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Thursday, June 30, 2016

O Canada

You know, Canada Day is tomorrow - and for those of you who might not know what that is - it's the date in which Canada became an independent nation.  Canada turns 149 tomorrow...and I have to say, the nation doesn't look a day over 57!

The country must moisturize!

And I definitely have Canadian pride.  I plan on wearing my red and white clothing tomorrow, I may have a poutine for dinner in celebration, and at some point I'll probably have Chilliwack, The Tragically Hip, Bryan Adams, and Tom Cochrane playing on my iPod at some point during the day.  I've even turned this whole post red in celebration.

(Mind you, I'm celebrating the day early on account that I have my Jem Reviewed post scheduled for July 1.)

One of the things that I used to do on Canada Day when I was a kid was spend the day at Block House Island - a place in town that used to host a summer festival called Riverfest back when I was a child.  On Canada Day, they would have activities that would last all day long.  You'd have face painting, buskers, concerts, and of course, the Canada Day fireworks display that would light up even the darkest summer nights.

And I remember around noon on Canada Day, our whole town would gather around Block House Island where cake was served to every single person in attendance and we'd sing the national anthem, "O Canada".  Here's how we sang it years ago.  Pay close attention to the part I put in bolded text.

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Now, you see the part I bolded?  The part where it says "all thy sons command"?  Well, up until recently, that was the way that we were all taught how to sing the anthem. 

But earlier this month, a Canadian Member of Parliament by the name of Mauril Belanger put forth the notion that the lyric of the anthem be changed.  Those four words I bolded, in fact.

His argument was that the national anthem was not gender inclusive, and in order to remedy that, he made the suggestion that Canada amend the anthem so that instead of saying "in all thy sons command", it instead reads "in all of us command".  It's a subtle change that seems to have sparked a ton of controversy.

You know, I honestly can see both sides of the argument, and I will list pros and cons of each one.

The argument for keeping the anthem the way it is now is simple.  It's the way that Canadians have been taught to sing it for over 100 years.  I believe it was 1914 that the current version was first introduced, and up until now, I don't believe anybody had a problem with it.  It's the way that at least four generations of Canadians have learned it, and for some, it's the only anthem they know. 

Some people (I don't see myself as one, but I feel the need to mention it) feel that the only reason the amendment was passed was to honour the last wish of a dying man.  Mauril Belanger was diagnosed with ALS not too long ago and it is expected that he will not live long enough to see the end of 2016.  And, you know, that very well could be a possibility, but again, I wasn't there when the amendment was passed, so I can't make that judgment.

But others defend the decision saying that the lyric change was decades overdue.  After all, it's not just men that can serve in the military.  And let's face it, Canada at least elected a female Prime Minister.

(Oh, sure...she only lasted a few months...but still.  She managed to do it!)

I guess I see the argument that making the anthem more gender inclusive just goes with the way the world is now.  After all, when it comes to equal rights, men and women are certainly neck and neck now.  It's a lot different than it was back in 1914, anyway! 

And, it's not as if the anthem is completely changing.  It's just two words.  Less than 4% of the whole song.  It sort of puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

Honestly, my opinion is that if they really wanted to make it gender neutral, they should have reverted back to the anthem that was first introduced in 1908, where the lyric "in all thy sons command" was originally "thou dost in us command".  Sure, it's a mouthful to say, but it somehow sounds more powerful than "in all of us command".  But again, that's merely my opinion.

The point I'm trying to make is that when it comes down to it, Canadians are very lucky.  We live in a country that celebrates diversity and pride.  We live in a country that has the largest fresh water supply in the world.  And we live in a country where we have the freedom to be who we are no matter where we are in the country.

So, I say that when it comes down to how you sing the anthem on Canada Day...sing it the way that you want to sing it, be it the 1908 way, the 1914 way, or the 2016 way.  As far as I'm concerned, there is no wrong way to celebrate Canadian pride.

Happy birthday, Canada!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June 28, 1969

It's the final edition of the Tuesday Timeline for the month of June, and I think that I have picked out a topic that seems to coincide with what the month of June means to a lot of people in this world.

