Only Planet

One Child, One Year, One Planet. A family of three traveling around the world...

You can contact us at werkingwells (at) gmail . com

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Reason 358 Why I Love Portland

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

We Are the World

Because we have the video in electronic form, because Loey is so cute in it, and because she has such great lines, I had to post her "We are the world" speech from the previous blog post on YouTube.

I apologize for the video quality and the noise at the start--dubbing from a 23 year old tape on an old VCR doesn't do much for the image. But it's still worth it....

--Andy the tech geek

How Michael Jackson saved a tiny Montana town

Six billion people live on this planet, 305 million in the United States alone. So it’s easy to understand how tiny we can feel, a single cell in a ginormous organism. And while our individual lives are marked by our singular joys and sorrows, sometimes we need to remember that we are part of a bigger whole. This has to explain why we gather around our electronic campfire to grieve and celebrate, whether it be Princess Diana's or Michael Jackson’s funeral, the inauguration or the Olympics.

For what it’s worth, I’m not a huge fan of Michael Jackson’s work, but it’s hard to ignore the impact he had upon popular culture. Like everyone my age I saw the Thriller video before it became iconic and like a few in Harold Tusler’s English class, watched my high school teacher make a lame attempt to do a moonwalk.

But for me, Michael Jackson will forever be associated with my political outing. During the spring of 1985 one of the biggest employer in Columbia Falls Montana was the Anaconda Aluminum Mill. At the time, the Bonneville Power Administration had decided to raise power rates, which in turn would greatly affect employment in the area. I was kind of fuzzy on the details, but a teacher pegged my friends Sam and Krista and me to write something to represent the students.

“Okay….” we thought. “Hey, We Are the World’s a huge hit and isn’t there a line in it about being children, saving for a better day and wishing for lower power rates so our parents could keep on working at the mill?” Maybe not the last bit, but it was the best we could do with an afternoon’s notice and no Wikipedia. The ironic thing is, neither Sam, Krista or I had a parent working at the mill, so what did we know. Well, like the good little Sarah Palin I was becoming, I went up and gave the speech, which was met with wild cheers, an invite from the Governor of Montana to meet with him and the head of the BPA, and the beginnings of a political future. Next came the run for Student Body Vice President, Youth Legislature Governor, and Speech Team Co-Captain. Oh, to peak so early.

While I’ve continued in leadership roles, I packed away my political ambitions and my Michael Jackson tape (kids, look that one up on the internet, they used to be played in cassette players). Yet Michael wasn’t out of our home forever. After traveling around the world our favorite touchstone to home was The Simpsons. And after seeing all 420 episodes at least twice in the past few years, I’d have to say one of my favorite is Stark Raving Dad—the one where Homer is put into a mental institute and meets a huge bald white guy who thinks he’s Michael Jackson. So in tribute to the singing/dancing/politically inspiring Michael Jackson I hum “Lisa It’s Your Birthday” and wonder how soon it will be before our next campfire gathering.