Although I suppose I could do a list of Thanksgiving, family, or even food themed entries this week, instead I have decided to share with you the Top Five Pop Culture Things I am Thankful for. All of these are from the past, proving that for me they stand the test of time.
In no particular order:
- The Purple Rain Soundtrack. So he’s not an actor–I’m not talking about the movie. Instead I am talking about Prince as a performer, artist, and musician. Certainly he has other brilliant albums, but this soundtrack is a collection of perfection, giving fans all the variety we love about Prince: pop romance (“Take Me With U”), dance part (“Let’s Go Crazy”), beautifully funky ballads (“The Beautiful Ones”), naughty (“Darling Nikki”), and epic (“Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry”). I have multiple copies of this album because I wear them out.
- Designing Women. Although I’m a purest (Delta and Jean, please; tolerate Judith and Jane; suck it Allison), I love all episodes (and have most of them memorized) of this sassy Southern sitcom. I will admit that a number of my thoughts on sex, gender, politics, religion, and equality probably stem from Designing Woman episodes. I still cry thinking about the episode where they plan a funeral for an HIV positive friend that includes Mary Jo’s iconic line: “We’re not just talking about preventing births, we’re talking about preventing deaths.” I tear up at the Rowdy Girls. I get a serious case of the giggles when I think about Bernice’s sanity hearing. Don’t make me pick a favorite among the original four–that is impossible. But I do dream of someday finding a blouse like Suzanne’s with the big fake yellow bow. I would wear the hell out of that.
- Don Juan DeMarco. There are movies I love more, that make me laugh/cry/think more. However, this movie makes me gleeful. Silly, sweet, a bit sexy, and full of fantasy my response as to why I adore it so? Why not?
- Batman. This is a complicated one. I love all the movies (yes, even those by the former-window dresser turned nipple-maker who shall not be named). I love the Adam West series. However, as much as I think Christopher Nolan is a genius in his reinvention, my heart belongs to Tim Burton’s original. Why? Because there are few better things in this world than watching Jack Nicholson’s Joke jam out to Prince while he improves the paintings.
- Entertainment Weekly. I first got this magazine in 1995. The cover had Simba. I have gotten in ever since. It is the only thing that I actually stop the world to do on my own. It is the only thing that I don’t give to other people before I’ve enjoyed it myself. Call it trivial, cheesy, whatever. But here’s the thing: I spend so much of my life reading, studying, and teaching serious things. I need something to remind me why I love movies, books, music, and television. I’ve tried reading other things and I just can’t keep it up. Plus, the bulls eye feature that has graced the last page for about a year now is one of the funniest things I see every week.
To you and yours, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.