Maybe in my next life, right? It was February of '97, 50 years later, that Kate began inserting entries of her own on blank pages between Donna's scribblings.
The diary began taking on a new life! I found this diary at their house in Beverly Hills. It belonged to Donna Wood before she passed away. Today is my old flame Brad Boyers' birthday. Boy was I crazy about him. Knew him at Salem College in West Virginia. Hard to believe that this day marks almost 19 years after my father died incommitting suicide by swallowing pills and vodka. We came home to find the phone off the hook and my father lying on his bed dressed in full tuxedo.
He'd had it all planned out even to the last detail, leaving lengthy, amorous, 'at-peace-with-himself' notes to each of us, including the family attorney. August 15, Today is the birthday of me, Katie, plus the anniversary of when I met P. Well, today is my 35th. They gave me a cake and flowers at work, only after an agent over at William Morris Agency sent me flowers.
Then, the Film Beat staff reporters got me flowers, as a cake was rolled out into the newsroom, and I found out later that a girl working at my job had said some things.
She was mad because she had to pick up the cake. Robert in the library told me via E-mail messages on my computer where I work as an Editorial Assistant.
In '47 my mother was sick with polio in Brooklyn, NY. She told me that on her birthday she heard all the nurses and doctors singing Happy Birthday day from the dining room. She was so ill! My mother was 16 years old then! Donna Wood died, my mother lived. It's P. He never was very nostalgic or sentimental, at least not like Donna or Gloria Wood and their husbands - both named Lee!
Sad at times, lost moments, unfelt feelings. This is Kate Siegel writing. That's right, my boyfriend Philip John! He's in Palm Springs right now doing a job for one of my mother's friends - Hope Holiday.
It's nice space for me spending more time alone. Came home from work, settled in, cooked a nice little dinner, watched t. At least P. For some strange reason I've been thinking about when I was in second grade, hanging out with Roland Dubilier, this German kid who moved back there in Never saw him again. Now, to this day, I wonder about him. Found Roland and now we correspond almost daily. He lives in Cologne and is a landscaper, married with two autistic kids.
Right now he's vacationing on the North Sea. There were more of Donna's Entries in some dates, so that Kate could not write in there. They were dated a year before her death. April 14th, Today is my birthday.
It's Lee's day off. Going to Big Bear for a 1 week honeymoon. Lee and I alone at Castaways Hotel for 3 to 5 days! We'll celebrate my birthday there. Went to pick up Mom, Dad and Gloria. Ended at Websters and had porter house steak. They did too. Mine was tender and theirs were tough. Got a cake for my birthday. I opened my presents from everyone. Gloria got me some Blue gloves and a table cloth with matching napkins and two cards and then we had coffee.
Lately I've been feeling a bit tired. I did lose 4 pounds, and have been taking those diet wonder pills everyone in Hollywood has been raving about. But now that I've lost that weight, I stopped taking them, and have been feeling poorly, especially in the morning.
Lee has been disappointed more than once lately because I've not felt like making love, nor have the strength for it of late. I've been falling into deep sleeps with no dreaming, and I think maybe I'll go see the specialist again. A few weeks later, Kate actually found Gloria Wood's diaries in a bedroom drawer, datedand they were a bit more descriptive due to her old age. She talks candidly about health problems and bowel movement schedules. It was amazing to have found both sister's scribblings.
The next items the couple found were reel to reels of Gloria's commercials on radio and TV. It was eerie listening to them on the two-track recorder she used in the 's.
It brought them back to a time when cars, cigarettes and beer were the exciting rages of the day! Limpet,' starring Don Knotts. At that moment Kate was going through the older man's mail. It's amazing, Lee," said Kate, picking up one particular check from Warner Bros. She even sang the voice of the little boy Lucille ball sang with in "Mame", the motion picture. Katie was amazed.
Glo did a backgrounds for one of the twins in the Parent Trap, and even babysat for Mike Douglas' talk show host twins, because of her association with that particular movie.
Blackballing would come much later for Gloria. She even sang the 'Grow, grow, grow' little boy voice her latest bread commercial. What a voice she had.
Too bad she broke tradition by singing other sponsor's jingles. Another barrage of unfortunate incidents happened to Glo in, and — she broke her foot on those three separate occasions, which spelled disaster for anyone with a Diabetes history like Glo was headed for.
Plus, falling down may have contributed to her weight problems she suffered around those times. Everyone was so happy and jovial, and it was all because of her, Gloria and Cousin Virginia! She was totally elated and didn't want the feeling to pass. Donna compared the feeling to the same way she felt when those waves came crashing against the shore.
Could it be exhilaration? Words weren't needed to express the pride they shared in creating such talented offspring. When all the children were put to bed, the couple retired to their large bedroom with the brass bed.
Nothing could have broken the spell that fell over them when they shut the big mahogany door. Gert sat in a large love seat brushing her hair, while Robert watched her from their bower, shirtless, only in his boxers.
Finally he got up and carried his wife over and tenderly laid her beneath him. They shut out the world, making quiet, intense love, never seeming to tire of each other's company or sharing of bodies. It was their closeness that kept things in order. After her adequate release, she began thinking that the last thing needed right now was another child. She'd bore 4 already and who knew how long the Depression would last.
But once they were making love, her mind did little to quell the desire and passion behind the act. But all of a sudden, her husband, as if knowing, pulled out and released beyond the reach of those magical eggs!
Gert sighed with relief and fulfillment and drew him closer to nuzzle on her breasts. They washed and retired for the evening, never noticing Donna up and about in the house as they soon fell fast asleep in each other's arms after quietly enjoying some afterplay. Donna crept into their bedroom watching them closely.
She had a dream LP) was a little spooked by its clarity. But when she saw her parents sleeping so tenderly, the girl didn't have the heart to wake them. It was about time she dealt with her visions on a mature level.
Enough with the baby stuff already! If she wanted to be treated as an adult, and she could most certainly sing like one, then she must act like one. It would take a lot of pretending that she was in control of herself, not afraid, but she was going to be an actress anyway, so what the heck, good practice. Donna crept back out, checking on her sister again for the third time that evening. She got a strange satisfaction from doing it, a certain motherly flutter. Gloria was, of course, fast asleep, as were her two brothers.
Chandler stirred ever so slightly when Donna lightly blew on his face, but Slumberland seemed to tug harder. Donna loved when the house was quiet and still. At that moment a mournful train whistle sounded in the distance.
Donna especially loved the sound of the train. It made her yearn for wide-open country, chugging along. She walked through the entire place noticing things for the very first time, and imagining she was someone else looking in on her family after they were sleeping or buried forever, which brought attention back to the dream.
There's a colorful field, a girl with curly hair bent down looking at some graves. Donna came closer and saw it was her family's name on the plots. She even recognized her father's nickname "Woodie" etched in the stone, and her mother's nickname 'Ma' It was scary to look upon her own and something held her back from gazing at it in the dream. Frustration came next. She's screaming and yelling, and suddenly wakes up afraid, because it's not normal, but rather a foreshadowing of images of things to come.
Was she talking to that strange inner voice? Definitely not run-of-the-mill kid dreams, that's for sure.
Her friends at school never dreamt like that, nor were theirs as vividly prolific. She tried sharing some of the dreams with her school chums, but they didn't take to it, usually brushing it off.
Even Virginia shied away from such talk about Donna Wood's eerie dreams. Still not being able to sleep, Donna went to the living room and pulled out the family Bible, which she began reading on the large, comfortable sofa. After the Tower of Babel fell, the young girl flipped to the plight of Joseph when he was in Egypt and interpreted Pharaoh's dreams. Finally, Donna fell asleep comforted by Gideon's.
A few hours later Robert Sr. On his way in he spotted his daughter sleeping with the Bible beside her open to The Old Testament. She stirred then, but turned over on the plush colonial couch. He went to the closet and pulled out a flannel blanket, gently covering His Girl, kissing her lightly on the forehead.
On his way back he put the hall light on the lowest dimmer so his daughter could find her way to the bathroom. And also to fight off any lingering bad dreams. Oh, how he hated those blasted nightmares. The doctor's could only say that it was something Donna might grow out of.
If it were treated as a disorder, they'd give her medication to calm her at night. Robert couldn't allow it, and neither would Gert. It would most probably render their Donna of her loving, talented spirit that drove their oldest, plus, how would it effect her performance and singing career?
No Laudanum for My Girl. God must have had some reason for her to be that way. As Robert climbed the stairs, thoughts of his daughter's dreaming troubled him. The Thrill - Jackie Gleason - Lovers Portfolio (Vinyl condition could not be ignored, so the Woods turned to God and their faith to heal their daughter, and get them through the crisis. He prayed she would be okay, and asked God to give them all strength. He also prayed not to favor one child over another, promising to do more with his boys, especially his oldest.
After looking in on his Boys, he returned to the bedroom and closed the door quietly behind him. Gert, as he surmised, was wide-awake, looking at him, knowing his exact thoughts. She's 14 and old enough now to understand that we won't tolerate that sort of behavior of sneaking around the house poking noses into business best left in private any longer. When the door is closed it should remain so," said Gert. We've let her get into a bad habit of depending on our strength, when it was time for the girl to draw from her own," agreed Robert, fluffing his pillows and lying down.
Soon a beautiful morning rose bright and clear, birds singing, sunshine trickling in Donna's room. She had went back upstairs around a. The same bluebird landed on her windowsill every morning. She became used to remaining as still as possible, for that creature was so alert and timid that even though the window was closed, he flew away when she looked up quickly.
Soon Donna was up and playing the Songbird herself, humming one of the songs from Uncle Eric's show. The cheerful girl washed then dressed in a simple blue-print calico dress and button down shoes. After fixing her hair and adding a touch of powder to her cheeks, a dash of perfume, Donna went downstairs to breakfast, her family already seated at the dining room table. Gert was serving eggs with bacon and motioned for her daughter to sit. There was fresh squeezed orange juice, a tall glass of cold milk, buttered toast and jelly.
Donna chewed on a piece of toast and sipped her orange juice, wanting so very badly to taste Dad's coffee. It smelled so wonderful. She would try it one day. Once served, she began eating as conversation drifted to the prospective day ahead. Bob and Chandler were going to the lake to swim and do some boating. Gert was taking little Gloria, who sat across from Chandler eating oatmeal, for a haircut.
So that left Donna to take pictures with Grandpa's camera. In fact, Grandpa was visiting and would love nothing more than to go on a photo excursion with his son-in-law, Shutter-Bug Wood and granddaughter around the same property he courted his now deceased wife, Constance.
Bob sat at the table finishing his country breakfast, wanting so badly to race to the lake where he could be outside. The oldest boy relished the outdoors so much, that he'd always wished to be like the American Indians. There were some left too! He read about it in an outdoors magazine put out by the Sierra Club. Maybe not around here, but they're still out West, which is where the boy had his sights set. The oldest son watched his father fiddle with his latest film gadget.
As far back as Bob could remember crawling, he recalled how his father was so bug-eyed about cameras. They still had Grandpa's outdated camera from !
He wasn't a performer, just didn't sing that well, and he'd accepted it. But once in awhile it would have been nice if Mom and Dad paid him as much attention in their hobbies as they were doing for their sister's talents and Channie's interest in a singing career. Bob found himself turning to other family relatives for that support.
His Aunt Stella had been telling him to follow his dream to be a forest ranger, just like Donna and Gloria were doing with their singing and performing. He stared long and hard at his sister Donna sitting across from him picking at her food.
She should eat more, that he knew. Once he'd overheard a conversation his parents were having about Donna's dreaming. She was so different from the girls he knew at school.
Sometimes he felt a cross between jealously and sadness for his sister, but they got a long very well. She seemed to favor Channie though. He'd noticed when she came into their bedroom in the middle of the night sometimes. He feigned sleep most times, just to observe her. After breakfast everyone started their day.
Gert and Robert took Donna aside and explained about the privacy act that was now in effect. And no more getting up at night and roaming around," added her father sternly. Take the Bible with you to keep at night. She loved sleeping in her parent's bed, loved the smell, the comfort, the security of lying between them, the enjoyment of their conversations and discussions that sometimes drifted far into the night as she fell asleep again.
The girl would sorely miss that. Although she thought her parents a trite harsh, Donna seemed to understand their reasoning, and from then on would respect their wishes. She would adhere and have that acting strength because one day Donna Wood was going to be a famous movie star, that she was sure of.
She was also sure her parents were sure. She had fallen asleep during history class. When the teacher tried to wake her, she began screaming. They said she was zonked when some boys carried her to the nurse's office. Her parents were called and came right away. Gert was at a radio rehearsal and Robert in a board meeting, but they immediately sprung into action when both had received word of the nightmare in class.
They rushed to the school as Donna was just getting off the infirmary cot. She looked pale and drawn, but was stable and getting color back in her cheeks. Donna's face lit up when she spotted her parents racing up the steps. She was scared, but knew this would happen due, of course, to yet another vivid vision of her future death. As soon as word spread in Arlington about Donna Wood, the congregation at their church began a hour prayer vigil, non-stop, all day and night.
Gert and Robert, as well as the entire Wood family attended services and sang in their daughter's behalf. By mid-week there was marked improvement in Donna, nothing short of a miracle. The pretty, bright-eyed girl became much closer to God, and began studying His Word more intensely.
She attended Sunday school regularly, as well as mass and services, which made her dreams fade by the time she awoke. She began taking long slow walks on the property, even accompanying Bob to his favorite place, the lake, for a boating expedition. As Bob rowed rhythmically, both brother and sister enjoyed the quiet and solitude the lake lended.
They grew up there and were as comfortable as kittens in a litter. Donna was feeling much better, stronger and not so scared to sleep. She must have faith! Bob asked, "What do you see in those dreams? He was very curious. Donna tried to recall where her mind went after she slept, and explained that " The next I remembered was waking up in the future looking at my final resting place. Sometimes it's so scary and full of clarity," explained Donna easily.
But specifically Bob wanted to know such thing as - Did her spirit go out of her body? Did she go to heaven, but God said it wasn't time? Bob wondered. Donna knew the answer. But, also a strong faith in the Lord. Bob, I've grown to accept it for there was not much I can do except keep the faith, know God is alive within me, and try achieving the goals set for myself.
But still, similar questions nagged at her brain lately. It was becoming harder and harder to put them to the back of her mind and get on with the life she envisioned of stardom, singing and making movies, as opposed to making babies, or dying?!?! Something deep down inside Donna knew there was little time in her lifespan, so she started to learn acceptance of her fate. Let it take her where it will, she will fight tooth and nail! At the thought of making babies, she thought of the conversation with her parents and understood that it had something to do with a private intimacy between man and woman, something that was just dawning on her.
Virginia told her about having a crush on Todd, even admitting to exchanging kisses on that bird-walking hike. It had been a private thing between the couple. At the same time, Donna thought about her parents and how close they were. But why was love so hidden and private? Wouldn't their joy in each other be better out in the open? Why all the big secret fuss? She could understand not allowing the boys or Gloria in, but her? What had she done to get shut out, when in the past there were no problems with her sleeping in there?
It must have something to do with her age. She was almost 15 and would show them she could obey and respect their wishes. Kate picked various bundles of photos of the Wood family and pasted them on the stereo using special art glue that sealed the old photos into a smooth, clear surface.
But, before P. It was back to bed until the music started again. Sometimes Kate would have to sleep in the living room to make the music stop playing and to get away from PJ's snoring. It only happened on certain nights, then not for a long while, suddenly occurring again for no apparent reason.
The scientist in Katie told her that it was her own mind playing tricks, but she still loved a good haunting. It became a game to Katie, as she stopped trying to distinguish every sound, usually attributing it to the Woods.
It was when Kate found Donna Wood's bible she read and held close to her before dying 50 years before, that the woman felt another piece of the puzzle falling into place. As she turned the pages of the half-a-century-old Bible, a doctor's prescription fell out. It was dated April 6,two days before the young singer passed away. The paper was well preserved, modern-looking except for the 5-digit phone number of a medical office at Hollywood Boulevard.
You can barely read the signature of the physician, as well as what the medicine it was, which finally looked as if it may of been a form of hypo-Mercury that in those days they thought would stimulate the heart and kill any virus. In other words, they didn't really know what was wrong with Ms. Wood, and that's the sort of medication they doled out as a last resort!
It was hard to believe that still stood on the corner of Vine and Hollywood Blvd. She went in the building and up to the directory, scanning it, looking for Dr. Bilon, the name of the physician who last treated Donna. Since the albums release, D. We all want to recapture the moment when you first start playing music, he said.
Where youd sit in a garage and play the same song 10 times in a row and say, Wow! This is awesome, I cant believe I just created this! Having fun and enjoying our- selves is what this band is really all about. Dont make music if youre not having fun doing it. Being the band that ignores fans is such a shit cop out. Theres a lot of people at Warped; you have to work hard and play one of the most energetic sets so that people come out and watch.
You always have to connect with fans through appearances and au- tograph signings. The group has earned reviews from press outlets across the country for having a lively stage presence, and Owens said the band wont disappoint when it arrives Thursday.
Make sure you let everyone know to look for our set time on the big blow-up balloon. Whatev- er time were playing, early or late, do not miss us.
We havent played Scranton yet, and we are going to rock it to the fing ground. W Vans Warped Tour, Thurs. Info: vanswar- pedtour. Get hooked on these D. Craig Owens of D. Had an encounter with someone famous? If so, the Weekender wants your pictures for our Starstruck. It doesnt matter if it happened five months ago or five years ago. Send us your photo, your name, hometown, the celebrity you met, and when and where you met them, and well run one photo here each week. E-mail high resolution JPEGs to weekender theweekender.
Probably not, but the guy does veer incredibly close to genius at times. After all, it takes more than just mere talent to make that deranged, borderline psychotic, milksteak-loving weirdo he plays on Its Always Sunny In Phila- delphia not only funny, but likable. And Days natural ability to turn loathsome creeps into charming underdogs remains the greatest asset in Horrible Boss- es.
Who else could play a regis- tered sex offender his character was caught urinating in a play- ground after dark who contin- ually spurns the aggressive sex- ual advances of Jennifer Aniston who, incidentally, looks great in bangs and still remain the most sympathetic character in the movie? Answer: Don Knotts. But hes dead, so probably nobody. But to be fair, as funny as Day often is in the film, hes sur- rounded by an equally talented ensemble cast who all make Horrible Bosses far more in- teresting and amusing than it has any right to be.
Day, Saturday Night Lives Jason Sudeikis and Jason Bate- man star as three friends whose lives are complicated by their moderately evil bosses. Bateman has to deal with the vicious mind games of a sociopathic Kevin Spacey. Sudeikis is forced to carry out the cruel whims of a dimwitted Colin Farrell, and Day is being blackmailed into having sex with the perpetually horny Aniston. In this apocalyptic economy, quitting your job is no longer a viable option, so the trio decides to do the next best thing: Theyll murder their superiors.
But even under the helpful guid- ance of a murder consultant Jamie Foxxhomicide is never as easy as it looks, and it isnt long before the trios not-so-well- laid plans go awry.
Theres a casual indifference behind Horrible Bosses, almost as if director Seth Gordon turned the camera on, told his cast to just make shit up or whatever, and then wandered off the set for a smoke. The pacing is oddly slow, and the visually unappeal- ing camerawork makes it re- semble a bad FX-ready sitcom. Yet unlike Gordons previous film Four Christmases, which leaned heavily on gross-out gags and Vince Vaughns overbearing smarminess, the cast of Horrible Bosses are almost all skilled improvisers and have amazing chemistry together.
Apart from obvious standout Day, Sudeikis also earns plenty of laughs as a waspy, condescending dolt who at one point argues with Bateman over which of them would be more rape-able in prison.
But the films biggest shocker is Aniston. She charmingly plays her unhinged, skanky character as if she was the female lead in a romantic comedy. Its a strange but funny choice, and its always amusing to watch as she growls out her filthy dialogue in the sweetest most unassuming way possible. Unlike last months Bad Teacher, which practically strained itself to appear shocking and outrageous, Horrible Boss- es tackles its pitch-black subject matter with relative ease.
Perhaps a little too much ease because at times Horrible Bosses doesnt seem to be trying at all. Although a strong comedy, the film is far too improvisatory, loose and often lacks focus.
With the right director, Horrible Bosses could have been an instant classic, LP) instead its just one of the best comedies released this summer that isnt Bridesmaids. Think Lord Voldemort takes up tanning in this outing?
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is proud to present Win Place Show and offer the most thrilling live harness racing around. For info con- tact the director at Group rates available. For tickets, call box office. Tickets available online. Ages Theater games, rehearse scenes, learn the basics of acting. Kids interested in working behind the scenes also wel- come.
Children will perform July Call for reservations. Present- ed by Limelight Players. Actors, singers, musicians. Monologues appreciated, not required. Tunes appreciated for musicians. Be prepared to read from script. All roles except Macbeth. Advance purchase advised, can be made at theshawneeplayhouse. Meal, show, group packages available.
Light refreshments available. The show, which is presented by Masque Productions, is a look back at the music of the close harmony groups of the s, such as the Four Aces and the Four Freshmen. Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.
Forever Plaid is presented cabaret style, and audience members are encouraged to BYOB, mixers and snacks will be available. For reservations or info, call Major in a scene from the show.
Warped is a day that kicks a fans ass in plain terminology, and we all have our opinions on why we choose whether to attend. But what is it like for the bands, and what do they think of the tour? The Week- ender checked in with a fewWarped Tour veter- ans and virgins to find out what being on the tour is really like.
People get so bom- barded with electronic advertise- ments now. Warped is a great way to get rid of the Twitters and just interact with your fans on a per- sonal level, something you may not be able to do on other tours. You can actually shake their hand, look themin eye and say, Hey, thanks for buying my record. And that still means a lot to most people. Its hot very, very hot, and there are a lot more people. The people, though, is the best part.
We get to hang out with some of our best friends, and make newones. We get to barbecue with themevery night, and its just a good time. Its very hot and very dirty; there arent a lot of showers. You meet and gain so many newfans, though. Were lucky enough to do it on a bus, so for us its a chance to play in front of a ton of people and hang out with some of the best friends weve made over the years.
Its kind of a hope- ful time for us. There are no other tours that can be compared to this one. Its a hour-plus day in the sun, every single day. Everyone is hot and thirsty, and we all just kind of connect on a personal level. I think we made most of our fans on this tour based on that. Were suffering with them, then we got on stage, and they say, Hey, those are the people I was just complaining with for the last hour. We all just relate. People say its a punk-rock festiv- al, which is kind of true.
Its just a way to experience the best under- ground music. Were out here every day with some of the best current acts in the world, and were all undergoing the same circumstances.
We all just con- nect: Bands, fans, crew, every- one. Weerd Science Josh Eppard For me, Warped is a newway to interact with the newgener- ation of music lovers. Ive never done it before, so the whole expe- rience is just new. The days are what is killer, though. I wake up around 7 a. By the time the showends, and were packing up our gear, its 11at night. Then we sleep, and do it all over again.
Its a lot different fromyour standard four-hour-day club shows. Our biggest challenge is coming out every day and playing a bunch of songs no one has ever heard before.
We have to convince everyone that were worth know- ing. Were always up against someone huge, like the Simple Plans and Every Avenues, but at the same time, weve experienced a fewkids that come buy our CD even if they didnt get around to watching our set because their plan was to see one of those big- ger acts.
Something like that doesnt happen on other tours. Website hits, Facebook likes, Twitter followers, things like that continue to go up every day after we play a set and just proves that everything is worth it.
Not only are we selling more CDs and getting the word out the day of the show, but those people tell their friends, and it helps even more. You go in, and it kind of sucks at parts, but everyone is a lot happier once you come out on the other side.
I look forward to visiting all of the cities. I amexcited to be on the tour, but I ama little appre- hensive. I think its going to be difficult to do with so many peo- ple in one vehicle. But I do figure, if we get through this alive, we can get through anything as a band. Bring canned goods. Music by Norsewind until 1 p. Workshops on the hour, crafts, food, Harvest Ritual at 3 p. Stage show p. Public dance p. Proceeds benefit youth soccer, cultural programming.
For info, visit tryzub. Mountaintop Hose Company No. Food, games, prizes, drawings, more. Firemens Parade, Sat. New Merchandise Auction Sun. Games, prizes, food, baked goods, raffle, silent auction, free blood pressure screening. In- door flea market. Live entertainment. Live music, polka, food, raffles, face painting, more.
For tickets, call Food, beverages, live music, guest speak- ers, silent auction. Proceeds benefit National Scoliosis Foundation. Raffles, tricky trays, pony rides, more. Leaves a. For info, paigeceaser. Raffle tick- ets, music. Rain or shine. T-shirts for first 50 registered. To pre-register, call Benefit for Norma J. Sheri- dan Aug. Advance tickets available by calling Candys Place Call for info. Enter to win pesto competition. Locally grown, ethnic food. Cash prizes, raffles, herb-infused cocktails, cash bar.
Donations made out to Shalom CDC. For info, to enter competition, find Shalom Scranton on Facebook, call Dance in the No Bully Zone Aug. Noon-3 p. Seconds into the game, it was clear that had been a mistake on her part. While all the other little girls were out getting messy and running the bases, you could find me sitting down, perfectly content in the outfield picking flowers and putting them in my hair. Its safe to say not much has changed. Im still that girl who would rather pick flowers and put them in her hair than ever go anywhere near a softball.