I know.  It's not much of a clue.  I'm not that clever when I first wake up in the morning.

Here's some other events that took place on June 28 over the course of history.

1461 - Edward IV is crowned King of England

1776 - Thomas Hickey is hanged for mutiny and sedition

1838 - The coronation of Queen Victoria takes place

1846 - The saxophone is patented by Adolphe Sax

1855 - The Sigma Chi fraternity is founded in North America

1894 - Labor Day is declared a national holiday in the United States

1896 - Fifty-eight miners are killed in a massive cave-in following an explosion in the Twin Shaft Mine located in Pennsylvania

1914 - Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated - this event would be the catalyst that triggered World War I

1919 - The Treaty of Versailles is signed

1926 - Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merge their two companies together to create the new auto manufacturer Mercedes-Benz

1932 - Actor Noriyuki "Pat" Morita (d. 2005) is born in Isleton, California

1946 - Actress/comedienne Gilda Radner (d. 1989) is born in Detroit, Michigan

1950 - Seoul is captured by North Korean troops during the Korean War

1962 - Baseball player Cy Young passes away at the age of 83

1964 - Malcolm X forms the Organization of Afro-American Unity

1975 - "The Twilight Zone" narrator Rod Serling passes away at the age of 50

1981 - "Marathon of Hope" runner Terry Fox loses his battle with cancer at the age of 22

1994 - Seven people die and over six hundred more are injured following a deadly gas attack in Matsumoto, Japan

1997 - Mike Tyson bites off part of Evander Holyfield's ear during a boxing match and is subsequently disqualified

2014 - Actor Meshach Taylor dies at the age of 67

And for celebrity birthdays, we have the following famous faces turning one year older; Mel Brooks, Bette Greene, John Byner, Al Downing, Bruce Davison, Kathy Bates, Alice Krige, Mike Skinner, Charlie Clouser, Mark Grace, Jessica Hecht, John Cusack, Mary Stuart Masterson, Gil Bellows, Tichina Arnold, Steve Burton, Ray Slijngaard, Mark Stoermer, and Lucy Rose.

All now I need to find the date that I want to talk about.  Ah, this looks like a good one.  June 28, 1969.

Now, you might be wondering why I decided to go with the rainbow coloured theme for this week.  Well, it's because the rainbow flag is a symbol of LGBTQ pride.  In fact, the whole month of June has more or less become a month long celebration for people who identify as being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or people who have questioned their true sexuality. 

In 2016, I think that the world has definitely come a long way in being more accepting of the LGBTQ population, and we certainly see with the gay pride parades that take place in almost every major city these days that people are no longer afraid to be who they are. 

Of course, sadly, this wasn't always the case.  In fact, with the shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando still fresh on our minds two weeks after the fact, it's just a grim reminder just how hard it was for people of the LGBTQ community to find compassion and understanding.

It was 47 years ago today that an event took place in New York City that sort of defined the movement for gay rights.  And while the incident did bring out a series of riots over the course of several days, it certainly made the world take notice.

It was the day of the "Stonewall Riots".

So, a little bit of history before we proceed.  After World War II, many nations in the world had been subject to social upheaval - which made sense, given how destructive and costly the war was.  The United States was one of those nations.  At that time, many people had the desire to restore the world back to the way it was, and were reluctant to see any more changes.  In a way, it did seem understandable.  After all, when war ends, it's only natural for people to want to try and go back to the way their old lives were.

Unfortunately, this lead to several black marks in the historical records of American history, as the United States government believed that anyone who didn't fit the mold of what they considered to be "American" would be subject to great indignities.  It was essentially a time in which the government almost seemed to promote bullying and segregation - which is why we saw the Civil Rights Movement take place in the 1950s, as well as the Women's Rights Movement in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Certainly the struggle was evident for people of the LGBTQ community.  The Senate actually linked homosexuality to being a security risk, and many people in the community were unfairly labeled as being mentally disturbed or ill because of it.  It got so bad for them that the United States post office actually kept track of household that received mail that was deemed "homosexual propaganda".  Thousands of gay and lesbian workers were fired from their jobs just for being who they were.  Many more were actually institutionalized in mental hospitals and subjected to dangerous tests in an effort to "remove the gayness out of them".  Is it any wonder that people ended up living double lives during the 1950s and early 1960s?  It was extremely sad.  It wasn't until the early 1990s that some nations removed homosexuality from their lists of mental disorders!  That is absolutely mind-boggling to me - especially since there has been more than enough research to prove that homosexuality is not's how you're born.

New York City's Greenwich Village was a neighbourhood in which many of the city's LGBTQ population lived and socialized.  And the area known as Christopher Street was a street in which many LGBTQ businesses operated.  One such business was the Stonewall Inn - which at the time was owned and operated by members of the New York City mafia (which was commonplace back in the late 1960s).  Although the conditions inside of the bar were not great, it was the only gay bar in the area that allowed dancing - so naturally, it became one of the busiest places for people of the LGBTQ community to socialize.

At least, it was until the early morning hours of June 28, 1969.

At that time, many police officers had been tipped off to places in which LGBTQ people socialized, and they were instructed to shut the places down.  And at 1:20 am, several New York City officers barged into the place with the intent of closing it up for good.  Unlike most cases, where the owners of the establishments were informed that police raids were coming, this one came as a surprise. 

Also unlike other police raids that had taken place, the customers inside of the Stonewall Inn at the time were not as willing to go quietly as they had done in the past.  And it took an incident where a woman (widely believed to be Storme DeLarverie) was handcuffed and shouted to the growing crowd to do something about it that the Stonewall Riots officially kicked off.

The scene at the Stonewall Inn was one of total chaos, as protesters fought against the police with objects being hurled, punches being thrown, and fires were lit inside the Stonewall Inn, putting the lives of several policemen and patrons still inside the bar at risk.  Incredibly, no lives were lost in the melee. 

One could say that the Stonewall incident breathed new life into the LGBTQ community because all attention was now on them, and they were using the incident to show the world that they were tired of being persecuted against for being who they were, and that it was their time to stand up to those who bullied and humiliated them.  It inspired the LGBTQ community to stand up for themselves and realize that they were just as important as anybody else, and they actively encouraged each other to start their own businesses without the influence of the Mafia or the police.  And when one New York City based publication known as "The Village Voice" printed a recap of the riots which slandered the LGBTQ community, a mob of people descended upon Christopher Street and stood up for themselves once more against the newspaper.

Of course, not everybody saw the Stonewall Riots as a positive thing.  Many criticized the excessive use of violence in getting the point across - and hey, I completely understand that as I am a firm believer in peaceful protesting.  But keep in mind that this had been building up for several years.  When something is allowed to build up tension for that long, you shouldn't expect anything less than an explosive reaction when prodded.

Besides, the Stonewall Riots set out to do what they were intended.  They were a true social commentary for the people of the LGBTQ community by the people of the LGBTQ community.  It was the first step in what would be a long road towards being out and proud and not caring about the opinions of other people.

Exactly one year after the Stonewall Riots took place, on June 28, 1970, the first ever gay pride parade was held on Christopher Street - the place where it all began.  Simultaneous events were held in Chicago and Los Angeles on that day, and over the course of the next four and a half decades, several other cities would follow suit.  My hometown even has pride events for the LGBTQ community, and it's considered a small town in comparison to New York City.

It took one event at an illegal and unlicensed gay bar to spark a revolution.  But given how far we've come as a society, I think it was a necessary one.

Happy Pride Month to everybody in the LGBTQ community.  And remember, every single one of you is worth something.  Don't let anyone else tell you differently.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Jem Reviewed: Episode 14 - The Music Awards - Part 2

In the first part of the last episode of Jem Reviewed, we met a whole slew of new people.  We met Danse, a dancer who works at a home for teen runaways, Krissie and Deirdre, who became teen runaways, and some unknown kid who was forced to be a runaway.

Would you like to know how this story ends?  Let's watch Episode 14: The Music Awards - Part 2!

Okay, so we last left off with Krissie falling off of an antenna to her death.  But killing off a thirteen year old girl would be too much drama for this show, so her backpack saves her fall long enough for unknown kid to pop up and carry her the rest of the way down.

