Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

January 9, 2014

VALLEY: Reservations about the New Year

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — My reservations are set for next New Year’s 

Every New Year’s Eve I have reservations. I have reservations about watching the new year arrive on live TV.

But last week, after the last football game, I took the somewhat obligatory peek at what was being offered up as the annual celebratory whoop-dee-doo year’s-end/year’s-start bash.

Like I said, it is live TV and who knows what might happen?

When I turned on CNN, a little after 11 o’clock, Anderson Cooper, Kathy Griffin and Melissa Etheridge were huddled together in Times Square. That’s swell, but I tried another channel.

The pretentious frivolity there (CNN) was a little too transparent. No one should be that happy in such frigid temperatures simply because they’re going to start using a new calendar.

Flipping the channel, I found Ryan Seacrest. Recognizing it as the network that once carried Dick Clark, I switched again. I was terrified they might roll out an embalmed Clark. It would be a bad undertaking, if they did. (Not unlike the intended pun.)

Don’t pass that off as far-fetched. Several years ago, Clark, after suffering a devastating stroke, went on the air, fooling no one with his “nothing’s-wrong-with-me” disguise.

His adherence to “the show must go on” code of entertainment was as unsettling to watch as the space-shuttle catastrophe. How was someone supposed to revel in a party atmosphere, when seeing “America’s oldest teenager” — whose forte was his warm ambiance and ability to communicate — struggle just to complete a sentence? It was more like witnessing the death of your own youth. Too sad to watch and too sad to be ignored.

So I nixed Ryan.

The next channel I switched to had on that lady from the TV show “Glee.” I don’t know her name. But for some reason, she scares the hell out of me. I always get the feeling she’s going to beat me up. I’ve never seen her look happy.

Eventually, I opted to turn back to CNN. Anderson Cooper, I usually like, but when he’s paired with Kathy Griffin, his propensity to laugh at and encourage her “hey, look how funny I am” buffoonery is something I can do without. But I watched, anyhow.

It was approaching midnight, and they were switching back and forth from their Times Square location to a bar in the Florida Keys. A CNN correspondent, stationed in front of the tavern, chatted about what was going on there.

Now let me be as delicate and politically correct as I can: The guy in Florida was at a gay bar called The Bourbon Street Pub. Their New Year’s Eve version of … ahem … a “ball drop” was a giant, high-heeled red shoe, which was slowly lowered while a drag queen named Sushi sat inside the thing. After touching down, Sushi flirtatiously asked Cooper for a date on national TV.

Now heaven forbid I be labeled homophobic. I am being completely honest when I say I have nothing against homosexuality (except when I have to say or write it). But, the program was uncomfortable to watch and, frankly, far from entertaining. And it had nothing to do with their sexuality.

And as long as we’re on the topic, what burns my biff is that you can be anything you want in this country, from a sheep-marrying illegal alien to someone who thinks God is a ‘57 Studebaker – and that’s good (I guess) but you cannot express how you feel about homosexuality when it differs from what a more boisterous part of society, with vested interests, wants to hear.

They will boycott your workplace and threaten lawsuits claiming that you – not them – are intolerable, dare you whisper a word contrary to their agenda. (Figure that one out, if you will.)

I’m just sayin’ (sorry, Scott), things are so different from yesteryear. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” But whatever happened to Guy Lombardo?

Gee, I think his name was “Guy”....

And that’s the way it looks from the Valley.

Tom Valley is a Medina resident. Contact him at tvalley@rochester.rr.com.

Tom Valley is a Medina resident. Contact him at tvalley@rochester.rr.com.