A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Monday, November 19, 2007

Nostalgic Tears for the Zoo, Butch and Sundance, and Shrimp

Males are, as a societal expectation, not supposed to show emotions. Despite this restrictive constraint on our psychological well being, many of us do from time to time allow our eyes to “well up” or get teary or misty-eyed over some sort of sentimental moment or object. As we approach the holidays, these moments will become more numerous and possibly overwhelming.

One such time for me recently was the marking of John DeBella’s 25th anniversary of radio broadcasting in the Philadelphia market. In the early days here, his show was called The Morning Zoo. It was a wild and wonderful show with outrageous comedy bits and songs. He prefers to leave that past behind now, but on his anniversary he will treat his listeners to snippets of those old days. The nostalgia and sentiment over-powered me when I heard Roscoe Hollins' Stick Out Your Can, the national wake-up song (i.e., Monty Python’s Sit On My Face), and Nikki Hoi by Flo and Eddie.

I realize that this is a rather strange set of aural cues that aroused my tear ducts, but each one brought back good memories when I didn’t have as much as I do now (house, financial responsibilities). Still, it wasn’t a “simpler time” as many people would call it. Ronald Reagan was in the White House, most of us were reeling from the loss of a Beatle, and a new disease (AIDS) was spreading at an alarming rate. We can each pick and choose what memories we want to bring up regardless if the times were good or bad for us personally. For me, the Morning Zoo was a bright spot in my life at that time and I will always be grateful that it aired when it did.

Oh, there are other things that can make me misty-eyed. For one thing, I can see a story on the news about a young child being reunited with their parent who made it home from Iraq in one piece, or a pet finding a new home and I start sniffling. These events fit the traditional area of getting sentimental. Many of my blog readers might guess that I get teary-eyed whenever I open a new bottle of ketchup, or see peel 'n eat shrimp piled high on a buffet. This would be a correct assumption, although I’ll admit that these are both non-traditional scenarios bordering on the weird. So be it! You have your sentimental priorities and I have mine.

Then there is the case of my brother, who claims that he cries at the ending of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. I hope he’s kidding me, but Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? It’s certainly no Casablanca, but come on, let’s be reasonable here. I realize that we’re expected to root them on as they elude the authorities and they’re presented as likeable characters, but there’s still justice to be carried out, society must be protected and all those other long-arm-of-the-law cliches! Butch and Sundance have to die at the end. What kind of message would it send to young people if they were allowed to ride off into the sunset unscathed?

I’ll tell you the message this ending would send: this is real life. It’s true, children; many times the villains do not pay the price for their crimes. Case in point: Bill Clinton was impeached and saw his legacy dragged through the mud when he lied about a sexual dalliance. The next administration lied about weapons of mass destruction to get us into a futile war and Congress isn’t even batting an eye. Now this realization is enough to make me cry.


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