After the title of the episode appears, we're standing outside the concert venue where we learn the kid's name is Danny.  Deirdre, Krissie, and Ba Nee explain that they've run away from home too, and they make a vow to stick together.  Danny at first rejects this offer, but Krissie shows some sense and tells Danny they'd be better off together.  How nice of Krissie to use her brain now.

Before they can do anything, the scalper approaches and grabs Danny, demanding that he pay for the Misfits ticket he stole.  Krissie, Ba Nee, and Deirdre try to reason with him by trying to give him twenty-two bucks (I get the feeling that the girls never planned their running away strategy very well), but the guy (whose name is Mick) has other plans.

Mick takes them inside of an abandoned school bus - which is from the Marx School, (a clever pun alluding to the showrunner, Christy Marx), and feeds them bread and Jif - because choosy con artists choose Jif.  His partner seems to be wondering why he's doing this, but we learn that Mick plans to use Danny and the girls for something big.  Big - and evil judging by the sound of his voice.  Oh, and those Misfits tickets that Danny swiped?  They were fakes.  As if we hadn't already guessed before.

The kids, of course, are too much into their peanut butter induced nirvana to take notice though.  In between mouthfuls, Danny interviews the three girls, wanting to know what was so bad at home that they had to run away.  These may as well have been their answers.

DEIRDRE:  We all used to have our own bedrooms in a big mansion, but we weren't getting attention from our four foster mothers, so I decided I'd leave home to make a career as a street entertainer.

KRISSIE:  I left because these two needed a chaperone.  But I also think our swimming pool was too cold!  70 degrees is child abuse!  CHILD ABUSE!

BA NEE:  I hate Jerrica so much!  All she did for me was take abuse from the very band we just saw so she could pay for me to see again, and she wouldn't even take us out for a banana split at Dairy Queen afterwards!  That bitch!

Okay, maybe they don't actually SAY that...but whatever they say, it makes Danny look at them as if they have six heads and point blank tells them that they are the stupidest girls in the whole world.  He said it, not me.

And just how is the search for their three missing foster girls going?  Not well.  Despite another search around Los Angeles, Jerrica, Kimber, Aja, and Shana have come up empty.  And to make matters worse, the child welfare worker, Mr. Sobieski has shown up to relay the message to Jerrica that someone reported her for neglect.  This is the last thing that Jerrica needs to deal with, and I almost think she'll use her JemStar earrings to summon up holograms of the three missing girls. 

You know what?  Why DOESN'T she just do that?!?  Problem solved!  It's not as if Mr. Sobieski has to touch them...he just has to see them!

But Ashley arrives with a bunch of pamphlets in her hands, and she explains that the three girls are out posting handbills for the upcoming benefit for Haven House, which buys them some time.  But Mr. Sobieski will be returning the night of the concert, and if there's no sign of the three girls, he'll be forced to take the remaining nine girls and put them in different foster homes.

You see what your neglect has got you, Jerrica?  Whatever the case, the Holograms head back to Starlight Music while the rest of the girls search for the girls.

Over at Misfits Music, it seems as though Eric and Techrat have come up with a plan of their own to promote the Misfits.  By sending Pizzazz, Roxy, and Stormer over the city on hang gliders, they'll throw leaflets and posters of them all over the city.  Which basically means millions of dollars in littering fines for nothing since the Misfits are merely nominated for an award and not performing.  Seems silly to me.

Roxy seems to think it's silly as well, and you can tell she has a fear of heights...but the rest of the Misfits are gung-ho, and before you know it, it's time for a song.

The song is "You Oughta See The View From Here", and again, it's another solid Misfits hit.  I've said that the concept for Jem's "Twilight In Paris" video would look stunning in real life.  I would say the same for this video by the Misfits. 

After the song, Roxy and Stormer glide to safety in a nearby park.  But Pizzazz seems to enjoy being up in the sky.  That's because Techrat installed a laser gun on Pizzazz's glider which prompts Eric to hilariously respond with "You let Pizzazz loose with a laser gun?!?"

