A time existed when entertainment was just that… entertaining.
Talents like Dean Martin evoked a sense of happiness, goodness, pleasure that enriched lives. Would that our culture today supported and valued these traits again… and television might just become worth watching once more. Hats off to you, Dean, you’re missed…
You know, entertainers like Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, et al, grew up with lesser means and in lower-class settings, yet what they strove toward and achieved was to become something better than as they started, to achieve a sophistication, to be more than just famous and rich… and they were also “pop.”
To be sure, these folks were deeply flawed like anyone else. Sinatra had a wild temper. Martin drank and smoke constantly… on air and off. Some of them had tremendous addictions. Yet, when they went on stage, they delivered us the better self, the talented self, the self they strode toward. They recognized that humanity in themselves.
Long after they had passed the peak of their careers or worked together, they respected their shared humanity and shared it with the world.
After Dean Martin’s son died in an air force accident, Dean fell into a deep depression. Despite the wealth and fame, what he valued most just left this realm, and he knew he was poorer for the loss. So tirade-driven, mean-spirited Sinatra showed his real humanity and took on a personal mission to provide meaning back into Martin’s life. Sinatra took these ol’ boys back on the road to show his pal that he and millions of fans appreciated their humanity.
Today is a different world. It too often seems that todays “pop” stars don’t really show much interest in this kind of growth, in this kind of goal setting, in this kind of mentorship for their starry-eyed followers.
The meaning of entertainment has changed, and we are all the lesser for it. Thanks, Dean, for the memories…