Most of us will lose or have already lost someone close to us because of cancer. Personally, I’ve lost more than one. Introducing this storyline was something I had to really consider before going ahead with it. There’s lots of ways to do this sort of thing wrong and I can’t honestly think of a cancer storyline in any popular media that I could say I enjoyed. I mean, we’re talking about the (often) slow, physical breakdown of the human body. Who wants to be entertained by that?

And still I go there. And you with me. Sometimes comic strips aren’t so comical, and that’s okay. All part of the ride. 


Thanks to Netflix Instant, there’s lot of great movies I’ve forgotten about that I’m now able to catch up with. Case in point: Malcom X. I honestly didn’t know a thing about the guy until I sat down last week and watched the Spike Lee movie with Denzel Washington in the lead role. Fascinating character study. It’s long at 3 and a half hours, but I can’t say I was ever bored. These days, we talk a lot more about Martin Luther King, Jr., but Malcom X, in the movie at least, came off as a much more interesting person to me. From hood to religious zealot to hate monger to peacemaker, Malcom X experienced a full spiritual journey in his short life and those are the types of stories I’m a real sucker for. The thing that surprised me the most? He was a family man and extremely dedicated to the relationship he had with his wife. Highly recommended film.

Also on Netflix Instant is the full run of Cheers. I first watched the show when it was in syndication back in the late 80′s/early 90′s. I loved the characters and how the bar setting allowed for just about anyone to walk through the door at any moment. At times, it felt like a cartoon and a bar seemed like a pretty fun place to hang out.

Of course, I’m Mormon and my mother was horrified that her 10-year-old was addicted to Cheers. I didn’t really see the problem. I’d been taught that alcohol consumption was wrong and the bar was just where everybody hung out. It was a workplace. I had no desire to go out and drink a beer. Norm was always a great deterrent in that way. 

Now that I’m older and I have kids of my own, I can see the problem. However, these days, it’s almost impossible to find any popular media that doesn’t take for granted something I believe is morally wrong. I take the "parental guidance suggested" suggestion very seriously and am always quick to explain to my kids the difference between what people on the screen think is okay and what we believe is actually okay. I get a lot of "I know, dad, I know…" but that’s fine. That just means it’s sinking in.

The thing that impresses me most on rewatch is how well-written Cheers is. I didn’t understand that the combination of an amazing cast and sharp writing was what I was really responding to as a kid. It doesn’t feel like an 80′s sitcom to me. It just feels like a great show with great characters. Not everything from my childhood holds up so well, so I’m always grateful for the truly great stuff that stands the test of time.

See you on Friday with Jerry, Pg. 3!