Archive for April 20, 2012
Tags: americanbandstand, Chuck Berry, Clark, Dick Clark, Ed McMahon, Television, TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes, United States
Dick Clark, who died Wednesday at 82, was called “America‘s oldest teenager.” That’s not only because he looked so good late into life, but also because he carried with him the teen memories of those of us who grew up watching “American Bandstand” on glorious black-and-white, small-screen television sets.
Every weekday afternoon, I would arrive home from school, say hello to Mom, grab a snack and plop down in front of the TV to watch a dance show broadcast live from South Philadelphia.
There were lots of sensuous girls of Italian decent. Some wore false collars called dickies (which had nothing to do with Clark) and great sweaters. The boys had slicked-back hair and a serious attitude about dancing. Those who weren’t on the dance floor sat in bleachers, waiting their turn in the crowded studio.
Dick basically introduced songs and guest artists. They ran the gamut from the volatile Jerry Lee Lewis (who was later banned after marrying his 13-year-old cousin), to Run DMC. Singers would lip-sync their hits. Sometimes Clark would ask the teens to “rate” a song. They’d respond, “I like the beat. I’ll give it a 95,” or something like that.
Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon made over 100 appearances, more than anyone else.
“Bandstand” premiered on TV in Philadelphia in 1952; five years later “American Bandstand” was picked up nationally. Clark served as its host from 1956 to 1989.
Later, Clark and Ed McMahon co-hosted a long-running show called “TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes.” Dick Clark also hosted for many years ABC’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” until he suffered a stroke and had to withdraw. He made only cameo appearances after that.
While Dick Clark transcended more than one generation, he “belonged” to those of us who were teenagers in the ’50s. We “invented” rock ‘n’ roll. The music was mostly fun then, before it turned ugly, misogynistic and crude. The ’50s were also happier times, safer times. Drugs were bought with a prescription and kids often lied about sex, because most of us were too afraid to actually “do it.”
I met Dick Clark just once by accident. Sitting in a makeup chair at NBC in New York, preparing to go on a TV program, I noticed a man in the next chair. I began a conversation, turned his way and realized it was Dick Clark. He was used to this and was gracious, thanking me for appreciating his work while I was growing up.
My high school classmate, Renny Temple, a former member of the folk band The Highwaymen, sent me an email from Los Angeles informing me of Dick Clark’s passing. It said, “Dick Clark is dead. Long live rock and roll!” Chuck Berry, along with Danny and The Juniors — who also appeared on “American Bandstand” — would agree.
Tags: Client List, Ghost Whisperer, Hewitt, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lifetime, Massage, Media Research Center, Television
Ten years ago, perky actress Jennifer Love Hewitt tried to jump-start a music career with a song titled “Bare Naked.” Now she’s trying that attention-grabbing tactic again with a sleazy new Lifetime series called “The Client List.” She plays a massage therapist who turns tricks.
That network has adopted a new slogan: “This is not your mother’s Lifetime.” That’s appropriate for a new drama with a single-mother whore at its sympathetic center. We learn she was forced into being a sex worker when her husband mysteriously left her — you know, the way of the world for single moms.
Hewitt first made “The Client List” as a TV-movie in which the sex worker ultimately learned the error of her ways. Not any more. It’s now a weekly series with no storyline of error and redemption in sight.
Slate.com’s review of it is titled “Ultra-Soft Porn.” On the show’s Facebook page, it asks women to “rate the clients” to see which john is the most attractive. You can rate them “Dud or Stud” and enter to win a $5,000 prize. Somehow, all of Hewitt’s TV clients could double as models — another dose of nonreality.
Speaking of which, the group Licensed Massage Therapists is very upset at how their profession is being merged with prostitution weekly in the public mind. But Hewitt protests that her show only projects “reality.”
“At the end of the day, it’s a television series,” she argues. “I’m not saying every massage parlor in the world gives happy endings, nor do I know which ones do, but it is a part of our society. And even if it wasn’t, it’s just a part of our story. It’s entertainment.”
When that line of argument collapses, she claims her sex-worker character is just too lovable to protest.
“I tried to make a joke on Twitter that I wondered why people were not writing to ‘Dexter’ about killing people, or to ‘Nurse Jackie’ about taking drugs on the job. Those are big, big television characters audiences love and adore … so if there can be a serial killer we all like, I feel like a happy-endings specialist is the least of our worries.”
Doesn’t that quote sum up just about everything that’s wrong with our popular culture these days? Are viewers expected to adore serial killers, drug-abusing, adulterous nurses, and prostitutes disguised as massage therapists?
But Hewitt isn’t done whining. When she starred on “The Ghost Whisperer” on CBS, she said, “No medium ever complained that I was playing a medium who had too much cleavage. In fact, they were all like, ‘Thank you so much!’ I mean, I constantly had cleavage up to my chin, and not one medium had a problem with it. They were like, ‘People think we’re hot!’ Now if massage therapists could just feel the same.”
