The Zielskes recently upgraded to digital cable, in order to get the Comcast Triple Play package for cheaper phone service. After careful consideration ("hasty" isn’t exactly part of Dan’s Box o’ Research Tools) we figured out that we were paying way too much for our phone service through MCI, so we decided to make a switch to both save money and consolidate yet another bill. (Stay with me, this is going to get GOOD, people.)
Enter all these new channels I never had before. No, nothing crazy like HBO or Showtime. But things like VH1 Classic, and all those Encore movie channels. And so many other channels, that honestly? It borders on overwhelming. I mean, what are you in the mood for? 16 Candles? Jacob’s Ladder? or The Abyss on TWO different channels? Yeah, I KNOW.
Saturday night, I was flipping through all of my new special channels and could not believe what was about to air on VH1 Classic: Staying Alive, that brilliant, Sylvester-Stallone-directed-sequel to the original, where we were led to believe that Tony Manero had gone from being a potty-mouthed, misogynistic disco king, to a struggling albeit charming dancer on Broadway.
Where’s the stretch there, I ask? Really? I mean, if the Fonz can eventually teach high school… right?
So for two hours, I echoed dialogue back to the actors, sang along with every single song, and even found my shoulders twitching, willing my muscles to recall the countless hours I spent in my garage in Everett, Washingon, trying to learn those edgy dance moves. What? You don’t remember those moves? Here, let me and YouTube fix that:
I watched this movie probably 25 times or more after it came out on video. I played the soundtrack so many times the tape broke. It’s not even that I was a big fan of the music of Frank Stallone, but there was something about that movie that sunk in deep under my skin and filled me with hope and joy and inspiration. And let me tell you, people, it all came back on Saturday night to the point that I had to remind myself if I went ahead and bought the soundtrack, it’d be one of those things that might be really good at first, but also one that I’d very likely regret in the morning. And who doesn’t know what THAT feels like.
That said, one of my most favorite scenes in the movie was when Tony has been dissed by the lovely but snobby Finola Hughes (you remember her line, spit out in that haughty British accent, "Everybody uses everybody, don’t they?"), and he goes to see his long-suffering girlfriend, played by a woman who should have been a way bigger star, Cynthia Rhodes. Yep, Pa, they even had that one on the YouTube:
I wish I could accurately recall the number of times I sang this song when I was 16, deluding myself with all of my heart that I sounded pretty much exactly like her. Sigh. I even did the hand reaching out thing, just like her.
Cynthia didn’t do so badly in the end. She got Tony back (reaffirming for me that nice girls eventually won out in the end and that I too, would one day find true love), and later went on to marry Richard Marx (and star in his video) and have babies and live happily ever after.
And here’s the point of my post today: I can’t get anything done thanks to my ever-expanding technologies. Case in point: