Happy New Year Thoughts
The New Year is a time when all the newspapers and magazines focus on milestones and since we don’t have any idea who is going to be great from the moment they are born, media tends to focus on all the folks who died in the previous year. It’s supposed to be a moment of sad reflection…sigh.
Screw that! I can’t think of a better time to celebrate the people who are still going strong!
The other day a happy tune entered my head for the first time since I was a teenager and for days I hummed “Wear your love like… wear your love like… wear your love like Heaven.” I was delighted to look Donovan up online and discover that not only is he still going strong at 72, he has kept releasing some pretty cool stuff over the years! Going back through his oeuvre, I remembered just how much I loved his music and his whole flower power aesthetic – from the beautiful folk of “Change the Wind” and “Lelena;” to the trippy psychedelia of “Sunshine Superman” and “Hurdy Gurdy Man;” to the lovely nonsense of “Mellow Yellow;” and kick ass rock n roll of “Barabajagal” and “Season of the Witch!” With six albums since 2000 and a 2012 induction into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, I say enthusiastically – “Long Live Donovan!”
Listening to Donovan’s cover version of “Co-dine” reminded me of another important and under-appreciated singer/songwriter, Buffy Saint Marie, who is still putting out terrific and important new music at 77.
I recently saw a clip of 93 year old Dick Van Dyke singing and dancing on a desk from Mary Poppins Returns. And speaking of Mary Poppins – there’s Mary Poppins herself – the venerable fictional character is just slightly older than Julie Andrews – who may be too old to have ridden her umbrella back to London in her famous role, but is still doing fine at 83. My favourite quote of hers is “Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” That sorta thinking clearly goes a lonnggg ways!
The year brought other pleasant surprises – like the return to form of comedian Jim Carrey in the fabulous new TV series, Kidding – which, for those who haven’t seen it, is subversive, transgressive, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and very funny.
And there was lots more to be happy about!
The Deadpool franchise came back with a sequel that was just as funny as the first one! Guillermo del Toro’s tribute to fantasy when he accepted the Best Director Oscar for Shape of Water warmed the cockles of my heart. The weird movie Annihilation, adapted from Jeff Vandermeer’s even weirder book, got lots of well-deserved love and acclaim, despite the lack of trust from the studio, and Netflix’s Altered Carbon was fabulous.
And on a personal level – after a couple rough years on the health front, I’m feeling better than ever and am taking no prescription medication (to speak of) for one of the first times in my adult life! My dear partner Laura, managed a jaw-dropping weight loss and is much happier for it. And she got a great new job.
If everything lives up to the promise (there are a few things I can't talk or brag about yet - but it's coming!) – 2019 will be even more fabulous!! So happy New Year to my friend, friends-to-be, and even my not-so friends. There are still a zillion things that could improved – so here’s hoping they do – but in the meantime, let’s all be happy for the good things we’ve got!!
About the Commenters:
Former CBC Radio host and music trivia expert, Michael Skeet, has a hugely entertaining blog called Quipu at https://michaelskeet.blogspot.com/