Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dick Clark (1929-2012)

So, Dick Clark passed away today, of a heart problem. He was eighty two years young.

I wasn't going to write up anything, because Clark was more of an influence on my parents' generation than my own. They called him "The World's Oldest Teenager," and I liked that. I would dig being called that too, as long as it was a compliment and not, well, the truth.I did used to joke around that Clark was a vampire because he never seemed to age . . . but then, the stroke happened. You remember that? His first appearance on "New Year's Rockin' Eve" after having a stroke, when he struggled to be understood and bummed out literally an entire country of revelers?

And that's the thing, the reason I decided to go ahead and blog about it: Dick Clark is significant for me because he was the voice of New Year's as a child, and as an adult, he was sort of the ghastly voice of inevitable death.

I remember that year a post-stroke Kirk Douglas spoke at the Oscars, or the year (1996?) that Christopher Reeve came out in his wheelchair and-- You know, that's a much better example for me. Reeve was frigging SUPERMAN, for Zod's sake, and to see him unable to walk, wave, or even hold himself up was like a wake up call to morals everywhere, telling them "As you are now, I once was. As I am now, you soon will be."*

That the eternally young Dick Clark could be ravaged by time, and struggle with making his jolly New Year's greetings understood was a not-so-subtle reminder that we are all bound for the grave, and that, sooner or later, it'll be us mumbling our words, or on that slab, or in that oblong box.It sucks to get old, kids. One day soon, you'll start finding white hairs in your temples or beard or eyebrows or taint, and find it harder to keep the pounds off (or on). There's your first clue.

The second? What is that dark figure standing just outside your peripheral vision? Turn, look directly at it, and it's gone.

But one day, it won't be.

One day soon.

Rish "Mister Brightside" Outfield

*I saw this on a headstone in a photograph once, and it nearly caused me to brown my Fruit of the Looms.

P.S. In trying to grab a photo of Dick Clark for this post, I was informed that I had done a pornographic picture search and had to enter my birthdate. I wonder how many others had that problem at work today.

1 comment:

Seraph said...

Getting old does suck - but it beats the alternative.