The Zen of Dick Clark


There were two parties I was invited to on New Year’s, but I spent it sick in bed, head so jammed that I couldn’t even think. I turned off Dick Clark at 11:55 because it seemed too depressing to be ringing in the year with his scary, slurred (stroke-induced?) “Happy New Year!” And yet, he was real. He didn’t care what millions of people watching were going to think. His frailty wasn’t going to keep him from what he loved. Perhaps that should be this year’s theme. 2009, the year that adds up to the magic eleven. Eleven follows me everywhere. According to the Penguin Dictionary of Symbols (my favorite reference book) eleven represents the conflict between good and evil, Heaven and Earth. Eleven is the sign of excess, be it in whatever category you like. Promiscuity, violence, biased judgment. According to the book, the excess “may either mark the beginnings of a renewal or the collapse and breakdown of the number 10 (which symbolizes a complete cycle), a fault in the universe.”
This seems to be a theme that keeps cropping up in the broken ankles that abound. It seems our excesses of past are about to result in a new cycle. I guess Dick Clark represents this perfectly: He has in one broadcast, ushered out the old slickness, the perfect hair, the perfect voice and shown us his humanity, and bravery in the face of what I can only guess must have been the most difficult of lessons for ‘ol Dick: humility. I have to give him credit – he didn’t care what people thought, his passion outweighed his fear of failure or ridicule. If we could all be so brave. I wished I had stayed up those extra five minutes to hear him out.

3 Comments

  1. anniegirl1138 January 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    One of the hardest things is to not care what people think. I envy that trait because I have never had it.

  2. Rachel January 2, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    As someone who was widowed at 50 because my husband died after suffering a second stroke I am slightly offended…describing his speech as “scary” just because you did not like how it sounded. I really do not think writing that was/is sensitive to any stroke victims at all. This is something people cannot control. You are right though, kudos to him for being brave enough to be on the air amidst all the folks out there judging him (He was a bit last year as well). I can only imagine how he feels…going from hosting his own show to sharing it. To having full use of his right side of his body, to now slowly regaining strength…and his voice, well, it is slowly getting better…maybe next year it will be jovial enough to listen to?

  3. Betty and Boo's Mommy January 3, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Wow … what a great post. And so true. Would that we could all be as brave and passionate as Dick Clark.

    I’ve been reading your blog for a little while now, and enjoy it very much. You, too, are most brave.

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