Looking back on the past few weeks, I notice that I have been way too serious.  All of this stuff about politics and dysfunctional families and dishonest professionals… I am tired of it and need a break and hopefully you do too.  So in that vein, I present the following:

 It seems like everywhere you look there is a mission to bring back the glory days.  Remaking movies and television shows, re-recording songs, and don’t get me started on all of the retro fashions and car designs.  Did anyone really think that a remake of “Knight Rider” would be better than the original with The Hoff himself?

 So I have compiled a list of things that I miss, that will always have a special place for me or that can never be remade or duplicated.  Enjoy…

 1) MTV (Music Television):  There was a time when you could turn on MTV and see music videos, cool dance moves, and hear some funky grooves.  Now you turn on MTV and see the celebutantes and talent-less, The Hills and Jersey Shore.  Sometimes I just want a cool music video.  They say Video Killed the Radio Star, but Video Stars are now a thing of the past too.

 2) Socially Aware and Educational Rap and Hip-Hop Songs:  Everything I know I learned from rap and hip-hop during my formative years.  For example, who didn’t learn from The Fresh Prince that parents just don’t understand, or from Mellow Man Ace that “mentirosa” means “liar” in spanish, or that a white guy named Snow can make millions by rapping about an informer (a licky boom boom now)?  Or, to go a step further, have you ever heard better advice than that promoted by Bell Biv Devoe, that you can’t trust a big butt and a smile?  This type of music is a thing of the past, overtaken by gangster rap and words such as “crunk” and “chronic.”

 3) Non-Political Music:  Keeping in the same genre, I miss music that had no point.  Nowadays it seems like songs are written to espouse a political conviction. Did “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” have a social message attached to it?  When Lionel Ritchie sang about Dancing on the Ceiling, was he talking about global warming?  Yet so many songs these days seem to be bent politically.  Leave the political stuff to REM, please.

 4) Communism:  Ok, don’t get me wrong with this one.  The tearing down of the Wall was an incredible event in my lifetime.  But without the Russians as enemies there was no one else for Tom Clancy to write about.  Sure, he dabbled in the arena of the IRA and Middle East, but his best books dealt with Communism and Glasnost and the KGB.  And I blame the fall of Communism for why Tom Clancy has not written a book in the last 10 years or so.

 5) Battle of the Network Stars:  I used to love these, filmed at Pepperdine, the television stars competing in obstacle courses, swimming events, and track and field events.  It all seemed so fun and was a blast to watch.  And maybe I am biased.  I had an opportunity to go to the taping of the Battle of the Network Stars and it was such a great time; of course, it didn’t hurt that Tony Danza said hello to me, which was a thrill.

 Which leads me to number 6:

 6) Tony Danza:  We all knew he was the boss right?  He doesn’t need a talk show or a one-man song and dance routine– he needs another sitcom and fast.  Life hasn’t been the same without him.  Bring back Mona too, if you want.

 7) Boxing:  Look, we all know that boxing is not the same as it used to be.  I couldn’t name you 5 current professional boxers, but we all knew about Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns, “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, Larry Holmes, and Sugar Ray Leonard.  Hey, we even knew about Gerry Cooney, not just because he did those Norelco commercials (didn’t he?).  But boxing like that is a thing of the past, taken over in prominence by MMA and Ultimate Fighting.  Bring back the sweet science; I am faint of heart and cannot take the MMA stuff and I miss the “Main Events.”

 8) Tom Hanks:  I know he is still around making movies.  But I miss the Tom Hanks who cross-dressed on “Bosom Buddies” and who was in such classics as “Bachelor Party” and “Big.”  I heard a rumor that a remake of “Bachelor Party” is in the works, but can you really improve upon perfection?  Tom Hanks was a comedian and a great physical comic.  “Forrest Gump” and “Philadelphia” and “Saving Private Ryan” were great films, but I miss the silliness of “The Man With One Red Shoe.”

9) The Wicked Witch of the West:  This one really has me baffled.  With the success of the novel and Broadway musical “Wicked” people are looking at the WW of the W as a sympathetic character, misunderstood if you will.  I miss the days when the WW of the W was the worst villain in cinema history, providing millions upon millions of kids each year with nightmares.  I will not be swayed!  I had the worst nightmares of my life after watching The Wizard of Oz and not you or anyone else can convince me that she is anything other than pure evil… “I’ll get you my pretty…” still makes me shiver with fright.
And finally… the thing I miss most:
10) My grandfather:  Ok, so this one is a little sentimental but when I look back on my childhood and all the good things in it, I think of him.  I was so incredibly lucky to have him as long as I did.  When I was little a promise was made that when Phil and I turned 21 we would be taken to Las Vegas.  January 22, 1997 we were in Las Vegas and a little more than a month later my grandfather had passed away.  We all believe he hung around long enough to follow through on the promise made to two very tiny, young boys.  He was one of the most special people I have ever met.  I can still remember his greetings of “Hey Joe, what do you know?” and his smell of Aramis cologne.  I miss him every day.  I think he would have liked who I turned into, would have adored Amy the way I do, and would have gotten a huge kick out of his great-grandaughter.  He was a special person and that is why Brooklyn gets his Hebrew named from him.  All of the other stuff is just fluff, but as time goes by, beautiful and important people have to pass by as well.  Enjoy the time you have with them.


 Ok, I have others but I think I have gotten the big ones off of my chest.  Just because technology improves and people evolve, it doesn’t mean that what was before wasn’t awesome.