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The Predator

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Chase

“The hot blazing sun shone like a flaming ball of fire over the cobalt ocean horizon…”

Yuk… I detest cliches…

Write what you know … that too is a cliche, but one that makes a lot of sense.

I write a great deal from what I know (could it be that I’m too lazy to research what I don’t know?)… and now, as I *gulp* advance in years, from memories stored in my data-bank of experience.

Some of the most formative adventures in my life occurred in the late 1970’s.

I accepted my first hospital lab position and moved to the Northwest Territories in Canada’s Arctic. I had scarcely turned 20, whiskers barely making their presence known on my chin.

There was so much to learn about so many things, jobs, new geographies and climates, and yes, romance and relationships were right near the top of my “need to know more” lineup.

In my late teens in Hamilton, I had dated a bit here and there and lived and cried through one “serious” relationship.

BUT.

All of my life experience to that point was reflected in the western cultural norm of boy chase girl, boy ask girl on date, etc… the formula, the standard pattern of  young women playing coy and hard-to-get was ingrained in me by everything I saw around me in real life and in TV and movies.

And then I moved to Yellowknife (YK).

YK Winter 4

The rules I knew, my life’s accumulation of dictates, were tossed out the window of the PWA Boeing 737 that carried me from Hamilton to Edmonton and then finally YK.

It was thrilling and it was tumultuous and yes, it was even a bit scary.

All of a sudden, my role as a masculine “gentle predator” was turned on its head and I was as much prey as predator.

Who knew that the fairer sex could have a strong inner urge and bold approach to relations and boudoir activities? One young lady even gifted me a copy of the HITE REPORT. Clitoral …. what????

I won’t go into intimate details here, but all of this backstory leads me to today’s lyric writing.

This song lyric, THE PREDATOR is my little story of being pursued – pretty aggressively – by an attractive young nurse who, for whatever reason, set her sights on me as her sexual prey.

Sure, it was a bit thrilling and stimulating, but in this new world I’d entered, like Alice Through The Looking Glass, it sent a tiny shiver of uneasiness into my core.

So, here goes:

THE PREDATOR – Larry Green

VERSE

Icy YK nighttime
anticipation staggers the line
where mukluks crunch the snow
trembling northern lights that show
the trail of yes opposing no

VERSE

Delicious fever salsa dance
where my reason stands little chance
bestial hormones thrash and fight
my body tingles flight and fright
her instincts master o’er this chill night

VERSE

Seductress graces, sweetly talk
her witchcraft lays a winsome plot
sips of wine poured by Eros
the flame is set, the kindled spark
I’m prey that knows it’s marked

CHORUS

The ghost in my rear view mirror
is a smile and a tear
The cards once dealt were turned
the chase came clear
temptation’s game is rigged
Eden’s curse freshly learned

eden curse

Oscar and The Side Effects That Might Make You A Better Person

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AStarisBornBlackKKlansmanBohemianRhapsody

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Frankly Scarlett, it’s almost Oscar time again.

I can’t wait to tear up during the In Memorium section. I love the melancholy, the bittersweet.

I’ve seen slightly more than half the 2019 Best Picture nominees so far, and it’s a rich crop this time around the sun.

But which movie made me a better person?

Aside from the sheer entertainment value of watching a great movie, what are the lingering side effects?

Over the years, I’ve learned not to eat a sandwich in a New York restaurant next to Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. I’ve learned that to escape the claws of police after a bank heist, one needs only race across the next State border (why a Canadian should know this is another question) in a depression-era Model T Ford. I’ve learned that a chance encounter with a famous drunken country rocker can lead to untold fame and wealth (but ultimate sorrow).

But should movies have side effects? Not hangovers and tummy aches but … positive side effects?

Of course they should. We pay money to see these artistic creations. There’s gotta be more than awe and catharsis and greasy popcorn fingers.