Yes.  Techrat let Pizzazz loose with a laser gun.  And you see that great big billboard of Jem's head above Starlight Music?  She uses the gun to draw a mustache on Jem.  That's...mature.

But Pizzazz's aim isn't all that great, and she accidentally zaps the support beam holding the sign up...

...which crashes straight through the window of Jerrica's office!

Luckily, nobody is hurt by the shards of flying glass and thousand pound billboard - however, Jerrica decides to use Synergy's help to get Pizzazz to stop.

Synergy conjures up a gigantic bird to appear in front of Pizzazz which spooks her enough for her to lose control of the glider.  But don't worry...Jerrica's scheme doesn't kill Pizzazz.  She just ends up falling into a pond in the park.  See, Jerrica's not heartless!

Though, Techrat's very upset that Pizzazz broke his laser gun - and Pizzazz is very upset that Techrat's invention nearly broke her neck!  Let's call it even.

At the same time all this is going on, we're taken to a city street where there is an electronics store in full view.  Danny and the Starlight Girls are there with Mick.  And it's here where we learn just how evil Mick is.  He forces Danny to go inside the store and steal an item to pay for the ticket that he swiped even though the tickets were worth nothing.  Krissie immediately calls out Mick on his dishonesty (which in reality would get her shot or something else that is horrific), and begs Danny not to do it.  But Danny feels as though he's over a barrel and isn't sure what to do.

We come across what looks like a metal igloo inside of a junkyard, and I'm wondering why we have this place setting in this episode.  Turns out that this is Techrat's "home".  Not creepy.  Not creepy at all.  It turns out that Techrat is designing another invention that will gum up the works for Jem and the Holograms at the benefit concert.  Naturally after Pizzazz broke Techrat's previous inventions, he refuses to let her come near him, which makes Pizzazz exclaim that he's a weirdo.  Finally...something I can agree with her on.  Surprisingly, Eric defends Techrat, calling him a genius.  Well, he's already proven himself more intelligent than Zipper, so that's a start.

Back at the electronics store, despite the pleas from Deirdre, Krissie, and Ba Nee, Danny swipes what looks like a CD player from the store.  As soon as he exits from the store, Krissie runs to him and tells him that he will ruin his life if he goes through with it.  Krissie's words seem to sink in to Danny and he decides to go back in the store and put the CD player back. 

Mick and his buddy don't like the fact that Krissie is wrecking their plan, so Mick goes in to intervene and make sure that Danny goes through with the plan which sends Deirdre and Ba Nee out to confront them.

The group ends up making so much noise that the shopkeeper comes out to stop them.  At the same time, a police car pulls up and two officers pop out and give chase.  And you know what would go great with a chase scene?  A Jem and the Holograms song!

"Runnin' Like The Wind" does what it's supposed to do.  It provides backing music for a music montage that includes the Starlight Girls evading the police intertwined with a worried Jerrica desperate to locate her missing girls.  If it weren't for the fact that this song was plot based, it would unfortunately be a bit forgettable.

The girls, Danny, and Mick seem to have hit a roadblock.  A huge chain link fence that is covered with crates seems to be in their way.  And with one of the two officers hot on their trail, they decide the only way to go is over the fence. 

The Starlight Girls make it over the fence without too much difficulty.  But when the police officer tries to reach Danny and Mick, Mick throws the CD Player at the officer which makes him lose his balance and get crushed by the cascading crates!  Oh, we're going to add attempted murder to the charges.  Good one, Mick.

It is Danny who risks getting caught by lifting the crates off of the officer, hoping that he isn't hurt too badly.  By the time the officer's partner comes around the corner with Mick's friend in handcuffs, Danny makes it over the fence and runs away with the Starlight Girls.  And when Mick is apprehended, Mick brags about how he made sure the kids were so scared of cops that they wouldn't approach another one for help.  This is a statement that makes both police officers (and me) cringe in disgust.  It's too bad too because I know those police officers would have helped them out - especially with Danny helping to free one of them.

