Wednesday, April 18, 2012

For now Dick Clark, so long

You will be missed.  I never knew a world that didn't have Dick Clark somewhere on a television screen. He was part of the generation that, for good or ill, set in motion the world in which we live; that generation that defined the priorities of the next five or more generations.  I'm just old enough to remember the waning days of Guy Lombardo, who would soon be replaced - much to my parents' chagrin - with young, charismtic and perptually smiling Dick Clark.  By the late 70s, he was the face of each New Year. 
Later, in addition to countless television hosting duties, he ushured in new entertainment experiments, such as a television show based on bloopers and sometimes practical jokes whose authenticity were, shall we say, suspect at best.  Of course, nothing ever matched American Bandstand, the icon of an era and the show that overwhelmed any other in its ability to bring the sex, drugs, and rock and roll culture into America's living rooms, at least before the dawning of MTV.

Nonetheless, Dick Clark himself seemed strangely above it all. I don't know anyone who in any way blamed him for any part of the cultural decay wrought by that generation of narcissists and hedonists.  Whether it was his charm, his eternal youthfulness, or just the fact that he came across as a likable fellow, he lived and breathed in the eye of the cultural hurricane, yet emerged unscathed with dry clothes and perfect hair. 

When the world first beheld him after his stroke, it was difficult to see.  For me, his declining health mirrored my own Dad's descent into the abyss of Alzheimer's.  As each New Year's passed, it became clear that his time with us was growing short.  Still, when you finally hear the news, it's tough.  A person who was as much a part of the societal landscape as the golden arches or the Twin Towers has left us.  I hope his family finds solace in the best parts of all he did, and pride in his ability to bring humanity to a cultural revolution that all too often stripped the more noble and pure aspects away from human nature.  May God grant them peace during this time of suffering.  And eternal peace grant unto him O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him.

Dick Clark.  November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know your thoughts