names associated with the games. Here is a link to a very interesting article on this subject. According to the article, roughly 3,500 children have been named Aoyun (meaning "Olympics"). Some people, mostly males, have Aoyun as their given name, and many parents with the surname Yun are choosing to combine their surname with the given name Ao to create the word. Parents searching for creative names are also looking to the five Beijing Olympic mascots, the "Fuwa": Bei Bei the fish, Jing Jing the panda, Huan Huan the Olympic flame, Ying Ying the Tibetan antelope and Ni Ni the swallow. Together -- Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni -- they mean "Beijing welcomes you!" More than 4,000 Chinese have been named for the mascots: Bei Bei (880 people), Jing Jing (1,240 people), Huan Huan (1,063 people), Ying Ying (624 people) and Ni Ni (642 people). Just like with any name, parents need to think about this more long term. What might sound like a good idea right now may not seem so good 10-20 years from now. China is obviously a different culture, but I thought this story was interesting nonetheless.
That's all I have for you in this issue of Kickin' it. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy this feature. I try not to do it too often, but it is a nice way to change it up once in a while. Please click on the archive buttons in the upper left column to have access to all past issues of Kickin' it Old School. I encourage you to subscribe or at least come back often. Peace and much love.
Check this out: This signs falls in the category of "stating the obvious" which always makes me chuckle when I see stuff like this...
Quote of the day: "A man (or woman) needs to look, not down, but up to standards set so much above his (or her) ordinary self as to make him feel that he is himself spiritually the underdog." -Irving Babbitt
I was debating back and forth with myself on whether I would write anything about George Carlin after his death this past Sunday (June 22nd). I was just staring at my autographed movie poster for Dogma hanging on the wall which proudly includes Carlin's signature and I decided that, yes, I should write something.
Carlin has always been one of my very favorite comedians and I am quite sad that he has passed away somewhat unexpectedly (at 71 years of age). At least we will always have his outstanding comedy and a few movie appearances to remember him by. Here is a link to watch a CNN report on the death of the comedy legend.
I do not use the word ‘legend' lightly but Carlin was a truly legendary comedian. In fact, he was ranked second (only behind Richard Pryor) on Comedy Central's list of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time. Carlin is probably best known for his "Seven Dirty Words" routine which actually got him arrested for violating obscenity laws here in my home city of Milwaukee back in 1972. Here is a link which allows you to listen to this infamous comedy routine... WARNING - This link includes obscene language, so if that bothers you, please do not click here.
Marking his prominence at the time, Carlin was the first-ever host of NBC's Saturday Night Live back in October of 1975. He still remained prominent all the way until the end with an HBO special which aired back in March of this year. Carlin provided the voice for the antiestablishment hippie Fillmore, a VW Microbus in the Disney/Pixar film Cars (which ranks on my list of best animated feature films). He made appearances in three outstanding movies by writer/director Kevin Smith including Dogma (one of my very favorite films which I mentioned earlier) and a more serious turn in Jersey Girl (which ranks on my list of most underrated movies).
Another one of my favorite Carlin routines is his comparison of baseball and football. Here is a link to that very funny and actually pretty factual comparison of two of my favorite sports. Another one of my favorite parts of Carlin's comedy was his keen observations. The one that always comes to mind is "Why do we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway?" Here are others that may or may not be Carlin originals, but I am sure they were inspired by the great one... > Why does the sun lighten our hair, but darken our skin?
> Why can't women put on mascara with their mouth closed?
> Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
> Why don't you ever see the headline Psychic Wins Lottery?
> Why is abbreviated such a long word?
> Why is a boxing ring square?
> Why is it considered necessary to nail down the lid of a coffin?
> Why is it that doctors call what they do practice?
> Why is it that rain drops but snow falls?
> Why is it that to stop Windows on your computer, you have to click on Start?
> Why is it that when you're driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?
> Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?
> Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
> Why is the third hand on the watch called a second hand?
> Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
> Why isn't there a special name for the tops of your feet?
> Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?
> If you throw a cat out of the car window, does it become kitty litter?