The action shifts to Stouffer Stadium where Jem and the Holograms are doing a sound check with Rio on stage while the other nine Starlight Girls are sitting in the audience, worried about their foster sisters.  Well, okay, maybe eight of them are.  Ashley's more concerned with knocking Deirdre out for scaring Jerrica half to death.  Nice to see Ashley hasn't lost her edge, but with Mr. Sobieski in the vicinity, Ashley probably should mind her P's and Q's.  Of course, Mr. Sobieski has given Jerrica to the beginning of the concert to produce the missing girls, so she has no reason to panic yet.  But time is running out.

Oh, wait.  That song isn't in this episode.  Never mind.

It seems like Danny and the girls have found temporary refuge at a hamburger restaurant, where the girls have used their money to buy them all food.  But now that their money is all gone, they're talking about what their next move is.  The girls can go back to Starlight Mansion, but Danny has nowhere else to go.  Krissie and Deirdre seem to think that Danny could move in with them, but Ba Nee points out that it's the Starlight House for Foster GIRLS.  And since Danny makes a pretty ugly girl, he's pretty much out of luck.

At least until some random waiter approaches them and starts talking to them.  Because I know when some random stranger starts offering me unsolicited advice, I immediately perk up.  And yes, that's sarcasm.

But the waiter's advice is good.  He gives Danny a card to a nearby home for runaway teens, and encourages him to at least give them a call if he won't go there directly.  Danny's hesitant at first, but Krissie practically grabs the card and force feeds it down Danny's throat, telling him that he should have done this a long time ago!

And I'll bet that the place on the card just happens to be Haven House.

What do you know?  I was right.  Yay me.  But to their surprise, it looks as though nobody is home.  What kind of a teen runaway shelter is this anyway?  Is it like Sears?  Only open from 10-7?

Oh, wait.  They see Danse pulling out of the driveway and flag her down.  Krissie explains the situation to Danse - that they're all runaways and all of them need help - with Danny needing the most help of all.  Danse explains that everyone at Haven House is out at a benefit concert, but if they want, they can hitch a ride with her to Stouffer Stadium where they can see Jem and the Holograms perform.  That's all the motivation any of them need.  Danse also promises that Danny can speak to a counselor after the concert if he needs to.  And this is why I love Danse as a character.  Whereas Jerrica/Jem can seem flawed and even hypocritical at her worse, Danse is 100% genuine class.  Jerrica can learn a lot from this lady.  Danse has only known Deirdre for five minutes and already she's shown her more attention than Jerrica has the whole damn series so far!

Once Danse arrives at the stadium, the three Starlight Girls make a beeline towards Jem and the Holograms, and there's a tearful reunion to be had for sure.  This should also get Mr. Sobieski off of their backs once and for all.  But there's still one minor glitch that has to be taken care of first.

Techrat has managed to sneak into the concert hall with a remote control.  The remote control is a mobile version of the electronic jammer that we saw him use in the last episode.  One click and everything electronic in the stadium will go haywire, just as they did with Starlight Mansion.

Predictably, Techrat flicks the switch at the moment Jem and the Holograms take the stage, and every light and musical instrument starts going wonky.  Kimber narrowly manages to take Jem off the stage before the device causes her to change back into Jerrica!  Rio is completely baffled over what is going on, but Danny - who happens to be standing near Rio - seems to think that he might know where it's coming from.

While all hell is breaking loose at Stouffer Stadium, across town at the Music Awards, the winners of the Best New Rock Group Award are...the Misfits!  Wow, I guess Lindsey wasn't kidding about how showing up at the awards could mean the difference between winning and not winning.  Predictably, Pizzazz gives a self-serving acceptance speech about how much they desperately deserved the award.  It's a wonder they weren't thrown off the stage!

To add insult to injury, Pizzazz wants to go over to Stouffer Stadium to gloat about winning the award to Jem in person.  Yep, that's our Pizzazz.

Back at the stadium, Danny successfully locates Techrat and confronts the weasel right in the middle of the audience.  Techrat tries to pull Danny away, but with his aversion to being touched, he certainly doesn't put up much of a fight.  Danny causes Techrat to break his invention, and seconds later, everything goes back to normal, Jerrica changes back to Jem, and we get the final song of the episode.  Watch this video carefully - it summarizes the whole episode beautifully.