When youre smaller, theres something about being outdoors and hav- ing flowers in your hair that makes you feel like you are no longer human, but a fairy prin- cess of sorts, friend of every creature big and small. Now, you can achieve a similar earthy vibe at any age with flower hair accessories. I know what youre probably thinking, floral for summer? But at the same time, its just the right thing to add to a sim- ple outfit thats perfect for this time of year when you want your style to be fresh and ef- fortless.
Going by hair length, girls with shorter hair should opt for smaller, daintier flowers, while the longer the length of hair, the bigger the flower you can usually pull off. Although, whether its hair clips or hair bands, one thing to keep in mind is that while real flowers are clearly not the best way to execute this trend, for obvious reasons, still be picky with synthetic options.
Just because they arent real doesnt mean they shouldnt look like you went off and picked them fresh from the garden yourself or in my case, the outfield. W Flowers in your hair are the perfect addition to summers simple styles. Must present coupon.
Not valid with ANY other offer. W Check us out online: www. For Matt Thiessen, the lead singer of Re- lient K, all of that is what makes this, the bands third year touring with Warped, worth the effort. Its just always fun to see where you fit in with the roster, he explained when he checked in with the Weekender recently from the tours stop in Pomona, Calif.
And then theres just the hippie, camping element of being dirty and sweaty and rock n roll, kind of communing with the kids that are there, too. The melting pot aspect of Warped Tour, which hits the Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain Thursday, July 14, appeals to Thiessen, and though Relient K fits into the general punk genre one associates with the tour, the band has also experi- enced success within the Chris- tian rock community.
But for Thiessen, labels dont matter. Were just glad that we get to be ourselves and people dont hate us, he said, laughing. Weve never really cared about what box people put us in.
Perhaps that approach is what has made the band, which Thies- sen founded with guitarist Matt Hoopes in and features John Warne on bass, Ethan Luck on drums and Jon Schneck on guitars, such a success.
The decidedly earnest music is anoth- er factor that keeps fans coming back for more. I tend to write a lot about personal experience, Thiessen explained. And I wear my heart on my sleeve a little bit, some- times too much. He added that the band is hoping to get back into the studio in November to start recording some new songs, including some that are less about real-life and more about telling a fictional story. Until then, fans have K is for Karaoke to pore over, which features covers of songs by ev- eryone from Cyndi Lauper to Justin Bieber, and a follow-up cover album featuring Thiessens personal favorite, Motorcycle Drive By by Third Eye Blind, will likely be released in the fall.
The band has always had the idea of doing a compilation of covers on the back burner, espe- cially after seeing some of its biggest influences, like MxPx and New Found Glory, do the same. Weve been playing cover songs for 11 years, changing them up every tour, but we never actually tracked any of them, so this was a good oppor- tunity for us to do that, Thiessen said.
He also explained that over the course of those 11 years, the bands sound has been influenced by the process of growing up and maturing more than anything else. Every year that goes by, you educate yourself a little more, he said. You get into new artists or even classic artists. Im more in tune with Paul Simon than Ive ever been in my life, and I feel like that cant be a bad thing for my songwriting.
And stuff like that happens as you just grow older and, hopefully, more in- telligent. Matt Thiessen of Relient K W hen most people think of the Vans Warped Tour, they think of it as a festiv- al for skateboarders and punk- music fans. Its not a wrong as- sumption, but theres much more to it than just those things. Take The Aggrolites, for exam- ple.
What Ive always loved about it and respected is how founder Kevin Lyman throws a lot of dif- ferent kinds of acts for a lot of people to see, Wagner said, checking in with the Weekender last week fromthe tours Indiana stop.
When you come, youre coming to watch these bands that you know, but at the same time, you can always somehowstumble across a band on a side stage and totally get into another whole genre of music.
Wagner sees two things happen when festivalgoers catch a set from The Aggrolites, who hit Scranton with Warped Thursday, July Its hit or miss, he shared. Sometimes kids are looking at us with a big deer-in-the-headlights face, sometimes kids get into it and start dancing to the music. It all depends on whos out there and whos open enough to appreciate it, and you know, not followthe herd. Wagner citedearly 70s reggae fromJamaica and the U.
Even the way the band released Rugged Road in Febru- ary is a little left: The albumwas originally formatted as five 45s. We always wanted to put out 45s because we play the kind of music where people collect vinyl, Wagner began, and we never had the opportunity to do it until now. Rugged Road eventually became a song CD, though the band never wanted to call it an album.
We had to put it on CDbecause obviously 45s are a lot harder to push on tour and are a lot more expensive to press, Wagner add- ed.
The Aggrolites influences also played a part in its name, as ag- gro was a popular termfor the U. It was really used by a lot of those bands like The Aggrova- tors, Wagner explained. It was just howthe beatniks would say boss or daddy-o.
Lites fromthe 60s bands like The Chi-Lites or The Crystallites, so it just fit per- fectly with what we were influen- ced by. And its really funny because people in the U. Aggrolites not part of herd By Nikki M. Stout Free lunch, walker information pro- vided.
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Post- event party, Banks Cafeteria. Bene- fits Help Line. Celebration of local musicians, community members, women while raising awareness about domestic violence. Must register 18 holes, cart, door prizes for all players, awards dinner.
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Leaves New York for dinner in New Jersey at p. Includes McQueen exhibit at The Met, a visit to his shop and more. Call or e-mail for reservations.
Clambake July 23, 10 a. Sponsorships available to members, suppliers. Dietrich Theater 60 E. Tioga Street, Tunkhannock, Explore the medium of clay.
Space limited. Quilting for Kids: Wed. Things in the Sky: July 13, 20, 27; Agesa. Jammin in a Jugband: July22, a. Create music with homemade instruments. Stu- dents may perform at Celebrate Our River Day. Mask Making Camp: Julyp. Jammin in a Jugband: July22, p. Students may perform at Celebrate Our River Day. Quilting: Wed.
Learn early-American quilting techniques to make double pinwheel quilt. All materials provided, call to register. Pre-registration required. Knit a Mobius Scarf: July 14, 28, 7 p. Beginners wel- come, materials provided. Pottery and Sculpture: July 18, 25, Aug. All materi- als provided, all levels of experience. This overall approach to television genre analysis—examining genres as clusters of discursive processes running through texts, audiences, and Jason Mittell 59 industries via specific cultural practices—places genre analysis back onto the agenda of critical media studies.
The traditional scholarly practices of analyzing generic texts will not—and should not—simply disappear. Much has been gained by all these prior methodological and theoretical approaches, ranging from more careful formal understandings of horror narratives to critiques of the structures underlying the typical Western film.
By first examining genres as cultural categories, unpacking the processes of definition, interpretation, and evaluation that constitute these categories in our everyday experiences with media, we can arrive at a clearer and more comprehensive understanding of how genres work to shape our media experiences, how media work to shape our social realities, and how generic categories can then be used to ground our study of media texts. This is not true for all approaches to genre.
Certainly this type of political question motivated many ideological and structuralist accounts of film and television genres. Nonetheless, contemporary media studies has shifted toward more specific accounts of power and away from the broad macro-examinations that typify structuralism.
Robert C. In Genre and Television: From Cop Shows to Cartoons in American Culture New York: Routledge,I trace out the major trends in genre theory, consider some of the more subtle nuances and theoretical implications of my approach, and offer a number of case studies to put my theory into practice.
Cawelti, The Six-Gun Mystique, 2nd ed. Note that some of these critical schools do not examine texts solely for meanings. This is especially true of cultural studies, the paradigm that I wish to foreground in my own approach to genre. However, some cultural studies work does pose core meanings to genres, even as it denies the intrinsic and textual basis of these meanings.
Literary scholar E. Hirsch Jr. New York: Routledge,85— Another example is Leah R. Vande Berg, Lawrence A. Wenner, and Bruce E.
Gronbeck, eds. While this division may seem useful, I argue that this false internal-external binary leads us away from how genres operate within cultural contexts. For another example, see Mumford, Love and Ideology in the Afternoon, 17— This mode of analysis is typical of nearly all the approaches to genre described earlier in the chapter. Altman suggests that traditionally genres have been viewed as equal to the corpus that they seem to identify and that this corpus is defined by a common structure and topic.
