Remember Michael Vick’s fighting dogs? When police raided his property, they took 51 dogs from the kennels. In many ways, it may have been a blessing for pit bulls. Vick and the his southern gangsta downlow hillbilly homeboys screwed them over and there was no reason to think the authorities would do the dogs any favors either. Of the 51 mangled and ‘menacing’ dogs taken from the property, 47 were deemed worthy of yet another chance at having a decent life. And they were more than just rehabilitated. Most are in happy homes. And a few have even become therapy dogs, which is harder than getting a high school diploma and proves they have a higher IQ than hillbilly Michael Vick.
But on to the subject of this post. People seem to think that Vick’s dogs, Cesar Milan, and that LP with the show on Animal Planet are going to overhaul the reputation of these dogs. But NOTHING could change the perception of these dogs on a significant scale like a glossy animated movie – Pixar or Dreamworks-style – out of Hollywood. Imagine the cute animated pit bull puppy named Chromeo, voiced by Will Smith, confused about why everyone is scared of him. Sitting at the pound, he wonders why all the families are adopting these seemingly dumb dogs he is surrounded by. One progressive young family (likely from Park Slope) takes a chance on him. They encounter danger of some sort. He uses his superior intelligence and Will Smith personality to save the family and win the love of the community. Kids and families across America are rescuing pit bulls by the minute and chihuahuahs become extinct.
If Hollywood can turn out the stars that they do on a regular basis, they can do something for more intelligent creatures. Steven Speilberg has single-handedly ruined sharks, made people beg for squishy aliens to come back to earth, and somehow made the most boring profession on earth (archaeology) seem like the most adventurous. He could work wonders for these deserving dudes.
Yesterday would have been my Dad’s 61st birthday. I wanted to share something on my blog to recognize his birthday. But as the day came to an end, I had yet to post anything. I found myself channel surfing late last night. And there it was – a video for a song from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon on VH1 Classic. It was my reminder. The trippy video instantly took me back to a pretty hilarious evening one night at the Wells house.
Some friends and I had been out skating. When we got to my house, my Mom, a few neighbors and my skater friends hung outside in the front yard to chat. My parents and friends were cool that way. In somewhat normal fashion, you could hear exceptionally loud music rattling the front windows of my house. Rattling them! But it was really nothing new. My dad could rock a Fox & Jacobs suburban home like it was a concert ampitheater. It was Dad and my Uncle Chip rocking out on my Dad’s beloved home stereo. I walked in to get something to drink.
Upon entering, I found my Dad and Chip jamming. Loud. I grabbed a drink and sat on the fireplace to catch up. They switched CDs, and ended up with Dark Side of the Moon. The song Time, starts off with insanely loud bells, ringing, loud enough to make you squint your eyes. As the song starts to build, my Dad advises with 100% seriousness… “Robby, listen to the words. Just listen to the words.”
My uncle, with his eyes closed, shaking his head left to right – also with 100% seriousness – says “So true. So true.” And the song begins:
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today
And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun
And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to nought
Or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desparation is the English way
The time is gone
The song is over
Thought I’d something more to say
Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells
I feel I should let the lyrics speak at this point. Click to play the video above, then read along with the lyrics. I think in some way, somewhat subconsciously, I took my Dad’s advice. I listened. Roughly 7-minutes of music coupled with short and simple piece of advice and endorsement from my much-loved uncle. To this day, I cannot crank up a stereo without thinking of my Dad. What a fuckin’ awesome way to be remembered. Fatherhood at its best.