Merry Christmas to those who celebrate Christmas, and happy holidays to the rest of you. Although Christmas isn’t overall my favorite holiday, one can’t dispute that some of the best specials on TV are due to Christmas.
One of my favorites ever was John Denver and the Muppets – A Christmas Together. Strange thing is, it’s never come out on video in any fashion, for whatever reason. I have the album, which I’ve always loved, but of course now I don’t have a record player so I don’t get to play it anymore.
Anyway, part of that is solved here. Here are videos from that special that others have uploaded; great stuff! I hope you enjoy them.
This post I get to blame on my internet friend Mike CJ, who wrote a post called Why You Should Use Fictional Characters As Your Role Models. Some folks know that I patterned my life after some of the values of certain characters, while others I just like for whatever reason.
Anyway, since y’all know how I feel about commenting on Disqus blogs, and the fact that I’ve now been inspired to write a longer post based on what Mike came up with, here are my top 10 fictional characters, in order of favoritism; let’s see you try that one Mike! And folks, no images; not in the mood to deal with copyright issues and the like. Doesn’t mean I won’t have product links, though. 🙂
10. Harry Potter – Some people consider this a kid’s story, but how many of you would be ready to step up to the plate if you were told that you and the most evil and dangerous person in known history couldn’t live together on the same planet, and one of you had to die. Take that information and put it into a 16 year old’s mind and you have the makings of either the most scared kid you’ve ever met or the bravest kid you’ve ever heard of. That Harry Potter chose to be helpful and kind while having his life attacked many times a year since he turned 10 and still persevered is enough to admire, and a lesson to us all that being good or evil is a choice, not a destiny.
9. Foghorn Leghorn – The “Big Chicken”, as he’s normally called by most people, was my dad’s favorite Warner Brother’s character, and became one of mine as well. Truthfully, he has no redeeming value; he’s just funny as sin. If I told you what my college roommate and I used to do on a consistent basis based on something he always did, you’d think we should have been institutionalized.
8. Captain Kirk – Being one of the few, apparently, who actually enjoyed the Enterprise series, one of the things lacking in the main character, who I still liked, was that he wasn’t enough like Captain Kirk. He had all the attributes of a gunslinger and the brains to know that he couldn’t just shoot first and ask questions later. My man crush was sealed when, in the second movie, he proclaimed “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario.” I always believe that we all have the ability to achieve more and better things, no matter what our current circumstances are, and I got it from Captain Kirk.
7. Superman – I don’t know what Superman means to anyone today, but back in the day, who didn’t want to be Superman? He had everything you could ask for; invincibility, x-ray vision, could see through walls, fly in outer space, fly in the first place, super hearing, on and on and on. He could exhibit every superpower that every other superhero had except invisibility. And with all that power, he decided to live for “truth, justice, and the American way.” Okay, it was a nice dream, but it teaches us all that with great power comes great responsibility, as well as the fact that all sorts of folks will come after you if you happen to be top dog.
6. Snoopy – Speaking of top dogs, who in their right mind doesn’t love Snoopy? Today’s kids might be missing out, but Snoopy was the first Renaissance dog. He was a writer, pilot, tennis pro, hit 714 home runs the day after Hank Aaron broke the record, he can do animal impressions, do both disco and ballroom dancing, brought us Joe Cool, is a star hockey player, and sleeps outside the box, so to speak. He’s a man’s dog, independent and savvy, and I have a Snoopy doll, a Snoopy on my key chain, and a key with a Snoopy cartoon on it; always brings me peace. Snoopy proves if you dare to dream, you never know what you can become.
5. Bugs Bunny – The number one Warner Brothers character of all time, more cartoons than any other character in history; that’s saying something. He even has a star on the Walk of Fame. My thing about Bugs Bunny is that he wasn’t the biggest most of the time, but he’d take a whipping and come back for more, eventually overcoming every obstacle thrown at him. Had a lot of talent as well. I learned from Bugs Bunny that you don’t back down to bullies or any other problems in life; you come back stronger and persistently until you persevere.
“[Luke:] I can’t believe it.
[Yoda:] That is why you fail.”
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
“No! Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
Yoda has wisdom and power and he’s less than 3 feet tall; there are no obstacles that can’t be overcome if you trust in your own self.
3. Kermit the Frog – Even though he’s a frog, Kermit is “every man” and “every woman”. In other words, he’s a frog with a dream and a belief in that dream, and no matter what he’s going to go out there and get it, no matter what form it takes. He’s been a news reporter, a dancer, a singer, an author, and a TV show emcee. He’s traveled the world basically just being himself. And he’s the muppet that every other muppet wants to be and wants to follow. Once again, a lot of power with a lot of responsibility, yet he always does the right thing.
