Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Highway To Heaven

The dress I'm wearing today (bought in Washington Heights for 12 dollars last summer) has a lovely peacock print that somewhat reminds me of the more Rococo illustrations of Dr. Seuss:


Ever since I was a child of five I've had lingering, sorrowful memories of a particularly compelling "Highway to Heaven" episode featuring a homeless, mentally challenged boy living in a cardboard box. Forced by his tragic circumstances to steal cans of tuna from the mean old man-owned corner store in order to feed his beloved pet cat, he makes a fateful birthday wish (on a stale hamburger bun, in his box in a Skid Row alley, with candles he also shoplifted) for someone to love him, upon which an angel (Michael Landon, duh) shows up to help him make it come true.

Now. Having a few days off and no other pressing interests except painting various picture frames in one of four separate pastel colors (still have to buy new mats at Pearl tomorrow):

I decided to find it on You Tube and see if it affected me as powerfully as of yore. Oh my gosh, I watched it twice in two days and got tears in my eyes both times.

I really enjoyed it. I felt genuinely inspired to be less selfish, and to be grateful more often. Whether one views this sort of religious family drama as cheap emotional pornography or, conversely, as a highly accessible and righteous form of popular culture, if the affect on the viewer is enobling (which it was/is for me), I feel the other issues are essentially moot points. Also, the fact that Michael Landon claimed he conceived (as well as subsequently wrote, directed and starred in) "Highway to Heaven" after he made a solemn pact with God at the hospital bedside of his critically injured daughter to produce television shows that made a genuine difference if she recovered (she did), either makes him the most shameless huckster of his generation or a spiritually as well as commercially enterprising man who was simply doing his best.

The episode is called, "Alone".

Note: the children in "Highway to Heaven" seemed to be on summer vacation 99% of the time. Maybe that's because most of them were runaways, terminally ill types, etc. who never went to school anyway.

PS It looks as though the latter half of the week is going to be clear. I'm so tired of this rain-- such a record-breaking, relentless deluge is terrible for business at the strip club as well as my soul.