Thursday, August 4, 2011

What makes a good comments section?

This morning, on Salon, I read a really good article on aging by Lillian B. Rubin. The author did a wonderful job of unveiling the hypocrisies of how our society treats aging. On one hand, the age at which one can still be thought vibrant and active is moving upward. Forty is the new 20, you know. On the other hand, we genuflect to youth, try to fight off aging with botulism and surgery, devalue age and experience, and discriminate against seniors. I've been thinking about this stuff since I turned 40 a year ago and Rubin's writing was thoughtful. When I encounter a particularly good piece of writing online, I generally am moved to want to talk about it with other people. So, I headed to the article's comments. Big mistake.

Music Thursday: Singing families who aren't the Jacksons edition

So, if you're at all a fan of soul and R and B, you must check out Unsung on TV One. It's what Behind the Music was before it started doing music biographies on Britney Spears. Wonder whatever happened to Alexander O'Neal? The Ohio Players? Evelyn "Champagne" King? Unsung will tell you.

I was super excited for this week's episode. The Sylvers! I was a little kid when these singing brothers and sisters were popular. I thought the boys were appropriately Tiger Beat cute and I wanted to be the one girl with the bouncy feathered 'do and the braces. Thanks to watching their biography the other night, I've had the group's song, "Hotline," in my head all week. Now it's your ear worm:

While searching for a good video of "Hotline," I stumbled across this gem. A Soul Train line to The Sylvers "High School Dance."  Y'know I'm kinda bummed that I missed the whole 70s fashion aesthetic. It was a lot cooler than the parachute pants, neon and "Frankie Says Relax" t-shirts I would be stuck with a decade later.

BTW, see if you can spot Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniels of Shalamar in the line. Yep, they started their careers as Soul Train dancers. Later, Leon Sylvers would write songs for Shalamar and the group would be featured on, you guessed it, Unsung. That episode is definitely worth the watch. There is definitely no love lost between Watley and Shalamar lead singer, Howard Hewitt. Hoo boy!


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