On Valentines and Halftime Shows

10 Feb 2020 | 12:10

    “You make me smile with my heart”

    As some of you know, those words are from the ever timeless “My Funny Valentine.” And yes, composers Rodgers and Hart wrote them about couple love. But “smiling with our hearts” is so universally needed. So are songs that apply to family, friendship and neighbor love. And you’ll agree that infinitely more needs to be said about these affections so essential to everyday health and well-being.

    Super Bowl R-Rated Concern

    And yes, I dare to say it, a little of that was sure needed in the Super Bowl halftime show viewed or heard by a worldwide audience. Some critics allowed the pole and other dancing by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira was “not suitable” for young viewers. Not surprisingly, the Reverend Franklin Graham was one who protested the exploitation of women in this prime time performance, especially one watched by many children. Dad Billy might have said “not suitable for any viewer.” And as for the lyrics, they sure have little or anything to do with love.

    A few critics also called it “sexual exploitation” of these two pop star women artists, but others found it “a real breakthrough for Latina women artists to make the Super Bowl show.” Too little remembered in general now is how “women as sex objects” was a foremost concern of the Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem feminist era. So was women being inordinately judged by their appearance, which had better be youthful. Have we come a long way?

    Valentines for Volunteers

    But back to Valentine’s Day and the need to celebrate family, friendship, neighborly love, and don’t forget love of volunteers, especially those who spend time with those, often old people, who are too much alone. Reportedly, elders are low on the volunteer recipient list and yet New Yorkers are home to a record number of 85-plus citizens. Incidently, it’s also the fastest-growing age group and the needs often grow greater with age and these stories need to get out there.

    Remembering Kirk Douglas's Late Life

    And this relates to actor Kirk Douglas departing this life at age 103. Unlike so many living a very long time, he no doubt had the best care money could buy and a devoted wife and family close by. Even so, living so long is difficult with problems I suspect Douglas felt should not be publicly aired. He did mention the word “forgotten” once. And yet problems that come with age, often due in part to ageism and age segregation, especially need to get out there for these years to be made more livable – indeed livable. Then too, just maybe we are living too long. When the going gets too rough, should assisted suicide be legal?

    Valentines for Apartment House Staffs

    And close to home, this surely relates to those who live in doorman buildings – and heartfelt Valentines to these often veritable lifelines for some residents – and so essential in general for safe and livable housing. So are their supers of course, and all are role models for the very busy residents to take time to be more neighborly. And how essential that is for their children to learn. Building staffs bring residents and generations together, And they make the neighborhood safer which is becoming a bit more of a concern.

    Of course, Valentines are surely due to New York’s Finest and Bravest and elected officials who promptly respond to constituents calls for assistance, Yes, Valentines to philanthropic groups in general, and don’t forget faith groups, especially those who look after – include –their most vulnerable members.

    And back to the songs we need – well lyrics are needed for all the above – so let’s all write them and sing them! And for now, just change the lyric to “You’re my family Valentine...” or friendly or neighborly Valentine.

    Valentine’s blessings to you dear readers and advertisers. “You make me smile with my heart “

    dewingbetter@aol.com