After waking up in a glorious mood on a perfectly lovely and lazy Sunday morn, I decided to pop in my crusty old VHS tapes of Barbra Streisand's TV specials of the 60's. (That's what I do when I'm in a good mood. You'll understand when you're gay.)
May I just say that nothing makes me happier than these little television pearls? They bring me back to such formative years of my childhood, when I was first introduced to Babs and other iconic treasures like her. A time when I was just figuring out that, luckily, I was not like the other little boys in my class. (Still not.) But more than this, they bring me back even further to a time that I was never a part of. A seemingly happier and simpler time when these specials where made. (Then again, what the hell do I know? I wasn't around. But still...)
Two cameras, a spot light, a couple of wigs and some eyeliner are basically all it took for CBS to make MY NAME IS BARBRA in 1965. The whole thing probably cost 12.50, and yet it is riveting. This is because in those days (and days long before them) such programs were built around huge talent, and therefore didn't require huge productions. They were made solely for the purpose of celebrating and encapsulating the unique and extraordinary talents of very special individuals. Today, things are completely the opposite. We are mass producing minimal talent, and around it building enormous productions full of savvy camera tricks, computer generation, breast augmentation, and lip syncing at its worst, all designed to distract us and make us forget that we are actually watching a sock puppet in concert, while making millions for fat old business execs who wouldn't know talent if they ate it for lunch. And people seem to love this!
Look at Barbra go! She gave us Comedy. She gave us Singing. She gave us Personality. She gave us Class. You'll never see Paris Hilton running through Bergdorf's, trying on hats to a medley of Gershwin tunes. And who the hell wants to? Even in a brief cameo appearance, Barbra's late French Poodle Sadie had more pizazz and charm than Paris's schmucky little Chihuahua, Tinkerbell.
I personally feel gypped by the divas of the current generation, and I would like my money back. Who cares that they're all drunks? In the good ol' days, drug and alcohol addictions didn't distract from the talent of America's celebrities. If anything, they contributed to it. Judy Garland was hopped up on pills and booze long before that twister ever hit Kansas, and she remained so throughout her career. She still managed to give us some of the greatest work ever achieved on stage, on film, and on record. Britney Spears has one too many Cosmos and what does she give us?? Crotch shots.
But I digress...I will now conclude my marathon by watching COLOR ME BARBRA, followed by BARBRA STREISAND: A HAPPENING IN CENTRAL PARK, and I suggest you do the same. They make me so happy.
Who are you to JUDGE ME??