10 Nov 2008

The times of your lives

I'm watching Oprah's show and she's got Paul Anka and Shelly Hack as her guests! He's still amazing and so is Shelly Hack who acted in Charlie's Angels. She also advertised the perfume Charlie - the woman every woman wanted to be in the the 70s!! I remember watching that advertisement decades ago, and admiring her confidence, vitality and easy charm and glamour. How I loved her and bought the perfume because I wanted to identify with that woman. She became the icon, no doubt American, but still an icon of the woman. She was always wearing pant suits, had these luscious slim long legs and that gorgeous shoulder length hair that shines as it swings. And imagine that - she is still that Charlie girl when she came on Oprah. I was so thrilled to see her walking into the studio with her long lanky good looks still intact.

As I watched Oprah's show on American classics - or American treasures, I realise how much of American culture we have absorbed. So much so that what they consider classics, I think many of us consider as our classics too. These are "hotdogs", Mickey mouse, the song "My Way" by Frank Sinatra, Coca-cola, The story of The Wizard of Oz, Pizza, McDonald's and so may more. Who of us have never identified a certain time of our life with any of these American icons? Many of us have read the Wizard of Oz and loved the characters of the Tinman, the Lion and the Scarecrow as well as Dorothy. Many of us, especially those of my generation have loved Elvis Presley's songs; we all wish we could go to Disneyland, many of us love coca-cola. My children remember Kermit the Frog and Big Bird of Sesame Street, I remember eating hotdogs for the first time, going to McD for the first time, wearing my first Nikes, belting out "My Way" with our friends and feeling that the song is really written for us? We don't think of them as belonging to the Americans only but also to the rest of the world and that is the real American success story. They have managed to sell their culture to the rest of the world. But what about us? What about our culture? Maybe many of us know more about America than our own culture.
We have our P. Ramlee, Sudirman, Sharifah Aini. WE have old movies - classics - like Seniman Bujang Lapok, Ali Baba Bujang Lapok, Bidadari and so on. These are much loved oldies, a classic for our children and their children one day.

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