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for February 5, 2003

Recognizing Your Shadow
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

By now everyone on Earth has heard the terrible news: the Space Shuttle Columbia was lost Saturday morning 16 minutes before landing. Millions stared at news channels for heart-wrenching NASA press conference, hoping to hear that somehow the story ended differently the next go-round and maybe the astronauts took some surreal detour. Some of the coverage was genuinely affecting. With NASA nearly mute with grief, some broadcasters turned to the wildest, most alarmist speculation imaginable. A few reports, appallingly close to an angry-mob-storms-the-castle-with-pitchforks mentality, focused on disgraceful, unsubstantiated assertions of terrorist involvement. One report went so inexcusably far as to say authorities suspected Iraqi involvement.
Listen. If the Iraqis were so powerful they could bring down the Space Shuttle you could bet your last gold-plated Sacagawea they would've figured out the way to really take down America was through creative infomercial products. Like Billy Mays, who will someday be your cheerful Lord & Master. More than this: it is impossible to walk around imagining you're the biggest, baddest thing on the block while sucking your thumb and whining to Mama. When we permit fear to dictate our behavior, we're acting like - dare we say it? - pussies. Cowering does not honor our heroes. So, Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love and her compadres did the silliest, most vital thing available. We went to the karaoke bar.
Several hours, refreshing beverages and 42 singers later, we'd heard a few - uh - interesting interpretations, a fair number of exciting vocals and one pass at Air Supply's All Out of Love. It was a song no one needed to hear again, performed by a gal who seldom wandered near the melody. That may've been the longest three weeks of my life, but stranger than this was someone's choice of Quarterflash's Harden My Heart. Quarterflash, should the memory elude you, was hyped because singer Rindy Ross played the saxophone. Apparently, women didn't blow things that year, so this was big news. Though Your Delight can't be bothered to remember the names of her disarmingly attractive blood relations, she remembers all the words to Harden My Heart, which came out when Your Delight was but a wee punk rock poulet. Galling! In this company also were heard these words, in this order: "That's it. I gotta listen to all my Pat Benatar records."
The next day, Groundhog Day and an enticing pagan holiday to boot, WNJN, New Brunswick's PBS station, ran a Brian Setzer Orchestra concert from Japan, and Sally Ride remained poised through a difficult time at the Sally Ride Science Festival, and the Discovery Channel ran a HILARIOUS show about a true darkhorse fun candidate lawnmower racing. The good news is Americans are as scrappy as strip mall seagulls in search of a drink, and proof may be seen everywhere, despite the sudden, terrifying announcement of Celine Dion Parfums. But maybe - just maybe - courage can be seen in the perfectly timed cancellation of icky Dawson's Creek. At last!

©2003 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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