We often read books with the conscious notion of becoming more intelligent, rounded, complete people. We grow and become better people with each chapter consumed.

Should movies be any different?

Most films are like reading a trashy novel on the beach. Tawdry and easily defecated out the back door of the theatre as we leave.

But … some … some movies are epic and long-lasting, unforgettable, priceless and timeless in their message and format. Like a great song, they get inside your head and linger like the aroma of a beautiful bolognese sauce simmering on the stove.

A couple of positive side effects? Examples?

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I watched A Star is Born where Bradley Cooper (Jackson Maine) knocks Lady Gaga (Ally) out of her sleepy repose:

Look, talent comes everywhere, but having something to say and a way to say it so that people listen to it, that’s a whole other bag. And unless you get out and you try to do it, you’ll never know. That’s just the truth. And there’s one reason we’re supposed to be here is to say something so people want to hear. So you got to grab it, and you don’t apologize, and you don’t worry about why they’re listening, or how long they’re going to be listening for, you just tell them what you want to say.

That is a reminder, a reinforcement of a life lesson. The raw ingredients … talent, ability, intelligence are only the first steps to making a statement. Delivering that statement with confidence and balls, courage and sustained effort is what is needed.

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Green Book is a Shakespearean adventure where the “Fool” Bronx-born Tony Lip learns lessons of the world from his “colored” employer Dr. Don Shirley. In turn, Tony reflects back some unconventional teaching moments that inform the life of an “educated” man:

Dr. Don Shirley: Pull over.
Tony Lip: What?
Dr. Don Shirley: Pull over.
Tony Lip: I ain’t pulling over!
Dr. Don Shirley: Stop the car, Tony!
[Tony stops the car and Don gets out and starts walking in the rain]
Tony Lip: What? What are you doing?! Doc? Doc, what the hell are you doing? Doc, get back in the car!
Dr. Don Shirley: Yes, I live in a castle! Tony. Alone! And rich white people pay me to play piano for them, because it makes them feel cultured. But as soon as I step off that stage, I go right back to being just another n****r to them. Because that is their true culture. And I suffer that slight alone, because I’m not accepted by my own people, because I’m not like them either! So if I’m not black enough, and if I’m not white enough, and if I’m not man enough, then tell me Tony, what am I?!

Classic.

The side effect message? To make something special, something great, we have to accept the possibility of setting ourselves apart from our comfortable world. There is a bitter price to be paid for the exceptional.

Bohemain rhapsody

How about the flamboyant Freddie Mercury? Bohemian Rhapsody?

Filmmaker Bryan Singer presents Mercury’s father as having been disappointed with his son’s penchant for nightlife and theatricality, urging him over and over again to get serious about his life and follow his refrain:

Good thought, good word, good deed.

Mercury ends up living by his dad’s words, but in his own way. In one scene, the mercurial singer tells a potential manager that Queen is the champion of the oddball: “We’re misfits who don’t belong together, playing for the other misfits. The outcasts. The ones right at the back of the room. Who are pretty sure they don’t belong either. We belong to them.” His good thought, word and deed, in other words, is for them — the stigmatized, marginalized and misunderstood.

Finally, eventually, Mercury’s father seems to recognize that his son has lived up to his expectations in their last interaction on screen. Mercury goes home to introduce his family to his boyfriend, Jim Hutton, who remained his partner until the singer’s death from AIDS-related complications at 45, and tell them about his plans to perform in a charity concert (Live Aid) to raise money for famine relief in Africa.

Good thought, good word, good deed.

Just like you taught me, Papa.”

The resulting theme from each of these flicks? The life lesson? The side effect that can make you better?

It’s simple. Occam’s razor simple.

No matter the “size” of one’s existence, greatness is a Herculean struggle. To be better tomorrow than you are today takes effort and strain and pain.

It takes a sizable tub of popcorn to impart these side effects into my brain, because…

… Frankly dear, I do give a damn!

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