The Editor’s Desk: Beating the blues

The Editor’s Desk: Beating the blues

Need some cheering up until spring arrives? Here’s a dancing parrot (and more): enjoy!

It’s been a long winter. Yes, spring is less than two weeks away (technically), the snow is melting (slowly), and warmer temperatures are in the offing (allegedly). However, I think many of us could use some cheering up; so here are a few links, at least one of which will (I hope) raise your spirits.

Happy bird: A caique named Phoenix discovers his reflection in a strip of metal at the bottom of a door, and proceeds to—well, have fun. Does he think there’s another bird there? Is he doing a mating dance? Or is he just playing? It doesn’t matter. This 70-second clip is pure joy, guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

Hell No: The Sensible Horror Film: Anyone who has even a passing familiarity with horror films will know that they are largely populated by people whose decision-making abilities are questionable at best. The trailer for Hell No (“Smart characters. Good decisions.”) shows us people who, when confronted with life and death choices, resolutely do the sensible, sane thing. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but everyone yelling “No!” at the person who suggests that they all split up while investigating a creepy house is right up there. (Warning: some harsh language.)

Mr. Rogers Goes to Washington: In 1969 Fred Rogers, the beloved creator and star of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, went before the U.S. Senate looking for US$20 million (US135 million today) to fund the nascent Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It seems an uphill task, as the mild-mannered Rogers squares off against hard-nosed senator John Pastore. However, Rogers patiently, quietly, but determinedly puts forward his case, demonstrating how every child is of value and how he tries to convey that message. Sometimes the good guys do win.

“As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly”: Maybe not for the squeamish (although you never see anything), this clip from classic TV comedy WRKP in Cincinnati lets you hear—but thankfully not witness—a Thanksgiving promotional stunt gone horribly wrong: “Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this.” Cringe comedy at its best.

Blast from the Past: In this 1999 comedy, Brendan Fraser stars as a 35-year-old man who has spent most of his life living in a fall-out shelter with his parents, only to emerge into a modern landscape he barely understands. When he’s taken to a nightclub by two new friends, everything points to a disastrous time for this fish out of water; but daily dance lessons with his mother end up standing him in good stead. Fraser, a gifted physical comedian, did his own dancing for the scene.

Cheer Up Hamlet: If you’re not familiar with the great Canadian TV series Slings and Arrows, then get thee to a nunnery—preferably with the box-set of all three seasons—and correct this omission at once. Each season of the show covers one season at a Canadian theatre company, and the lives, loves, neuroses, and entanglements of those there. The cheery theme song for season one has some good advice for the Prince of Denmark (“And by the way, you sulky brat, the answer is ‘To be!’”).

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