> If you take an Asian person and spin him around several times does he become disoriented?
> Is it OK to use the AM radio after noon?
> What do people in China call their good dishes?
> What do you call a male ladybug?
> What hair color do they put on the driver's license of a bald man?
> Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
> Why do they call it a pair of pants, but only 1 bra?
> Why is it called tourist season if we can't shoot at them?
> Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds?
> Why are there Interstates in Hawaii?
> Why are there flotation devices in the seats of planes instead of parachutes?
> Why are cigarettes sold at gas stations where smoking is prohibited?
> Have you ever imagined a world without hypothetical situations?
> How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work?
> If the 7-11 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, why have locks on the door?
> You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?
> If a firefighter fights fire and a crime fighter fights crime, what does a freedom fighter fight?
> If they squeeze olives to get olive oil, how do they get baby oil?
> If a cow laughs, does milk come out of her nose?
> If you are driving at the speed of light and you turn your headlights on, what happens?
> Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of a drive-up ATM?
> Why is it that when you transport something by car it is called shipment, but when you transport something by ship it's called cargo?
> Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?
> Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
> If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
> If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?
Like I said, I am not sure if those are all really from Carlin himself, but they are pretty funny either way. I thought tblog's own surrogate had a nice post on Carlin's passing, so here is a link to his take on it.
Just four days before his Carlin's passing the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC announced that George Carlin would be the 2008 honoree for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor which will be awarded in November. It was special that he lived long enough to receive that news, but a shame that he will not be able to accept the award in person. He will be missed by many, many fans at a time in this world where we can all use a little more humor in our lives but, like I said earlier, we will always have his comedy to remember him by. Rest in peace, George, and thank you sincerely for all the laughs.
That will wrap up this issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks, as always, for reading. If you missed any of the past articles, please go to the archives in the upper left hand column and where they are organized by month. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I thought this picture was funny. Either this guy is trying to invent a new form of fuel or this is the elderly form of road rage...
Quote of the day: "Think of how stupid the average person is and realize half of them are stupider than that." - George Carlin Here's another one... "The very existence of flame throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, ‘You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I am just not close enough to get the job done.'" -George Carlin
Download this: "Earth Stopped Cold At Dawn" by Hootie & the Blowfish
I happened to see a list of celebrity birthdays last week and noticed that Ally Sheedy turned 46 (on June 13th). It made me stop and think for a moment. Can this member of the 80s "Brat Pack" really be 46 years old already?
Ally Sheedy is the actress who starred in such 80s classics as The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire, Short Circuit and WarGames. She was considered a member of the "Brat Pack" which was a group of young actors who appeared in many of the teen-oriented coming-of-age films during the mid-80s. This made me curious to check out the rest of the actors who were generally considered members of this club.
In addition to Sheedy, Emilio Esteves recently turned 46 and both Demi Moore and Andrew McCarthy will turn 46 later this year. Rob Lowe just turned 45. Judd Nelson is the oldest and will surprisingly be 49 in November. The two youngest are Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall who both just turned 40 earlier this year. There are other actors associated with the "Brat Pack," but those are considered the official members. It is astonishing to me when I recognize (or admit) that those "Brat Pack" movies are all now 20-25 years old.
