I start this post with a sad face. Patrick Swayze lost his battle with pancreatic cancer tonight. He fought hard and well for a relatively long time given that the disease if the most aggressive and fatal form of cancer. It is sad but not unsurprising that he has now passed away and this saddens me as he, in Dirty Dancing, is one of my earliest memories.
He starred in some iconic films (i’m not going to list them here, we all know what they were and if you don’t then go read one of the many many essays that will be written about him over the coming days). Most of them cheesy. Some were so bad they were good. He was actually my first male film icon. When it came out i was obsessed with Dirty Dancing. I sang the songs, I learned the dances, I watched it constantly. You might think its not appropriate for a 5 year old to watch that movie. But I didn’t understand the concept of sex at that point. For me it was the music, the dancing, the idealistic love and hope and all that hippy stuff. I did actually learn my early ideals and views from it and many of them stay with me now, if in a more realistic version. Its still one of my all time favourite films.
This is the second of my child icons to pass in the last couple of months. I never talked much about Michael Jackson’s passing because it angered me, the sheer hypocrisy of the world in their changed attitude to him post mortem. But it was a loss to my childhood. Once again I spent hours
singing and dancing and watching, although I was slightly older at this time. and though I grew out of the obsession, I still look bad at that time with fondness. His music made me happy then, and rediscovering it now is bringing that back. I look forward to watching Dirty Dancing again (altho it hasn’t been quite as long since I watched it as listening to MJ) and rediscovering the emotions that film gave me.
So here’s to Mr Swayze. Wherever you are, and Whatever happens after the end, I hope you are in peace and resting.