When I heard the news over the radio, I have to admit, it took my breath for a second. Unlike certain other celebrities, no one saw this coming. As a kid I watched The Monkees every single day in syndication growing up, and as I realized I knew every word to every song that played continuously on the radio, I also realized that they were just as much a part of me and my life as your dear Uncle Charlie or whoever may have been for you.
As a vagabond, moving to a new place in a new neighborhood, surrounded by new people every year (we averaged a move every 8 months for a time) there was never a feeling of stability as a kid, never that sense of home, a place you knew you belonged, fit it. And so my home became the shows, the movies, the characters that I could tune in to every day, the ones I always knew would certainly be there, no matter where I happened to find myself.
And so, Davy Jones, The Monkees, and all of many made up people and places pouring into my living room became my friends, my family. These are all I've ever known as home. For an American Mutt like myself, with no real culture to lean on, these imaginings became my culture as well.
People never quite understand how I know as many movies and shows as I do, and I've been criticized in the past for using fictional characters as someone or something to look up to. Looking back on it now though, through that scope of what these things, these people have and still do mean to me, its no wonder that I love the movies, love stories, love characters so much.
And I know that many of you reading this have felt the same way. As Joseph Campbell once said, this is our Ethos, out American Culture, the way we do things. You can't separate them from us, from who we are. And thus, we all feel that pang in our hearts, the same as with a relative, when members of our adoptive "families" die. Part of us, the best parts of us, die with them.
I was critical of the attention that Whitney Houston received when she passed, not because it wasn't sad (I can't lie, every time one her songs comes on the radio.... I know all the words to those as well, and I marvel at how incredible she was), but the way that we live and the example we set for others are every bit as, and probably even more so, as important as the accomplishments we come to have in life.
In the end she looked more like James Brown than the stunning beauty she was, sounded more like The Kurgan, and completely destroyed whatever legacy she had built. Its that last despicable image of her that will forever endure in my mind, and the reason I can not celebrate her life as I do Davy Jones.
When I think of Davy Jones, he always brings me back to better times, to the home I never had, a home in my heart, and returns a smile to my face.
The Kurgan from the film "The Highlander"
The 84th Academy Awards was held the other night, further reminding me how much I really do love films, and as it always does, it left me wondering why they even bother having nominations in the first place if they're only going to give every award to the same film. Hugo cleaned up, doing so in categories that I didn't think it should have gotten credit for over the given competition. But I hadn't seen the movie yet.
So last night when I had the opportunity to rent it, I did so. My night consisted of a great New York Knick Basketball game, who's recent resurgence due to Linsanity has also reminded me of my love for my hometown team, a nice dinner, a good movie and some light reading before bed. If I had spent a night like this with my girlfriend, as I had so many times before, I would have considered it a perfect night. Add in a little grown and sexy time, and that's just about my idea of heaven.
Its been a long time now since I've had one of those nights with the right special lady, however, and it was such a marked difference that it was noticeable. Those holes in your heart are hard to fill, even when what you would normally love is all around you. And as if that wasn't enough to hammer home the point, an old flame who I loved very much got married that very night, and officially announced it.
Hugo, as it turned out, is an absolutely excellent movie which probably should have won many awards, even if I still don't think it should have taken home certain categories. It paid homage to early giants and inspirations of the film industry, but it was so much more than that, it was a story of how the universe has a way of reminding us of the loves on our life, and in our life; how the universe always reminds us of what is most important to us, and brings us back to them somehow, in ways we never could have seen.
Its funny how that always works out.