Friday, July 24, 2009
So, what did you think of Katie Holmes version of Get Happy on So You Think You Can Dance?
Whatever you may think of the performance, and I thought it a bit thin; I have to give her and the other SYTYCD team: Nigel Lythgoe, Adam Shankman, & Carrie Anne Inaba (Dancing With the Stars judge & former SYTYCD contestant) props for forming the Dizzy Feet Foundation.
The foundation's purpose is to provide support and improve access to dance education in the US. I can only hope that the Canadian version of the show does something similar when it airs next month.
I love dance because it transcends both language and gravity. It celebrates the human form and reflects its soul. Arts funding cuts have robbed our children of the ability to dance, to sing, to paint and to interpret through art, their voice and their place in the world.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I like the way Best Buy has embraced and really understood the potential of social media as a way of communicating with customers.
This is an interesting one: consumer electronics retailer Best Buy is encouraging hundreds of employees to handle online customer service and company promotions via Twitter, even airing commercials not mentioning their own website but merely the URL of the profile they created on the micro-sharing service (two spots embedded below). The new service, dubbed Twelpforce, was debuted over the weekend but so far hasn’t garnered a lot of online buzz, let alone followers on Twitter (currently at around 1350). I’m sure that will change soon enough.
Fantastic or spamtastic?
If the response is friendly, personal and not clearly coming from someone interested only in trying to make a sale rather than being proactive about giving knowledgeable advice, I wouldn’t mind to be contacted by Best Buy employees on Twitter at all. Judging by the public stream of tweets, I’d say that this is exactly what they are doing, so kudos to them and Best Buy for thinking differently about online customer service.
Monday, July 20, 2009
For awhile there, I thought I was in the land that summer forgot. Then pow, like an old Frankie and Annette movie I was day dreamin' of my youth spent at Parlee Beach in Shediac NB.
My uncle Archie would drive a bunch of us to Parlee in his truck (for .25$, he was an entrepreneur)and on the way there, we would sing all along with someone's transitor radio: "Bye bye love, bye, bye happiness....I think I'm gonna cry-eye, bye bye my love goodbye-eye"
I had a huge crush on Annette Funicello since I first saw her on the Micky Mouse Club. Who would have thought years later, that same club would give us Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
Annette was beautiful, kind and approachable. Her tinny voice only made her cuter and far less threatening than Ann Margaret who, while totally beautiful, was way too much of a sex kitten for this confused teenager. No, Annette was the sort of girl next door that one could imagine falling in love with and for whom white picket fences were invented.
I grew up on Lewis Street in Moncton in the fifties and sixties. The only fences we saw were the ones selling stolen hubcaps in the RCMP parking lot. And the only girls next door were named Dot'n Dash and Blondie who had the ingenuous method of soliciting Johns by jumping on their car hoods as they slowed down for the stop sign at Main Street.
Yep, those summers spent at the Capitol Theatre watching Beach Party movies then acting them out at Parlee Beach was what summer was all about.
Clam bake, anyone?
Sunday, July 19, 2009
2007 was a celebration of Expo ’67 and the summer of love. Sgt. Peppers was playing everywhere again. Last year, 2008, there was much chattering about of the student uprisings in Paris and the racial riots that took place throughout the United States following the assassination of Martin Luther King.
I entered 1969 as a 17 yr old whose world orbited the gravitational pull of sixties pop culture. I sat in front of the TV each Sunday hoping for a glimpse of Diana Ross on the Ed Sullivan Show; and failing that settling for any performance that wasn’t a juggling act or an opera singer. I especially liked the Broadway Musical excerpts! Duh!
The decade opened with hope as JFK gave us the dream and vision to land a man on the moon. Remember, this was before internet, and Express Vu satellites. By decade’s end, that dream was realized and tomorrow we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11’s lunar landing and the first utterance of the words:
"That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind"
Reeling from the horrific year before that was a non ending series of assassinations, riots and war, it was hoped that 1969 would offer a respite. It started precariously however with Nixon taking the oath of office in January and ended with an attempt to create a west coast version of Woodstock at the Altamont Speedway Free Festival. Immortalized in the film “Gimme Shelter”, this festival that was headlined and organized by the Rolling Stones effectively put an end to the “hippie” generation's ideals of "love, peace and rock 'n roll".
In between, we had the launching of the “Official Languages Act” and decriminalization of Homosexuality in Canada, the Stonewall riots and the start of the Gay Liberation movement in the US. We had the splitting up of the Beatles and Diana Ross and the Supremes (the latter being just as newsworthy for me – at the time)
I remember the buzz of Woodstock and met many, many people who had claimed to be there. I didn’t realize it then, but that was to be the last dance of the swinging sixties. The Manson murders, happening as they did the same month, cast a shadow over the love and peace generation that made it pretty well impossible for it to ever see the light again. In spite of the rise of bubblegum music and the promise of the Age of Aquarius, the sixties had effectively died when Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King took their last breath the year before. After that, it was like someone came in, turned on the lights and announced that the party was over, everybody go home.
I remember, at the time feeling exhausted and being anxious for the next decade to begin - little did I know…