Many of the movies that these actors starred in are some of my favorite and most memorable especially since they were released during my most formative years. I thought this would be a proper opportunity to publish my Top 10 movies from the 80s starring members of the "Brat Pack." For this list, I considered any movie from that decade which starred even one of the actors that I mentioned earlier even though many star multiple members. Without further ado, here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 MOVIES FROM THE 80s STARRING ANY MEMBERS OF THE "BRAT PACK":
10. About Last Night... (1986) - Rob Lowe as "Danny Martin" and Demi Moore as "Debbie Sullivan"
9. The Pick-Up Artist (1987) - Molly Ringwald as "Randy Jensen"
8. Weekend at Bernie's (1989) - Andrew McCarthy as "Larry Wilson"
7. Pretty in Pink (1986) - Molly Ringwald as "Andie Walsh" and Andrew McCarthy as "Blane McDonnagh"
6. St. Elmo's Fire (1985) - Emilio Esteves as "Kirby Keger," Rob Lowe as "Billy Hicks," Andrew McCarthy as "Kevin Dolenz," Demi Moore as "Jules Jacoby," Judd Nelson as "Alec Newbary" and Ally Sheedy as "Leslie Hunter"
5. National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) - Anthony Michael Hall as "Rusty Griswold"
2. The Outsiders (1983) - Emilio Esteves as "Two-Bit Matthews" and Rob Lowe as "Soda Pop Curtis"
1. The Breakfast Club (1985) - Emilio Esteves as "Andrew Clark," Judd Nelson as "John Bender," Molly Ringwald as "Claire Standish," Anthony Michael Hall as "Brian Johnson" and Ally Sheedy as "Allison Reynolds" - Ranked #7 on my Top 10 Teen Comedies of the 80s because it is not quite as funny as other teen comedies, but to me deals with much more relevant subject matter which is why it makes it to the top of this list. Back in 2005, it was honored at the MTV Movie Awards and here is a link to watch that portion of the ceremony which I feel is pretty cool.
There's my list. Please let me know if there are any that you feel were missed. Many of these films have songs that ranked on my Top Songs from 80s Movies list including Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo's Fire, Vacation, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science and The Breakfast Club. Many of the songs on that list have links to the videos, so please check that out if you have not already done so.
I still think of those brat-packers frozen in time as teens back in the 80s, so it boggles my mind that some of them are heading into their late forties. I sometimes forget that the mid-80s were 25 years ago now. That concept is difficult for me to grasp, but helps put things in perspective for me. If you are a regular reader of Kickin' it Old School, you know I hold the 80s decade in high esteem especially when it concerns pop culture. Here is a link to a summary of all my past 80s related articles.
That will wrap up another issue of Kickin' it. Thanks, as always, for reading. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I thought this was a heart-warming story that someone sent me... "In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day. Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teen aged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed his stupid a$$ against the railing, killing him instantly. Probably wasn't the same elephant." I thought it was an interesting plot twist...
Quote of the day: "Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment." -Barry LePatner
Download this: "True" by Spandau Ballet - A classic from 1983 with a solid cover issued by the Cary Brothers in 2005
I recently discussed Will Smith when I was contradicting Yahoo's 25 Worst Rappers List. Go check my article to see some of the details of the multi-platinum recording artist's music career. He is also a phenomenal actor who has had some of the biggest summer blockbusters of all time.
On July 2nd, Will Smith has another new action film set to release. It is called Hancock and looks pretty good to me. With traditional comic book heroes like Iron Man, Batman and the Hulk all having new movies, Hancock is not your traditional super hero. Here are links to one trailer/preview and another trailer/preview for Hancock. Looks very entertaining and also has Jason Bateman in it which is always a good thing.
Will Smith began his acting career on the surprisingly successful sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air which began in 1990 and had a 6 year run. During that time, he was first taken seriously as an actor when he had a significant role in the film Six Degrees of Separation back in 1993. Smith started to make more movies and blasted into the stratosphere after the huge blockbuster success of his summer of 1996 film, Independence Day, broke box office records. He then went on to make many more films and many have generated similar success.
Smith just won a 2008 MTV Movie Award for "Best Male Performance" for his role in I Am Legend. I will agree that Smith's performance in that film was quite incredible especially since he is on the screen by himself for the majority of the movie. Despite Smith's fantastic effort, I would not put I Am Legend in my Top 10 Will Smith movies. Speaking of that, I thought this might be a good time to publish that list to all of you. Honestly, I have really enjoyed every film Smith has made except for 1999's Wild Wild West (fun fact: Smith turned down the role that Keanu Reeves would eventually take as "Neo" in the hugely successful Matrix franchise in order to make Wild Wild West instead). With that being said, here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 WILL SMITH MOVIES:
Honorable Mention. Jersey Girl (2004) as himself - Though he only makes a short cameo in the film, his presence is felt early and often. This movie, written and directed by Kevin Smith, ranks on my Most Underrated Movies list and I recommend it highly.