Stuart Hall et al. While Tudor does not offer a fully realized model for this analysis, he keenly points out that attempts to analyze genre texts are not effective ways to examine genres themselves but rather just another mode of textual analysis. Robert Hurley, vol. Colin Gordon New York: Pantheon, There is an obvious if misleading parallel between the three modes of discursive practice for genres definition, interpretation, and evaluation and the three models of genre theory typified at the beginning of this chapter definition, interpretation, and history.
I do not mean to equate these trios through this parallel. While certainly there are more popular modes of generic historicization and scholarly modes of evaluation, historical approaches are an academic model that do not have an equal in the general cultural practices; in addition, evaluative practices are much more important in everyday discourse than in scholarly research.
Thus, when I discuss these discursive practices throughout the rest of this chapter, I am not suggesting that they are equivalent to the scholarly traditions outlined here. Psychological approaches primarily refer to either psychoanalytic or cognitive accounts of the pleasures found within genres. Barry K. Grant Metuchen, N. For examples of cognitive approaches to genre, see Carroll, Philosophy of Horror, especially chap. Carl Plantinga and Greg M.
Altman suggests that the representation of countercultural behavior and its eventual narrative recuperation is a defining feature of generic entertainment, an argument that I find too broad to be particularly convincing. Jason Mittell 63 MTV debuted inbut most commentators felt that this cable network did not have a significant impact until its debut on the Manhattan and Los Angeles cable systems in September See Lisa A.
See Schatz, Hollywood Genres, for an influential structuralist account of how Hollywood studios produce genres. Some similar film practices include differentiated film bills in the s and s, with separate newsreel, animation, A feature, and B feature slots, genredefined theaters such as art houses or porn theatersand generically delimited film festivals or screenings. Yet film genre analysis mostly ignores these issues, and any attempt to translate between these practices and television scheduling and channel delineation would need to be rethought significantly.
The exceptions to this difference include film series, such as Star Wars, but certainly television serializations are far more common than film ones. Rather, breadth must encompass the widest range of discourses and sites of genre operation as possible, all focused on a specific historical instance framing the genre study.
Richard Howard Ithaca, N. Such theoretical genre creation has been less common for television studies than for cinema, with few examples that seem to take hold as widespread generic terms. An attempt to pose a theoretical television genre that falls short is Nina C.
Leibman attempts to redefine the s domestic sitcom as family melodrama but in doing so neglects to account for the centrality of comedy and humor within both the texts and their cultural circulation.
Richard Nice Cambridge, Mass. I map out the talk show genre onto other cultural hierarchies in Genre and Television. Christopher Anderson 65 3 television networks and the uses of drama Christopher Anderson Once upon a time, when homes had antennas and the world was young, American television told stories. Certainly television bore witness to real events, bringing a distant world closer through news and documentaries or displaying the range of human emotion revealed in contests and performances, but mostly it told stories—created by writers, brought to life by actors and directors, dispensed in a reassuring rhythm of daily or weekly episodes.
Television drama began as fiction for the age of mass marketing, produced on a grand scale according to a few standard formulas, delivered as efficiently to a mass audience scattered across the continent as to a single viewer seated before the television set. It was in this context that television drama took form, its tendencies slowly becoming habit, its habits becoming a language shared by producers and audiences alike.
It was in this context that the fictional world of television drama became the domain of lawyers, cops, and doctors. The hour-long television drama series emerged and developed as a result of constitutive choices made during the first thirty-five years of American television, when the broadcast networks—CBS, NBC, and ABC—controlled more than 90 percent of the audience.
During this long period of stability, the institutions that made up the television industry—networks, affiliate stations, advertisers, and studios—hammered out a set of relationships that essentially defined the medium of television in the United States.
The constitutive choices made by these institutions served corporate interests first and foremost, but they also shaped the cultural experience of American television for generations. As gener65 66 Television Networks and the Uses of Drama ally happens with institutions, contingent decisions made to achieve particular economic or organizational goals took on weight and gravity with the passage of time, until they came to seem as natural, as inevitable, as the passing of the seasons.
For the networks in the years before cable there was little incentive to tinker with the status quo once it had been established. For viewers this meant that television was defined by program scarcity. Viewers could select only from the few choices made available by the networks. The experience of television was beyond the control of individual viewers, who had no option but to build their lives around network schedules. To watch a program you had to be in front of a TV set when it aired.
The hour-long drama series became a staple of television programming during the comfortable days of inertial viewing, when the audience was reliably anchored to the three networks. Television drama evolved in conditions that no longer exist. Successive waves of technological innovation have given viewers a greater selection of programming and more control over the viewing experience.
An entire generation has come of age with cable, home video, and video games. A new generation has added the Internet to the mix. Their tastes and viewing patterns, developed under radically different conditions, have replaced tuner inertia with tuner promiscuity—a restless awareness of the alternatives available at any moment.
As the television industry courts these viewers, American television is no longer primarily a medium for storytelling—or at least not for fiction. Because one-hour dramas are the most costly type of program to produce, television dramas face intense economic pressure while trying to compete for the attention of viewers who have a wider range of program choices than ever and no particular allegiance to the conventions of fictional drama series.
In fact, the audience for drama series is dispro- Christopher Anderson 67 portionately composed of viewers old enough to have developed their tastes before the era of cable and remote controls—not to mention video games and the Internet.
Young adults, the demographic group most desired by advertisers, have not shown an affinity for hour-long dramas.
Under these new conditions, in which drama series are no longer supported by the habitual viewing practices in which the genre evolved, what is the fate of television drama? What will happen to all those lawyers, cops, and doctors if viewers continue to discover other formats, such as reality TV, that provide the narrative satisfactions of a drama series at less cost to the networks?
Can television drama survive in these new conditions? These are the questions facing the television networks and studios as they contemplate the future of television drama. Abrams, creator of Alias — and Felicity — This program premiered on ABC in September Your television set is state-of-the-art HDTV: a whisper-thin, seventyinch plasma screen that virtually floats on air.
A surround-sound audio system envelops you in a three-dimensional soundscape. Your viewing conditions are magnificent. The screen may be a bit smaller, but by any other measure your home theater rivals that of the multiplex on the outskirts of town. With its obvious echoes of Survivor —Lost is the first drama to capture the narrative appeal of the reality TV series. Directed by Abrams himself, the pilot episode opened with a stunning sequence that surpassed any moment on the big screen this year for visual imagination and narrative audacity.
The episode begins with a cold opening—no titles or credits. An eye, filling the screen, blinks open. The camera cranes upward, revealing a man in a business suit Matthew Fox lying amid dense foliage on the jungle floor. He glances around, struggling to regain his senses.
Courtesy of Touchstone Television. A dog, a beautiful Labrador retriever, wanders past. Bruised and bleeding, the man pulls himself to his feet and staggers through bamboo, gnarled trees, and tall grass; the camera rushes alongside, attempting to hold him in close-up. The sound track becomes eerily quiet except for the sound of his labored breathing. As he steps out of the forest and looks ahead, the camera pans to reveal what he sees: an alluring white sand beach brushed gently by azure waves.
No viewer would be surprised if this turned out to be a dream sequence. The languorous pace and lush, yet disconcerting, images that open the sequence, sharpened by intensely subjective camera work and staccato editing, create an experience that is both vivid and perplexing.
These are familiar cues for a dream, and Abrams—who has been known to obscure the boundaries that separate memory, dream, and reality on Alias—enjoys playing with such expectations. If this were a dream, now would be the time for a quick cut: the man sits bolt upright, the dream evaporates, real life begins. Instead, the camera pauses to luxuriate in the tropical imagery for a moment before a distant scream pierces the sound track.
The camera Christopher Anderson 69 Creative producer J. Abrams and his production team skillfully obscure the boundaries that separate memory, dream, and reality in Alias. He runs toward something not yet revealed by the camera, something that drives him forward even as he struggles to find his footing. He passes people scattered along the beach—some lying motionless, others racked with pain.
The long focal length of the camera lens now compresses space, stacking people and objects in a be- 70 Television Networks and the Uses of Drama wildering jumble. More people wander past the camera, as if figments of a dream. Pieces of wreckage appear scattered about. The sound track fills with a growing cacophony—people wail, a turbine engine whines, flames crackle. The man rushes forward, and the camera reveals an enormous, shattered airliner fuselage protruding violently from the sand.
The sound track fills with the natural sounds of the scene, and it becomes clear that this is not a dream at all but a horrifying reality. Nor does it cheat with tight compositions to camouflage a piece of Southern California real estate last used as a location for Baywatch.