Like most people in Hollywood, Hewitt wants to push the envelope in what she calls a “provocative, unapologetic manner” to make her millions. Then she demands that no one ever protest that she’s making prostitution look glamorous and morally acceptable.
Hewitt wants to avoid being “judgmental” about prostitutes. “It’s an easy industry to have a judgment on, but I feel like that judgment comes from lack of knowledge and fear and maybe not knowing the whole story.”
So Dr. Hewitt is offering an educational “whole story” on her program? Even worse, Hewitt wants to declare that prostitution is OK with her. “I respect people doing what they have to do in order to try to live and be happy.” This woman has the brain of a text message. ‘K?
But what if the prostitute is helping wreck a marriage and a home? No problemo. Reviewer Brian Lowry at Variety explains how Hewitt’s character Riley gets softened around the edges. She “spends a lot of time counseling her clients — providing helpful, homespun marital advice to stroke them emotionally, not just physically.”
Cheat with the husband, and then tell him to buy the wife flowers. Love is never having to say you’re faithful.
None of this has anything to do with reality. Lifetime based its TV movie and subsequent series on an Odessa, Texas, massage parlor called “Healing Touch.” But the real story ended up with 68 arrested clients — including an assistant district attorney, a city planner, the owner of an insurance company, several teachers, and a well-known rancher. Two of the three sex workers there were strung out on cocaine.
It wasn’t the glamorous life you can fictionalize on TV. Ironically, that reality is too “edgy” for the envelope-pushers. It might cause someone to become — perish the thought — “judgmental.”
Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America. TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Brent Bozell’s column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.
Tags: Eli, God, Gravitation, Jesu, Lord, New King James Version, Paul, sow
“Are you in health, my brother?” 2Sa 20:9 NKJV
Never forget the law of sowing and reaping. God set in motion certain laws and they never change. One is the law of gravity. Another is the law of sowing and reaping. “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest…shall not cease” (Ge 8:22 NKJV). This law works both negatively and positively. If you sow good things you will reap good things; if you sow bad things you will reap bad things. Consider parenting. Eli the high priest was not only called to be a role model to the nation, but also to his two sons. Now, he may have been a great success in ministry but he failed badly on the home front. His sons, who were also priests, enriched themselves by taking bribes. They even slept with women in the temple courts. Pretty shocking, eh? So what did God say? “I will judge his house…for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them” (1Sa 3:13 NKJV). As a result Eli’s sons were killed at the hands of their enemies, and when the news of it reached Eli he dropped dead. That’s the harvest law working negatively. But thank God it also works positively. Paul writes about it: “Knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord” (Eph 6:7 NKJV). You say, “What does that mean?” It means that whatever good you make happen for others, God will make happen for you. So whether it’s a smile, a prayer, a gift or a helping hand, start sowing good seeds and you will reap harvests of blessing.
Tags: Ahab, Books of Kings, Edmund Burke, Elijah, God, Jezebel, Lord, Naboth
“Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’ Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’ Ahab said to Elijah, ‘So you have found me, my enemy!’ ‘I have found you,’ he answered, ‘because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord’.” — 1 Kings 21:19–20
King Ahab was not a good person. The Scripture tells us that “Ahab . . . did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him” (1 Kings 16:33). There are two specific deeds that got him into real trouble with God. The first was his failure to execute Ben-Hadad, King of Aram, as he had been commanded to do. The other was the murder of an Israelite man named Naboth.
To this second deed Ahab pleads “not guilty.” In a way, he is right. He did not lay a finger on Naboth. So why does Elijah the prophet promise Ahab that he will die an early and dishonorable death because of Naboth’s murder? Let’s back up and understand the context.
Ahab had his eye on Naboth’s vineyard. He offered to buy it from him or give him a better one in exchange. Naboth refused the offer. This got Ahab so angry, he went home to sulk in bed and refused to eat.
When his wife Jezebel got wind of this, she wouldn’t stand for any of it. How dare anyone defy her husband! She wrote letters in her husband’s name commanding the elders of Naboth’s town to set him up and make it look like he cursed God and the King. Her plan was carried to fruition when Naboth was framed and then stoned to death for his alleged crime. His vineyard was then free for the taking. Ahab had gone to the vineyard to claim it as his own when Elijah finds him there.
Elijah conveys the following message from the Lord: “In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood.” Ahab responds cryptically, “So you have found me, my enemy!” Translated: “you are biased and only find me guilty because we are enemies – the truth is I didn’t do it!” To which Elijah replies, “I have found you . . . because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord.”
Elijah told Ahab what Edmund Burke would famously express thousands of years later: “The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.” To be silent is to concede. Ahab knew about Jezebel’s evil plans, and yet he allowed her to carry them out. Even though he did not touch even so much as a single hair on Naboth, he was completely responsible for his murder.