10. Ali (2001) as "Muhammad Ali" - His likeness and mannerisms were uncanny and he received one of his two Oscar nominations for Best Actor for this role
9. The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000) as "Bagger Vance"
8. Men in Black II (2002) as "Agent J"
7. Hitch (2005) as "Alex Hitchens" - Very charming romantic comedy co-starring Kevin James (from King of Queens)
6. I, Robot (2004) as "Del Spooner"
5. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) as "Chris Gardner" - Not an action flick, but based on an incredibly moving true story and he received his second Oscar nomination for Best Actor
4. Independence Day (1996) as "Capt. Steven Hiller"
3. Bad Boys (1995) as "Mike Lowry" - A very entertaining action-comedy co-starring Martin Lawrence
2. Enemy of the State (1998) as "Robert Clayton Dean" - Also ranks on my Most Underrated Movies list and highly recommend you see it especially if you never have
1.Men in Black (1997) as "Agent J"
There is my list. Let me know what your favorites are and if you think I am way off on any of my rankings. I am a big fan of Will Smith. There are not many who have experienced the multi-media (music, television, movies) success he has. I don't know him personally, but he seems like a good person and a family man which makes him even more likable to me. He has a pretty impressive list of movies in just 15 years of work and I am looking forward to seeing his new movie, Hancock, as soon as I get a chance.
That will wrap up another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks so much for reading. If you are looking for more of my Top 10 lists, please click here. Keep the comments and feedback coming. Peace and much love.
Check this out: There are probably many similar websites out there, but GasBuddy.com is a network of more than 181+ gas price information websites that help you find low gasoline prices in your city. GasBuddy web sites allow motorists to share information about low priced fuel with others as well as target the lowest priced stations to save money when filling up at the pumps! Worth checking out for sure. Also, here is one more cartoon commentary on the ridiculous price of gasoline...
Quote of the day: "The pride of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand." -Vince Lombardi
Today (June 7th) is the birthday of one of the truly unparalleled musical geniuses, Prince. Believe it or not, his royal purpleness turns 50 years old today. It has been 24 years since he released what is in my opinion easily one of the top 10 albums of all time, Purple Rain. I cannot believe it has been that long.
He released his first album, For You, back in 1978. Since then he has released a total of 24 studio albums, 5 soundtracks, 2 live albums, 3 instrumental albums and 3 hits compilations. Even though I admit he is quite eccentric, Prince is one of the best pure musicians and performers I have ever seen. His guitar solos and stage dancing are legendary. He is also an accomplished song-writer authoring most of his own music, but also writing many songs for other artists. He has won several Grammy awards and even an Oscar.
His music is not as mainstream as it once was back in the 80s. Prince will be celebrating his 50th birthday by publishing a book going behind the scenes of his record-breaking, sold out 21 concerts in 21 nights in the summer of 2007 at London's 02 arena. 21 Nights will be a multi-media volume released in September. It will feature poetry by the artist, live CD sessions with new music from after parties at the O2's Indigo Club and 124 never-before-seen full color photos by Hollywood's Randee St. Nicholas. Judith Curr of Atria books commented that "21 Nights is an innovative multimedia book project created by a musical visionary and uncompromising artist, an invitation to experience a side of Prince has not revealed until now." Sounds interesting enough to me that I will definitely purchase it when it comes out later this year.
I thought I would take this opportunity to publish my Top 10 favorite songs by Prince. I have more than enough, so I decided to give you a Top 20 instead. I would have liked to put some links to videos, but Prince is very protective of his music and does not allow it to even be posted on YouTube. Most of these songs appear on his greatest hits compilations. So here are OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 PRINCE SONGS (+Bonus 10):
Honorable Mention. "Nothing Compares 2 U" - This song was actually written by Prince back in the early 80s, but came to prominence when Sinead O'Connor recorded a cover in 1990 and it became a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song 162 on their list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Prince began to perform the song in concert, and included a live rendition on his 1993 compilations The Hits/The B-Sides as a duet between himself and Rosie Gaines. I love Prince's live version, so I wanted to at least recognize it with an honorable mention.