2. Captain Picard – It took me probably half the first season of Next Generation to fully start appreciating Captain Picard, but once I did he was the guy I wanted to see prominent in every show. In an odd way he was the anti-Kirk; not as tall or as good looking, certainly not as athletic or brash. But he was dignified and a thinker, and not afraid to get into it when necessary. He was older than Kirk was, which meant he sent the younger first officer into the fray most of the time. But the truth is that true leadership doesn’t always have to be in the forefront. True leadership helps others attain the highest level in doing what it is they have to do for the team, and sends them out knowing that they’re going to ultimately do their best. He was the closest human to ever think like a Vulcan, as he was told many times; that was a pretty nice compliment in my book.
1. Mr Spock – My favorite character of all time, the man I owe for helping me get through the last 2 1/2 years of college. I used to have a quick temper, and I think that was the one feature that kept people from getting close to me. One day I came across this thought about logic, said my anger was illogical because it wasn’t aimed at anything except my own mind, and changed in an instant, based on my beliefs about Mr. Spock. Thing is, he wasn’t perfect, and I certainly wasn’t going to be, but I was a drastically better person, and I think the loyalty of many long time friends proved I became something much better than I was. As I’m working my way through the book The Ethics of Star Trek, I’m reminded again just how much the character of Mr. Spock has meant to my life.
Okay, I’m done, and I had fun. What are your comments, and who are your favorites, and why? And let’s thank Mike for the idea.
I’ve been on kind of a serious kick and decided it was time to cheer things up for a little bit. As you know, I’ve talked about my love affair for the Muppets often enough around here. I have a bunch of Muppets videos all over the blog; one day I’m going to create a page where I’ve got all my videos, including the Muppets. In the meantime, I want to share these six with you, which I love.
Julie Andrews, Lonely Goatherd (Okay, I love Sound of Music also)
Raquel Welch; she still looks great!
Linda Ronstadt singing one of my favorite songs ever, and supposedly she said she never sung the song better than for this show.
Pearl Bailey, bad jousting scene from Camelot. Pearl was actually a U.S. Ambassador when she decided to do this particular show, and in the movie Carmen Jones, was the only actor in the movie who actually sang her own part.
Rita Moreno, the first person to ever win an Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy.
Opening song from the movie Muppets From Space, as they perform Brick House
You know, when I started out on this quest to link to posts of mine that have videos on them, it never even entered my mind that I might have gone to the video vault as often as I seem to have gone. Once I got through February 2008, I realized that I was going to have to break this up somehow, otherwise this post could have been a major mess. Therefore, I decided to go only through June 2008, and since this blog began December 2007, that’s included as well.
It’s funny, but early on my posts were relatively short, so sometimes I only had one paragraph and then a video. I think I’ve come a long way. Still, I wanted to have a link to videos because every once in awhile I’m looking for something, and, well, I think some videos are just entertaining as anything. And who knows, you might find something in here you like and want to check out. So, here are the links to the videos, with a brief take on what the post was about:
I Still Believe – I love Mariah Carey and I love the song in this music video, even when Brenda K Starr did it.
Stout Hearted Men – If you ever watched Wonder Years, you probably died laughing when this scene played surrounding the boys glee club.
Martin Luther King Jr – The Finale – this was Dr. King’s final speech before he was assassinated the next day; timely since tomorrow is the King Holiday.
Turn The World Around – Harry Belafonte & the Muppets did this as the last song when he was on the Muppet Show. Turns out to also be the song performed by Belafonte at Henson’s funeral.
Lizards dancing to Thriller – This was my favorite commercial during the 2008 Super Bowl, which figures since it used a Michael Jackson song
Blame It On The Boogie – A Jackson’s music video and song I happened to like.
I’m Every Woman – Chaka Khan music video.
Amp – I questioned whether this commercial during the Super Bowl was effective advertising or not.
Web Design Rap – I thought this was a pretty creative educational video about web design.
Pulp Fiction? – the Muppets take on Pulp Fiction; got an idea how much I love the Muppets?
The Oil Crisis – this is a pretty long video by a guy who says he has inside information that oil prices are being falsely manufactured to kill us with high prices.
Push It – I started out talking about human beatboxes, then decided to put in the full Salt ‘n Pepa video that the Amp commercial bit a chunk off.
A Video Parody – if anyone remembers when that goofy kid got on video and cried while telling the world to leave Britney Spears alone, they you’ll like this video, which was a parody of that one telling people to leave PCs alone during the Vista disaster & Mac commercial period
I love almost anything Muppets. I’ll admit that I didn’t get into the Fraggles, but if Kermit and his buddies were involved, it was all good.
Of course, like most things, we all have our favorite stuff, and one thing that stands out in my mind was an awesome performance by Harry Belafonte that closed out one show, called Turn The World Around. It was such an amazing performance that not only did they continue playing the song throughout the closing credits, which never happened in any other show, but Harry Belafonte performed the song at Jim Henson’s funeral. Now that’s a powerful song.
So, I post it here for your enjoyment and inspiration; if you can’t feel anything from this one, you have no emotions.