Memorial Day Musings

I woke up this beautiful Memorial Day and immediately turned on VH-1 to see if they were playing Shakira’s “My Hips Don’t Lie.” This is the best video on tv right now because although her hips don’t lie, Shakira’s hips do just about everything else humanly possible. And it features Wyclef Jean, which makes my Haitian-half proud to see him getting some work again.

But before Shakira’s truth-telling hips I saw a tragic music video. It was Mary J. Blige re-making U2’s “One,” with U2 playing background. Now I respect Mary J. Blige as an artist. After all she is the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, a genre that contains 1 artist, Mary J. Blige. And she did give us the words “hateration” and “danceree.” But her version of “One” is just bad. “One” is such a great song and hearing her do a Taylor Hicks to it is painful. I think U2 probably allowed her to do it, knowing that it would not be as good and that no one would dare re-make their songs again.

I think I worry about this because my greatest fear is that some group is going to come along and remake a Guns N’ Roses song, which will mark the end of mankind. But re-making U2 is pretty close. And the song is only 15 years old. Shouldn’t we wait a little bit longer? If the majority of your fans know the original, they will not choose your version Ms. J. Blige. So stop.

But this weekend made me reflect on something else. X-Men 3 opened this weekend for that coveted “Memorial Day weekend” movie spot. Yet another holiday that we seem to have lost sight of. How did honoring the sacrifice of troops become Movie Weekend? Well as long as your car has loads of symbolic ribbons in the Mall parking lot, I guess it’s ok. I am not judging or trying to be Mr. Patriot, but I am truly curious how this happened. Was it like 30 years ago after Vietnam and some family went to see Jaws or something like that and little Johnny said, “Mom, why are we going to see a movie today.” And Mom said, “Because Daddy and Grandpa would have wanted us to. Now do you want Junior Mints with your popcorn?” And a tradition was born.