Thursday, January 26, 2017

...makes it harder to believe she won't be around

The post title refers to both:

a.  the current use of a slowed down version of "Flame Trees" on a road safety ad on TV here at the moment.  I can't find a link to it, which is odd.  Are all songs capable of haunting melancholia if the tempo is slowed appropriately?   I don't know - but I think it's remarkably effective.


b.  the death of Mary Tyler Moore.    I've long said her 70's show is the best long running sitcom  ever made,  both funny and endearing because of the realism of the characters.  (OK, Ted pushed the boundaries of realism, although I am sure I have read of media insiders who disagree.)   It also showed a sense of balance about how life was changing - I thought the way in which Lou Grant's wife left him, not out of anything he had done wrong, but just out of a feeling that for her own growth she needed it, was a particularly poignant example of the more-or-less unintended hurt that women's inevitable increasing independence could cause.  And Mary herself could be a bit depressed about her lack of long, deep relationships - do you remember the scene where she did a mental calculation of the huge number of "dates" she had been on since she was 17?  I wonder though - that obit from the NYT I linked to calls her character "neurotic":  I wouldn't say that, and I wonder if the obit is attracting criticism for it?

I only have the vaguest memories of her on the Dick Van Dyke show, but it was a popular in our household in the 1960's, and I do remember enjoying it. 

With the importance of her shows from a feminist perspective, it's some sort of irony that she has died at the start of a period of retro anti-feminism  under Trump and Republican dominated congress.   I'm not impressed by the crassness of some young comedians (or aging rock stars) who give the impression that  sexual promiscuity is to them to be the most important aspect of modern feminism, but I hope Moore took some encouragement from the women's marches last weekend.   (I assume she was a Democrat voter - I would be dismayed if she wasn't!)  I also hope she can come and haunt the ghastly Kellyanne Conway, whose role in Trump promotion is a betrayal to her gender, not to mention Catholicism.


not trampis said...

I am glad you liked the show, I just couldn't get into it.

Conway's dissertation made use of other people's facts

John said...

The use of "Flame Trees" in that road safety ad is ridiculous because the song has an entirely different meaning. It is one of those few songs when the lyrics make sense and are very well constructed but obviously they never bothered to determine what the song is actually about.

Steve said...

John, that's a bit like the complaints that Born in the USA makes no sense as a nationalist song for Right wing politicians. It's technically correct, but emotionally not, given the "feel" of the song.

And, anyway, do we know the reason from the lyrics as to why "she won't be around?".

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

"She won't be around" ... The song is about a man returning to a town where the memories are dominated by a love affair from long ago. Cold Chisel did have some songs with good lyrics and Flame Trees is one of them.