Where Has My Pop Culture Muse Gone?
Pop Culture Detours – By George McGowan
I start this article with no idea what to write about. My Pop Culture Muse has left me. I blame the election. I blame 2016, in general. Looking back at the year, it seems to have been dominated by negativity. It has overpowered me. Looking back at the year, I feel I have not served you, dear reader. For one, I did not see one movie in a movie theatre all year. I expect that will change before the end of the year, as several interesting movies are scheduled to be released in December, including the first non-sequel Star Wars film, “Rogue One.” As of this writing, I only saw two movies released in theatres in 2016: “Hail, Caesar!” and “Ghostbusters” – both of which I watched on TV when they became available on demand. Both disappointments, really, so true to the theme of the year. Looking back at the TV shows of 2015, I have to mention another disappointment – the return of the “X-Files.” The limited series aired in January and February and was, in hindsight, just not very good. It was nice to see the two leads again, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, but that is all I remember from the forgettable six episodes.
In music, 2016 was dominated by losses. Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey, Maurice White, Phife Dawg, Merle, Guy Clark, Thomas Fekete, Christina Grimmie, Ralph Stanley, Bernie Worrell, Buckwheat Zydeco, Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Mose Allison, and most recently, Sharon Jones, who I wrote about in my first ever column in this fine publication, way back in September 2008. The music in heaven just got that much better but we here on earth will suffer from the loss of these fine musicians.
ENOUGH! Time to snap out of it!
Rather than wallow in what is now missing from our lives, I believe it is time to point out the living legends of music who are still with us – and some who continue to make good, if not great, music. Loretta Lynn (age 84), Mavis Staples (77), Bob Dylan (75), Paul Simon (75), Barbra Streisand (74), and Van Morrison (71) all released new music in 2016. And Brian Wilson continues to tour regularly, including a scheduled stop in Orlando in 2017.
As penance for wallowing in the negativity of 2016, and to banish the year to the waste bin, I will listen to these living legends for the rest of the year. And don’t forget the others who still grace stages to this day: Little Richard, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, and Willie Nelson, not to mention those who pack stadiums like Jagger, Richards, and McCartney. Heck, even Ringo (76) and Yoko (83) tour regularly and keep active websites with all manner of interesting stuff.
So, onto 2017! May our new year be dominated with positivity and promise. (And maybe a trip to the movie theatre for goodness sake, Mr. Pop Culture!)by