No, Lost is shot on location in Hawaii, and the added expense is apparent: in the blazing sunshine that bleaches the sand bone white and the iridescent raindrops that dangle from moist green leaves; in the large cast that populates each scene and fills the background with activity; in the stunning image of the ruined airliner; and in the extended tracking shot that reveals these extraordinary circumstances as they are experienced by the character who will almost certainly become the moral center of the series.
These are physical details that forge a perspective on events and draw a viewer deeply into a narrative world. Each detail serves a purpose in the narrative, and the scene would not be as effective without them. But each detail also carries a hefty price tag. There are certainly less expensive ways to shoot and edit a scene like this, but the Disney corporate empire, which produces the program through The Thrill - Jackie Gleason - Lovers Portfolio (Vinyl Touchstone studio and broadcasts it on its ABC network, looks to have spared no expense in a bid to win back the many viewers who have drifted from the network over the past few years.
The final touch that burnishes your experience of Lost comes courtesy of your digital video recorder. You view the program on your own schedule, not that dictated by network executives. Your experience of Lost has achieved an almost cinematic purity. Ensconced in your own private theater, freed from the network Christopher Anderson 71 schedule and commercial interruptions, you are able to lose yourself in the narrative world fashioned by J.
Abrams and his collaborators. You have almost forgotten that this is television. A small band of survivors has volunteered to carry a radio transceiver through the jungle to a mountain peak towering in the distance; at a higher elevation perhaps the signal will have a greater range. The scene is racked with tension.
The group is fractious, driven by suspicion and fear. The most hot-tempered member carries a pistol uncovered in the wreckage. The batteries on the transceiver are running low. And something horrific lurks in the jungle, a howling, unseen presence that already has attacked and eviscerated the pilot. The actors are framed in intense, sweaty close-ups, as the camera swirls vertiginously around them. Suspense coils tightly with each step. Suddenly, the sound track bursts with a ferocious roar and a terrifying blast of music.
A beast attacks. Fleeting images capture the terror: crashing foliage, panicked flight, a flash of white fur, gunshots fired. The beast, mortally wounded, crashes dead at their feet. Wait a second! A polar bear? In a jungle? Who is she? What is she saying? Does anyone in the group speak the language?
Quickly—the batteries are running low! Characters scream at one another. Please come get me. Without warning, three small red squares, stacked one upon the other, materialize and begin to spin. They align themselves, forming a narrow red column that runs halfway up the screen on the right. Inside the column, a tiny man in a tailored suit looks upward at the woman who is translating the distress signal, then turns to face the camera. He folds his arms smugly and smiles directly at you, the viewer.
After a few seconds this apparition spins wildly and dissolves. For a second you wonder whether it has 72 Television Networks and the Uses of Drama something to do with the admittedly puzzling story.
What the hell was it? As you ask yourself this question, the spell has been broken. Networks have begun using these digitally inserted devices more frequently over the past year.
Digital technology makes it a simple effect to achieve. But the real question is, Why would a network use it? A network programmer might describe it as a service, a friendly programming reminder for viewers overwhelmed by options in a multichannel universe.
A more cynical observer might speculate that networks have embedded promos like this to secure the attention of viewers who switch channels during commercial breaks or those who use digital video recorders to eliminate breaks altogether. Viewers of sports and cable news have grown accustomed to a screen peppered with incongruous text and graphics. At the cable news networks, text scrolls continuously across the bottom of the screen, while information and graphic designs layer the image.
Digitally inserted commercial logos and network promos share the screen with athletic feats during most sports programs. But those are not scripted dramas.
In their fragmentary design and modes of direct address, news and sports programs are inherently interruptible. In the case of Lost, the programmers at ABC showed no such discretion. By superimposing their distracting whirligig onto an intensely dramatic scene—without a thought for the integrity of the story or the experience of a viewer who might actually be engaged in the story—the network programmers have shown that this is, after all, commercial television.
Abrams—as writer, director, and executive producer—has collaborated with a large cast and production staff to Christopher Anderson 73 build to this moment over the course of two carefully executed episodes.
Auteurs and aesthetes be damned! This is still commercial television. Networks still schedule programs and orchestrate promotions to maximize the flow of viewers from one program to the next, because commercial networks are still in the business of delivering viewers to advertisers.
As revealed by this incident, the tension at the networks must be excruciating—nearly as intense as the drama on-screen. To attract the young adult viewers most desired by advertisers, networks must attempt to create dramas that lure and reward a discriminating audience. In the past, this audience may have been dissatisfied with commercial networks for interrupting or otherwise interfering with a drama, but they could only dream of an alternative.
Today a flick of the remote control takes them directly to uninterrupted drama series available on HBO and Showtime, collected in DVD box sets, or created through the do-ityourself capabilities of digital video recorders.
Discerning viewers are still drawn to drama series, but they have acquired a taste for an unadulterated viewing experience. The networks are aware of these shifting tastes and have made small gestures of accommodation.
In recent years, the networks occasionally have negotiated with advertisers to present season-opening episodes without commercials. In its rejection of the standard television aspect ratio for the dimensions of the big screen, the letterbox format stands as a clear mark of distinction for television series. Like all television series produced for the broadcast networks, Lost has a narrative structure designed for the conditions of commercial television—to allow for commercial interruptions, to accommodate viewers who may not have seen previous episodes, to establish a narrative framework capable of sustaining the central dilemma and generating new conflicts for years to come.
Even at a moment in the history of television when a commercial network has developed a series that invites viewers to step outside the flow of commercial television and experience television drama as drama, the network is compelled to reassert its presence by literally stamping its economic priorities onto the drama.
The snipe is a reminder that television drama on a commercial network is still a form of television before it is a form of drama. From the standpoint of a network programmer, who must respond to new technologies and new modes of viewing, these digitally inserted promos make sense, but they carry the scent of desperation. Is it the real thing or the wrong thing?
I answer that the theme is still sport, despite what has happened occasionally to cause one to doubt it…. What has been written across the face of this World Cup is promotion, discipline and skill. Its promotion has been astonishing. Its discipline, by which is meant its sportsmanship, has been disappointing. Its skill has shown, once again, that football has made little progress since the war.
Eusebio and Pele are not, even within British recollections, greater players or more vivid personalities than Alex James and Hughie Gallagher. Is Bene better than Bastin? Is Coluna more skilful than Willie Edwards? Is Yashin greater than Hibbs?
They are not. Tactics are different and good technique has been more widely acquired. But the art of football, as in most team sports, has been dispersed among the ordinary and the mediocre. Manning also noted that those 1. Of course, millions must stay at home, but now they have the means of paying. This is not a question of profitability for a professional sport.
It seems far from impossible. At 11am, Ramsey finally revealed his XI, giving the evening papers a rare world exclusive. Considering the number of matches that have been played on the ground in the last three weeks, the turf has stood up to it remarkably well. The sky had been overcast all afternoon, but now the clouds split and the sun glared down on the stadium.
Maybe those fellows were right when they said God was an Englishman. In a 13,word epistle for The New Yorkerthe poet Alastair Reid showed that he, too, was above such ancient hostility, not least in his admiring assessment of the architect of the Sassenach triumph:.
The ultimate tribute to the future Sir Alf, nonetheless, could be read in The Guardian. Not for one moment can I be persuaded that they either enjoyed or understood the tactics they were asked to employ at the outset. Somewhat less enthusiastic was Hans Keller, the Austrian-born musicologist and iconoclastic cultural critic often seen on the BBC during this period most illuminatingly when interviewing Pink Floyd, a sneer never far from his lips. They will be bored to tears.
Sport already ate up a chunky portion of the schedules. While the World Cup was the last in black and white for British viewers colour arrived on BBC2 the following yearit was the first to be broadcast via satellite.
A full camera crew covered every match and the channels shared the same pictures from Eurovision, although nothing like every moment was screened as it happened: kick-offs were not staggered, and the quarter-finals were played simultaneously.
Boats were pushed out. ITV assigned commentators to every match and even devised its own, non-Eurovision-sanctioned title sequence, accompanied by a theme tune, On The Ballperformed by The John Schroeder Orchestra.
The co-commentators-cum-prototype pundits were managers, among them Dave Bowen WalesBill Shankly Liverpool and Jock Stein Celticwho at the end of each game were entrusted with summing up events in front of a pitch-side camera.
Snobbery and advert-phobia would appear to have been the main reasons the majority of the nation favoured the first channel on the dial. However, the Mail did make a tentative early stab at the sort of TV sport column that would be elevated to a satirical art form four decades later by Giles Smith in The Times. Reacting to events on the hoof was one matter; any substantive alterations to the schedule were off-limits. The BBC granted Grandstand a whole twenty minutes extra, to round up the momentous events of the day.