First things first...the song "Friend Or Stranger" is beautifully done, and a perfect song to illustrate the Haven House benefit and the reason why it's being held.  Secondly, I like the fact that they left Danny's fate unknown at the end of this episode because to give everyone a happy ending would seem a bit unrealistic.  I'd like to think that Danny went with Danse to Haven House to take her up on the offer of counseling because judging by how Danny was thrown out of his own home, I get the feeling it wasn't his fault.

It was a nice touch to have Krissie, Ba Nee, and Deirdre reuniting with the Starlight Girls during this video.  And while Ashley nearly does deck Deirdre, she instead bursts into tears and hugs her.  That was a nice touch.

Perhaps the greatest surprise of all was how Pizzazz reacted.  You could see her expression change from snark to shock to embarrassment in the time frame of 45 seconds.  Seeing everyone coming together and's nothing that would ever happen at a Misfits concert.  Truth be told, I expect to see mosh pits at one of their shows.  But looking at how Pizzazz stares at's like even though they won a coveted award, they'd rather have the adoration of people instead for doing something meaningful.  By the end of the song, the award means so little to Pizzazz that she lets it shatter on the ground.  I don't care what anyone says...Pizzazz was definitely affected by that song.  What we don't know is why that is.  Maybe it'll come up in a future episode.  Maybe not.

One final footnote that makes this episode even more special.  It's part of this week's Jem Trivia.  At the end of this episode during its original run, Christy Marx displayed a toll free number of a runaway hotline to help people out who needed it.  After the conclusion of the episode, the hotline received an increase in volume of calls and even succeeded in reuniting a few kids with their families!  Now THAT'S awesome!

Coming up next week - remember the fashion contest the band won?  It's time for them to work on a fashion book.  But with the Misfits and Clash doing everything to stop them, will the book come out at all?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June 21, 1975

It's time for another installment of the Tuesday Timeline, and the only thing that I can say about this week's topic is that it is all about love!

I just hope the weather holds out long enough for me to get this all typed out.  As I write this, the sky has turned black and we're expected to get thunderstorms and quite possibly a tornado.  So, my ability to post this really depends on whether or not I still have power - or a house, for that matter.

For now, let's have a look at the events that took place on this date in history that I didn't choose.  A lot happened on June 21!

1734 - Marie-Joseph Angelique is put to death in Montreal after being convicted of setting the fire that nearly destroyed the whole city

1749 - The city of Halifax, Nova Scotia is founded

1788 - New Hampshire is admitted as the ninth U.S. state

1791 - Louis XVI begins the Flight to Varennes during the French Revolution

1854 - The first Victoria Cross is awarded

1877 - Ten Irish immigrants convicted of murder - known as the Molly Maguires - are hanged

1900 - China formally declares war on the United States, Britain, Germany, France, and Japan in the Boxer Rebellion

1919 - Two people are killed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after they fire a volley into a crowd of unemployed war veterans who gathered together as part of the Winnipeg General Strike

1921 - Actress/singer Judy Holliday (d. 1965) is born in New York City; also born on this date is actress Jane Russell (d. 2011)

1925 - Actress Maureen Stapleton (d. 2006) is born in Troy, New York

1944 - Director Tony Scott (d. 2012) is born in Tynemouth, England

1945 - The Battle of Okinawa ends

1954 - British soap actress Anne Kirkbride (d. 2015) is born

1964 - Members of the Ku Klux Klan murder civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner; Edgar Ray Killen is convicted of manslaughter exactly 41 years later in 2005

1970 - The largest American bankruptcy takes place on this date as Penn Central declares Section 77 bankruptcy

1982 - A not guilty verdict by reason of insanity is given to John Hinckley for his assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan in March 1981

2001 - Actor Carroll O'Connor passes away at the age of 76

2006 - The newly discovered moons of Pluto are named Hydra and Nix

2008 - American puppeteer Kermit Love passes away, aged 91

2012 - A boat carrying over 200 refugees capsizes in between Christmas Island and Java, killing 17, and leaving 70 missing