20. (tie) "Musicology" and "Call My Name" both from Musicology (2004)
5. "When Doves Cry" from Purple Rain soundtrack (1984)
4. "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" from Sign o' the Times (1987)
3. "I Would Die 4 U" from Purple Rain soundtrack (1984)
2. "Little Red Corvette" from 1999 (1983)
1. "Kiss" from Parade: Music from the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon (1986) - Was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1986 and is ranked #461 on the Rolling Stone list of Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Ranked #9 on Old School's Top 50 Songs from 80s Movies list.
There's my list. If you like Prince, I encourage you to give those songs a try. Not all of them were big radio hits, but those are my favorites. Let me know if I missed any of your favorites. I also encourage any Prince fan to see him in concert at least once. I have only seen him in concert once myself, but it is still one of the best live shows I have ever seen to date. From what I hear, each performance is a unique experience and you really get to see his outstanding guitar playing and dance choreography which is each worth the price of admission alone.
That will wrap up another issue of Kickin' it wishing Prince a happy 50th birthday. Thanks for reading. Prince was a big part of the 80s, so if you are looking for more 80s related articles, click here for a list. If you want more of my Top 10 lists, then click here for the list. If you have missed any past issues of Kickin' it Old School, please click on the Archive buttons in the upper left hand column. If you like what you read, please consider subscribing and/or forwarding the link on to others. I appreciate it. Peace and much love.
Check this out: Here is another optical illusion...
Quote of the day: "When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had and never will have." -Edgar Watson Howe
Download this: Since it is #1 on the list, I am going to have to go with... "Kiss" by Prince
If you are a regular reader, you know I always include a "Quote of the Day" at the end of each post. Based on feedback, this is a very popular feature from Kickin' it Old School. These quotes that I share often inspire and motivate me and I hope they might do the same for you.
With all of the graduations happening this time of year, I am reminded of one of my very favorite "quotes" of all time which you may or may not already be familiar with. It was really made popular when it was released back in 1999 as a song titled "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)." The lyrics read in this song actually come from the June 1997 Chicago Tribune column written by Mary Schmich titled "Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young."
Below are the very inspiring words and here is a LINK TO THE MUSIC VIDEO for the song. You should definitely watch the video.
"If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience... I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked... You're not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind... the race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life... the most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary... whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either - your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can...don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Dance...even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out. Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth. ...But trust me on the sunscreen..."
The original column by Schmich was written as the commencement address she would give if she were ever asked to actually give one. The column was circulated around the Internet, with an erroneous claim that it was a commencement address by Kurt Vonnegut. It became sort of an urban legend and, according to Ian Fisher's New York Times 1997 article, when Vonnegut was asked to comment he responded "What she wrote was funny and wise and charming, so I would have been proud had the words been mine."
The song (which the music video used) was released in 1999 by Australian film director Baz Luhrmann (of 2001's Moulin Rouge! fame) on an album titled Something for Everybody. Contrary to popular belief the lyrics are not really read by Baz Luhrmann himself or Richard Dreyfuss. It is actually narrated by an Australian voice actor named Lee Perry. The song was a hit worldwide and even reached #45 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
For some reason, most of what Mary Schmich wrote back in 1997 really connects with me. I have heard the contrary from others who feel it is a little naive and condescending. I choose to take it as clever and encouraging with a message of appreciating the important things and living without regret. I find these words moving and even more so if I would have heard them in the context of a commencement/graduation ceremony.
If you have never read or heard these words before, I hope you take heed and enjoy them. If you have heard them before, I hope this served as a reminder. Either way, remember to keep your priorities in order and live life to the fullest. That's another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I thought this amusing picture was somehow appropriate based on the subject matter...
Quote of the day: See above (Mary Schmich's column)
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