One man eager to be seen after the final whistle was Harold Wilson, a Huddersfield Town supporter who spotted earlier than any British prime minister the PR advantages of being associated with the national game. The Yorkshireman was still at No. It was Harold. He was very friendly and our conversation lasted fifteen minutes.
He had no solution to the problem but suggested a conference to call all the parties together and go through a few ideas like segregation, membership of clubs to deter offenders and extra surveillance.
He was very courteous and wished me well. A Tory newspaper giving oxygen to a Labour PM? Sales be damned. Some of the clearest-eyed observations of the tournament came from Arthur Hopcraft. To begin with the competition released in our country a communal exuberance which I think astonished ourselves more than our visitors.
Except in the celebrations that greeted the end of the Second World War, I have never seen England look as unashamedly delighted by life as it did during the World Cup. In a matter of days a dark, slant-eyed footballer with a name like a nonsense rhyme can be adopted as a personal representative by a Middlesbrough labourer just because he is expressing hope and liberation through the one art the labourer fully comprehends. But that is because the occasions of such statements are usually pompous, and so turn a decent truth into a banality.
East and West were undoubtedly linked at Middlesbrough. The final found Hopcraft watching not from the pressbox but the stands. He cared little for what he saw and heard. They were not football followers. They kept asking each other about the identity of the English players. There they were in their rugby club blazers and with their Home Counties accents and obsolete prejudices, to see the successors of the Battle of Britain pilots whack the Hun again.
Some of them wept a bit at the end, and they sang Land of Hope and Glorywith a solemn fervour I have known elsewhere only at Conservative party rallies. I suspect that if they had found themselves sitting among a crowd of real, live football fans from Liverpool they might have been amazed at the degree of treacherous support available to Jerry.
Some football fans prefer even German footballers to plump-living countrymen exercising the privilege of money to bag a place at an event thousands more would have given their right arms to see — and understand. No, he was not railing against the sporting nationalism Orwell had so despised.
But I did resent something discordant in the tone of that climactic afternoon. I wish the terraces of Anfield, Old Trafford, Roker Park and Molineux had been so heavily represented…as to overwhelm those decently educated voices of ignorance. I gulped and shouted like everyone else, and congratulated myself on being English with all the acclamation at my command.
But it has always nagged at my fond recollection of that day that a lot of my companions might as well have been at Wimbledon. FOR ALL his soothsaying about the future makeup of sporting crowds, Hopcraft cannot have imagined how drastically the media landscape would change. In the days leading up to the match, to all sense and purposes, the rest of the world would stop.
Ah, but would we be wiser — about the game in question, about the game in general or about our obsession with it? For those immersed in this non-stop digitised planetary soap opera, even for the anti-Murdochs among us, being deluged with footage and paying for the privilege is generally seen as a fair trade.
Sure, too many holding midfielders are media-trained within an inch of their lives, but Twitter has afforded them a vestige of control and a more personal, intimate voice. In an age when the distance between players and fans has never yawned wider, the tweet has reconnected them. For all its many contributions to that bonfire of the inanities otherwise known as social media more appropriate, surely, would be antisocial mediait has served a faintly noble purpose.
The next step? Virtual reality, what else. By the time you read these words, it will be with us in the shape of the Oculus Rift headset, a bulky contraption equipped with thousands of sensors. According to Mr. And yes, the way he sees it, a virtual seat at Wembley is comfortably within the bounds of possibility. It was extraordinary. As for the massed ranks of the commentariat, a tad more respect for the audience would be nice. Patronising readers and viewers is never a good idea, yet still broadcasters, especially, cling to the ancient snobberies about the IQ of the average football lover.
Much the same can be said of the print hacks, whose days may not be as severely numbered as suspected. Never has the football reporter enjoyed so much space.
The ubiquitous live blog, a multimedia inch remix of the old-fashioned running report still filed for midweek matches, has added immediacy as well as a younger, livelier, less reverent flavour. Reporters still sell papers. The trouble, again, is that match reports in the press, too, focus on individuals and backstories rather than analysing how and why the winners won.
Since round-the-clock broadcasts of matches mean you are no longer obliged to possess a press pass to have an informed opinion, there are blogs, fan sites and webzines that outstrip the conventional media for sophistication and breadth, but almost all rely entirely on the mainstream media for content and context.
I wonder if the papers still have an appetite for humour. I hesitate to say drinking habits helped, but it used to be vigorous, robust, raffish. Now we have the rule of the mob, as witnessed in the Ched Evans saga, which dissuades people from expressing themselves. The upshot is a dumbing-down when enlightenment is required.
Can we wonder that remains an act unfollowed? MAY April Shortly before the start of an FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough, where the match should never have been played, a crush led to 95 deaths, with another to come.
And the common denominator? Liverpool fans. This essay asks one question above all: had Hillsborough tragedy happened inwould the Heysel tragedy have occurred?
It is something time cannot cure. It leaves you dead in your heart. Of these, two stand out as exceptions to the rule of misfortune, incompetence or greed, as something more complex, grievous and culpable than a disaster. Both tragedies, after all, were the product of fear and loathing, loyalty and spite.
Unforgivably, in terms of serious debate and recording history faithfully, the truth surrounding the death of 96 spectators at Hillsborough is still being sought in the courts — though the key ingredient, contempt for football supporters, cannot be doubted. Not until the clubs were drawn together in the Champions League two decades later did Liverpool — the city, the club and its fans — formally apologise for the deaths at Heysel of 39 spectators, mostly Juventus fans, following a charge by their Merseyside counterparts.
A group of militant Liverpool supporters marked that encounter by organising a mosaic across the Kop reading Amicizia Friendship ; the captains, Sami Hyypia and Alessandro del Piero read out the names of the victims, and a delegation from Anfield finally deigned to visit Turin; yet not for a further five years did either club erect a permanent memorial to the dead. For many years, the club website ignored the grisly context.
Terry Wilson, who served nine months of a five-year jail sentence, became a schoolteacher and born-again Christian; less admirably, he claimed in a BBC documentary that his only crime was to help his fellow supporters. In a letter to the Liverpool Echoanother of the accused was quicker to express contrition, albeit anonymously:. I snapped and lost my head. I ran towards the Italian who had pulled a knife in front of me and started fighting with him.
I started hitting him… I started hitting any Italian who was anywhere near. It suddenly dawned on me what I was doing. I ran to the top of the terrace at the back of the ground and stopped. One minute I was acting like a yob, the next I was crying. My life as decent person is over. One moment I was acting like a yob, the next I started to cry…God, forgive us.
To suggest that the fatal charge by those wearing red scarves in any way begat the unconscionable behaviour of the police at Hillsborough is to wade into toxic waters.
Davies, a Spurs supporter, had boarded the From his seat he saw gangs, powered by alcohol, fight with each other. At Coventry station the police were waiting; everyone was searched. Davies fell into conversation with a new recruit who had joined the local Task Force only the previous week.
Was he frightened? Most The Thrill - Jackie Gleason - Lovers Portfolio (Vinyl the lads were probably OK. I said it was the crowd excitement. I said they were all in rotten jobs, from rotten homes, all the usual things.
There was no other excitement or meaning in their lives. Nor would it be politic to point out that the fences that contributed so heavily to the deaths at Hillsborough would not have been there but for the pitch invasions beloved by fans of a certain disposition.
To shrink from expressing such views, however, would be to shy away from the unappetising aspects of the ties that bind. Some of the most celebrated Britons of modern times have been Scousers. The photos above tell their own story. Why are we treated like animals? He immediately dispatched to the city by the Conservative leader, Michael Howard, to apologise. As befits a child of the s still in thrall to The Beatles, I retain an extremely soft spot for the city and its inhabitants.
Summer pilgrimages to The Cavern, Strawberry Field and Penny Lane with my children have served as regular reminders of the creativity, iconoclasm and daring behind that world-changing Mersey beat. Never mind Salzburg, Vienna, New York or Chicago: has any city ever been so elevated to wider consciousness by music?
Not that the cultural attractions stop there. Never, moreover, have I seen football played so sublimely, for such a sustained period, as when Kenny Dalglish and John Barnes were in artistic harness at Anfield in the s. I hope, therefore, that what follows is seen less as condemnation than a statement of deep regret. John Barnes, rapperEnglish football began its long renaissance. The truth is that the collapsed wall at Heysel was a deadly metaphor for the gathering destructive forces that brought English football culture to its knees.