And happy birthday to the following famous faces!  Turning another year older are Wally Fawkes, Bernie Kopell, Eddie Adcock, Don Black, Mariette Hartley, Joe Flaherty, Lyman Ward, Dan Henning, Marjorie Margolies, Ray Davies, Brenda Holloway, Meredith Baxter, Michael Gross, Ian McEwan, Joey Kramer, John Paul Young, Nils Lofgren, Marcella Detroit, Berkeley Breathed, Kathy Mattea, Kip Winger, David Morrissey, Doug Savant, Lana Wachowski, Gretchen Carlson, Mancow Muller, Carrie Preston, Sonique, Juliette Lewis, Pascal Rheaume, Craig Lowndes, Shelley Craft, Sarah Slean, Chris Pratt, Brandon Flowers, Edward Snowden, Kris Allen, Sharna Burgess, and Lana Del Rey.

That's a lot of June 21 birthdays!

All right.  It's time to check and see what date we'll be looking at this week.

Ah, June 21, 1975.  A good year indeed.  Or at least that's what I've heard.  I wasn't born yet.

But I suppose you could say that as far as 1975 was concerned, it was the summer of least it was on the music charts.  During the summer of 1975, everyone did a little bit of "Jive Talkin'", they did the Hustle, they were "Fallin' in Love", and they even did a little dance, made a little love, and got down tonight!

Of course, the song that kicked off the summer of romance hit the top of the charts forty-one years ago today.  And that song was also the song that had the longest chart run of the year - four whole weeks at the top!

Come on.  Let's listen to that song together.

ARTIST:  Captain & Tennille
SONG:  Love Will Keep Us Together
ALBUM:  Love Will Keep Us Together
DATE RELEASED:  April 1975

Ah, yes.  "Love Will Keep Us Together".  The debut single for Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille - otherwise known as Captain & Tennille.  This pop duo entertained people throughout most of the decade known as the 1970s, but this song will forever be known as their signature hit.

But did you know that this song was actually a cover version?

The original version was recorded two years earlier by singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka.  He's the guy that brought us "Calendar Girl", "Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen", and "Laughter in the Rain".  Though the single was recorded in 1973, it was never released in the United States (which could explain why so many think that "Love Will Keep Us Together" was a brand new song when it was released in 1975).  Sedaka's version of the song was released in some parts of Europe - most notably France.

Also in 1973, the UK first got their taste of the song courtesy of singing duo Mac and Katie Kissoon - who just happened to be brother and sister.  Yeah, that's not creepy.  That's not creepy at all.

Anyway, their version also failed to make an impact on the American charts as well, though in the Netherlands, their song peaked at #12.

Enter Captain & Tennille, who released their version to much fanfare...though if the Captain was the one who was steering the ship, "Love Will Keep Us Together" would NOT have been the song that they would have preferred to have as their debut.  Instead, the Captain believed that their version of "I Write The Songs" (made famous by singer Barry Manilow later that year) would have been a better choice.  But when the single peaked at #1 on the Easy Listening charts on June 7, 1975, Captain & Tennille knew that they were on the verge of something big with that single.

Two weeks later, the song peaked at #1 in the United States.  It would also chart at the top of the Canadian and Australian charts later that year.  And it would eventually be the song that kicked off the recording careers of Captain & Tennille who would later go on to release "Muskrat Love", "Can't Stop Dancin'", and "Do That To Me One More Time".  The song was even translated into Spanish and peaked at #49 on the charts - one of the few instances in which the same song released in two different languages would chart on the Billboard 100!

It turns out that the song could have very well have been a personal statement for the duo.  Having been involved as a couple in real life when they recorded this song, Captain & Tennille would get married on November 11, 1975 - just a few months after the song peaked at the top of the charts.

Sadly, love didn't keep these two together.  After thirty-eight years of marriage, Toni Tennille filed for divorce from the Captain in January 2014 - and the Captain himself had no idea that she had even filed until he was served with the divorce papers!  Although nobody really knows why the divorce went through, it is speculated that a neurological condition that the Captain was experiencing was preventing him from performing.  Whether or not that had anything to do with the split, who can say?

But back in 1975, Captain & Tennille were very much in love.  And I'm sure that this song has been playing at wedding receptions ever since.