We are living in times when evil has reared its ugly head once again. Overseas and in our own backyards, there is no shortage of injustice. We must speak up. We dare not remain silent, lest we be held responsible.
Tags: Christ, Christian, God, Holy Ghost, holyspirit, Jesu, Protestantism, Trinity
It is easy for water to run down from the upper springs, but it requires a divine impulse to flow up from the valley in the nether springs. There is nothing that tells more of Christ than to see a Christian rejoicing and cheerful in the humdrum and routine of commonplace work, like the sailors that stand on the dock loading the vessel and singing as they swing their loads, keeping time with the spirit of praise to the footsteps and movements of labor and duty.
No one has a sweeter or higher ministry for Christ than a business man or a serving woman who can carry the light of heaven in their faces all day long.
Like the sea fowl that can plunge beneath the briny tide with its beautiful and spotless plumage, and come forth without one drop adhering to its burnished breast and glowing wings because of the subtle oil upon the plumage that keeps the water from sticking, so, thank God, we too may be so anointed with the Holy Ghost that sin, sorrow and defilement will not adhere to us, but we shall pass through every sea as the ship passes through the waves, in, but above the floods around us.
Tags: Arts, Ezekiel, Garrison Keillor, God, Lord, Prairie Home Companion, Tyre, Tyre Lebanon
Your goods, your wares, your wealth, your sailors, your helmsmen, those patching your leaks, your merchants, all your warriors in you, and all the company that is with you— they also sank into the sea’s depth on the day of your demise. (CEB)
My dad loved Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. He listened to this radio program faithfully, often wearing his favorite shirt: a Prairie Home Companion t-shirt. So, when my dad died and the mortuary said we had to decide how he should be dressed for burial, my family and I were in full agreement. He would be buried in his favorite shirt.
I guess I could say that my dad managed to take this shirt with him when he died. But, of course, I don’t believe he actually wore that particular shirt when he joined the Lord in Paradise. In truth, my dad left all of his earthly possession behind when he died, just like every other human being.
So it was with the city of Tyre in the sixth century B.C. This city had achieved widespread fame as an economic powerhouse. Her superiority in trading allowed her to accumulate the best of the best by way of possessions. Ezekiel 27 enumerates some of her valuables, including: silver, iron, tin, lead, bronze, horses, warhorses, mules, ebony, ivory, turquoise, purple cloth, colorful brocades, linen, coral, rubies, etc. In a word, Tyre had it all.
And Tyre lost it all, like a ship going down in a storm. Everything she valued sank into the deep, including the people who made her so successful. Whereas once Tyre was praised for her beauty, now she has “become a terror; from now on you are nothing” (27:36).
The example of Tyre reminds me to hold onto my possessions lightly. They are not what makes life truly worth living. My stuff will not accompany me to the grave and beyond. So why do I worry so much about it? Shouldn’t I be investing my life in that which matters most? In people and truth? In serving God in the world? In love and justice? In worship and work?
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Which of your possessions do you value the most? Why? How does it affect you to think that you will not be able to take them with you when you die? What really matters most to you in life?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I confess that I sometimes act as if I can take it with me. I can get so wrapped up in my possessions: acquiring them, prizing them, worrying about them, fixing them. To be sure, you have given us the things in this world for our good. Yet how easy it is for me—and others, I expect—to love things more than we should, even to live for them.
The example of Tyre reminds me, Lord, to live for what really matters, to invest my life in you and your purposes. You have created me to work in your world, to worship you in word and deed, to love you and others in your name. Help me, Lord, to devote all that I am to that which will last. Amen.
Tags: Christ, God, Gospel of Matthew, Jesu, John, Messiah, Saint Peter, Simon
In the article “Leading by Naming,” Mark Labberton wrote about the power of a name. He said: “I can still feel the impact of a musical friend who one day called me ‘musical.’ No one had ever called me that. I didn’t really play an instrument. I was no soloist. Yet . . . I instantly felt known and loved. . . . [He] noticed, validated, and appreciated something deeply true about me.”
Perhaps this is what Simon felt when Jesus renamed him. After Andrew was convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, he immediately found his brother Simon and brought him to Jesus (John 1:41-42). Jesus peered into his soul and validated and appreciated something deeply true about Simon. Yes, Jesus saw the failure and impetuous nature that would get him into trouble. But more than that He saw the potential of Simon to become a leader in the church. Jesus named him Cephas—Aramaic for Peter—a rock (John 1:42; see Matt. 16:18).
And so it is with us. God sees our pride, anger, and lack of love for others, but He also knows who we are in Christ. He calls us justified and reconciled (Rom. 5:9-10); forgiven, holy, and beloved (Col. 2:13; 3:12); chosen and faithful (Rev. 17:14). Remember how God sees you and seek to let that define who you are.