Baudrillard struck a chord with Richard Giulianotti. For the fans at Heysel, it is as though she [Thatcher] turns them into commandos herself, then sends them abroad; she condemns them, of course, but their brutality remains the very same brutality that she demonstrates in the exercise of her power.
None of this, though, should blind us to the root of what happened at Heysel. That it is so often glossed over or diminished can be attributed, primarily if not exclusively, to Hillsborough: with sensitivities heightened by the findings of the inquiry, references to the culpability of Liverpool fans, and hence to the tragedy itself, are deemed distasteful. Some argue that there is no need to rake over such deeply unpleasant and distressing ground when the causes of those 39 deaths are so widely known; others counter that the denial that appears to afflict so many makes doing so imperative.
As Mrs Thatcher would remark a couple of days after the horrors, it was an appalling thing that one set of supporters could not stand beside another without being attacked. As one himself, this generosity is understandable. That is why Liverpool fans were never organised into firms; there were just small bunches of mates who stood together at the match or in the pub. It was okay to steal — as long as what you stole was designer stuff from Europe or wherever. It was just funny stuff, larking about.
That well-travelled photo of a dart protruding from the eye of young Manchester United fan at Anfield in the late s points to something darker.
As a club, Liverpool, alas, were not remotely matched by their notorious supporters. Among these there was beyond doubt a core of decent, largely middle-aged, peaceful, pleasant fans, who would share the mature, sensible attitudes of the club itself. There were also, as fans from other clubs all over the country knew all too well, thousands of brutalised, violent toughs, whose excesses had been known for many years.
Mechanics would run out of garages to scream abuse at the coaches as they went by. But then, journalists see little or nothing from the Press Box, nothing of what goes on, often sinister and violent, in the surrounding streets and alleys, at railway stations. Unless they are privy to good, first-hand information, journalists accept the public, distorted image; in this case, a misleadingly benign one. Nor would it be enough to say that violence among Liverpool fans could be explained by unemployment, the crumbling and deliquescence of a doomed city.
His memories of that match in Rome, played at the ground Roma share with Lazio, the Stadio Olimpico, remain chilling:. So it was with some trepidation that we, as true Liverpool fans, approached the largely rebuilt Olimpico Stadium on that glorious and balmy evening. Commonsense dictated that a group of us had already booked into the youth hostel that was part of the Olympic Stadium park, meaning we could pass under the radar of Roma fans patrolling the railway, bus and Metro stations.
Again, this did not bode well. We could clearly see hordes of Roma fans pouring into other sections of the ground unchecked and unmolested.
It was impossible to overstate the importance of this game to Italians — in their capital, with its history and traditions, in their most revered stadium, with a team of chequered history desperate to rekindle their own glory days, playing on their own ground.
How could they lose? They dare not lose. The Liverpool fans appeared to be set up by the police and Carabinieri in the immediate aftermath, being prevented from leaving the stadium until, it appeared, the Tifosi were ready for them. By now armed with baseball bats, clubs, chair legs, pool cues, chains and knives, a pitched battle ensued in the narrow streets of the ancient capital.
The day before the 30 th anniversary of the Heysel tragedy, Andy Heaton, author of The Anfield Wrap blog, ran an extract from Heysel: A European Tragedy — an unpublished book completed in by Sir Harry Livermore, a former Lord Mayor of Liverpool whose law firm Silverman Livermore represented 16 of the accused in the Heysel trial. Come the following May, vengeance was in the air. Patrick Barclay is a widely respected Hungarian-Scot whose award-winning reporting has enlightened readers of, among others, The GuardianIndependentSunday Telegraph and The Times for nearly half a century.
But yes, you can. For example, you can be in a crowd that crushes 39 people to death. I was wrong to have sent that tweet. Almost as soon as sent it I took it down, but later that night I restored it. I suspect it betrayed my anger at the way Heysel has been subject to such denial by Liverpool fans.
It really is the tragedy that dares not speak its name. People were drinking and chanting abuse — and what about the surging that exacerbated the crush of bodies? When people did clamber over, the police sent them back again. Their job, as they saw it, was to keep fans off the pitch. We made 27 arrests on suspicion of manslaughter — the only extraditable offence applicable — of which 60 per cent were from Liverpool and the remainder from places that ranged from Aberdeen to Ipswich.
Some already had convictions for football-related violence…My investigations never indicated any evidence of extreme right-wing instigation or co-ordination of events that night. The then Liverpool chairman, John Smith, had been quoted suggesting this.
I interviewed him and he claimed he had been misquoted. Otello Lorentini lost his son that night. Come the 20 th anniversary, he was the president of the Association of Families of Heysel Victims:. I was relaxing, reading a newspaper, when I saw a single English hooligan. He jumped over a small fence and came charging towards us. Then, many more followed. They had lumps of terrace concrete, Coke bottles, beer bottles, rocks and even knives.
Everyone panicked. There were seven or eight policemen standing on the pitch side of the fencing. We pleaded with them to call for reinforcements. But none came. I thought we would die. Everyone moved away from the charging Liverpool fans and, in the crush, the wall collapsed.
This was actually lucky because otherwise thousands may have been killed. I can still see the face of one hooligan who was about to strike me with an iron rod. I was fortunate, though, because he began hitting someone else. In Fever Pitchthe book that did so much to return a measure of dignity to football fandom in England, Nick Hornby confessed to guilt by association:.
I think this is why I felt quite so ashamed by the events of that night. In short Heysel was an organic part of a culture that many of us, myself included, had contributed towards.
Never again would Peel return to the Anfield stands. Because if this was what football had been reduced to, then what was the point? The previous night, Juventus had held a commemorative mass at the church of the Grande Madre di Dio in Turin. Yet censorship persisted. Domenico Laudadio, creator of an online memorial, had also written a theatrical monologue about Heysel; so heavily did Juventus dilute it, the project was cancelled. Given the near-daily revelations of the ongoing Hillsborough inquiry, how would the English media respond to the 30 th anniversary of Heysel?
Asked at the start of whether he would commemorate it, Tim Nicholls, sports editor of the London Evening Standardinsisted that editorial merits would be the lone consideration. At the time, Nicholls was too young to have seen the horror unfold at Heysel; Robinson, now in his fifties, was not.
In the event, coverage of the anniversary was widespread, albeit primarily through an Italian lens. Nicholls went with the flow, not least because Juventus were due to play in the Champions League final a few days later. In the Daily MailAndrea Lorentini vented his fury at the way events had been re-framed for more comfortable public consumption. That is completely false. He celebrated like a normal game.
You only have to watch the video. There are no excuses or sociological theories to explain [their] behaviour. There was glass all over the cobbles of La Grand-Place. It was absolutely disgraceful. As the match approached, the mood had changed. There was nothing coming back. I was right at the back of that pen, and bits of rock were breaking off because the fans were just kicking the terraces apart. The first time I understood that something awful was unfolding was when somebody got some railings and carted a body off, covered in a big flag.
Then an arm fell out from underneath. For Lawrenson, too, the first instinct was to hide. At the airport the next day, we got spat upon. Even the bus that took us there was surrounded by very irate Juventus fans. We all just wanted to get out of the country. As the press bus drew into the stadium, it passed a group of Liverpool supporters stripped to the waist in the warm sunshine. These tragedies are still treated by many as distinct entities yet were part of the same byzantine problem.
It was a huge political scandal. It was also a major turning point for British football. Put Heysel and Hillsborough together, and consider the ban, and this was the moment that football changed. Extracts were due to be published in the Liverpool Echo in latebut the timing could not have been worse: the manuscript was delivered on 15 April, the day of the Hillsborough tragedy.
Serialisation was out of the question. Still, it was hard not to sense that enduring denial in the Liverpool Echo. Organising the visit was a way of saying ordinary people can get on.
Such sentiments reaffirm the view that acceptance remains distant. On the 20 th anniversary of the Heysel tragedy, Tony Evans had had the courage to compose that aforementioned mea culpa for the Sunday Timesrecalling his own willing, beer-charged role:. A large proportion of Liverpool fans seemed to have lost control. We met a group of mates who had come by coach. A fellow passenger we all knew had leapt off as soon as they arrived and attacked two people, one an Italian, with an iron bar…The disaster has a long causal chain — stabbings and beatings in Rome, hair-trigger tempers, aggression on both sides, excessive drinking, poor policing and a stadium ripe for disaster.
Remove any one link and the game may have passed off peacefully. We were. I was. This, to him, is the main barrier to closure. Post-Hillsborough, however understandably, far too many people have been blinded by it, and not exclusively Liverpool followers. I was just a prick. But I did play a very, very small role in something that ended up with people dead.
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