Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Planets Align So Rare

I know I am supposed to be skeeved out by the revelations of David Copperfield's sexual exploits, but as I read this article, all I could think was, "Isn't this what countless numbers of rock stars have done throughout history?"

Which isn't to say I am not creeped out by David Copperfield. After all, this is a man who floated over the Grand Canyon on national television while Bonnie Tyler sang "I'm Holding Out for a Hero" ("where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods?"). I mean, not only does that indicate the man has a bit of an ego, it also shows he missed a great opportunity. Obviously, if it is the early eighties and you are being serenaded by a blonde while you levitate, the song she should be singing is "Magic". Duh.

Speaking of Olivia Newton John (oh yes, we were), I recently read that Marie Osmond was originally offered the lead in Grease, but turned it down because she didn't like sending the message that a girl needed to turn bad for a boy.

What?

I know, I know, it is always easy to look back and think "who but X could have possibly played that role?" and to forget that there was a time when that role was not defined by X and I can kindof envision Marie Osmond singing "Hopelessly Devoted to You". I also know that it is easy to say, "WHAT were you thinking turning down this role?" but that no one knows what will hit and what will miss, or even that a hit would have been a hit if any of the variables had been changed (for example, would Silence of the Lambs have won any Academy Awards if Michelle Pfeiffer had accepted the role of Clarice Starling?) So none of that really causes me much consternation. What is making me scratch a hole in my head is the notion that Sandy turns bad for a guy. I mean, that's bad? A girl stops ironing her hair, ditches the pink for black, and lights a cigarette and this signifies she has "turned bad"? Oh, alright, I guess if I watch Grease as an adult (as opposed to through the eyes of the six year old I was when I first saw the film), I'll admit that it is suggested that Sandy, to prove her love for Danny, will put out. But, if I watch the film through my adult eyes, I will also see the film from a post-Madonna, post-Britney perspective and it all seems rather innocent and tame. In order to understand, I have to remind myself how back in 1978, the girl who lived across the alley from me (who was eleven) said that she thought Grease should have had an R rating, but, in retrospect, this may have had as much to do with the whole Rizzo pregnancy thing as with any suggestion that Sandy and Danny may soon engage in acts which could have similar consequences. The truth is that while what was expected of girls, sexually, may have been clearer in 1958 or 1978 than they are in the present day, the truth is that we are constantly at the center of a tug of war between the two equally undesirable roles of prude and slut, constantly juggling being desirable with being respectable, constantly worrying that giving in to physical urges will brand one as low while rejecting the physical brands one as frigid. Which is why, like it or not, the best song in that film really is "There Are Worse Things I Could Do", a song which addresses the mixed signals we girls get about our sexuality and how it is all too easy to step off the path on which society expects us to remain. If Britney Spears is smart, she'll be covering that song on her next album. I think she has enough life experience to do it justice.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous karen said...

I feel as if you plucked this out of my own mind! you really are a talented writer - and by the way your republican sister in law also is an avid reader of yours :)KP

8:45 AM, November 08, 2007  

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