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Got to Have Faith

Updated at the Bottom

Like everyone else, I felt sad when I heard on Christmas that George Michael died.  As a Gen-Xer, it is my duty to make the next generation care about our 80s idols.  While I have done an excellent job on the video game/book/movie front, I have not really driven home the greatness of 80s music, though the twins know George Michael from being subjected to “I Love the 80s” weekends on 97.1 FM.

The part I always try to drive home to the kids is how risqué Faith was back in 1987.  The video for “I Want Your Sex” is fairly tame by today’s standards, but I remember a huge divide between kids whose parents allowed them to listen to it and those who had to listen to the radio edit version.  One day an older girl walked down the aisle of the bus, asking every kid if their parents allowed them to play the song at home.  Not only did I have the song, but my parents owned the VHS tape of all the videos from Faith.  Did that make me cool?  I believe the answer is yes.

There were a lot of “I hate you, 2016” posts on Facebook this weekend, but it’s not as if there has ever been a year without a slew of artists dying.  This is not a uniquely terrible year; it is just a year.  I mean, in terms of celebrity death.  For many other reasons, it’s okay to say I hate you to 2016.

Right now, I’m just trying to have faith.  We all have got to have faith-a-faith-a-faith.  Thank you, George, for the good music.


And now Carrie Fisher has died.  This really has been a horrible end of year.


1 Battynurse { 12.27.16 at 7:09 am }

I think it seems like a bad year for celebrities passing because many of us are older and it’s the ones we grew up watching and listening to instead of the celebrities of our parents generation.

2 TasIVFer { 12.27.16 at 7:16 am }

I am so sick of people blaming the year. It is our age and the way news is pushed out these days. I don’t expect 2017 to be different.

But it is sad. These are the ‘heroes’ who helped us through our youth when we were dealing with everything that comes with it – people whose music expressed what we had been through or who showed us life could be different from our parents’ lives.

3 Beth { 12.27.16 at 7:20 am }

So true. I’ve never felt this more than right now, this feeling that we have to have faith. Ps – I was only allowed the radio edit. Definitely not cool. 😉

4 Journeywoman { 12.27.16 at 8:31 am }

I don’t hate 2016 for the celebrity deaths. I hate it for Brexit. I hate it for the president Elect. I hate it because I thought that people were smarter and kinder and my illusions were shattered.

5 a { 12.27.16 at 8:42 am }

It certainly seems like 2016 has been exceptional when it comes to celebrity deaths.

2016 has had its ups and downs like every year. But the downs seem to be reflections on humanity rather than temporary setbacks.

6 torthuil { 12.27.16 at 10:59 am }

I recognize some of George Michael’s songs from top 40 radio, though otherwise he was not on my radar. (Pop music wasn’t really part of my childhood.) Reading a little bit about him I’m impressed by his extensive charity work and that he kept much of it anonymous: including paying part of a couple’s IVF cost. Sounds like a complicated fellow.

7 Working mom of 2 { 12.27.16 at 11:04 am }

I actually do think it has been quite bad as far as losing celebrities this year, and not just something that’s made up by the media or presented a certain way – – at least for us Gen Xers. The closest I can remember is 2009 when Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died within days of each other.

For those of us that grew up in the 80s, watching Brady Bunch reruns and the early MTV where the same few videos were shown over and over, to lose Florence Henderson, Prince, Bowie, George Michael…we also watched growing pains, so to lose the dad Alan Thicke – – how did he get so old? How did any of these people get so old? Although obviously not all of them died old. And of course we also grew up in the 70s where Muhammad Ali was everywhere so that was a big loss also.

At the time I didn’t even like 80s music – – I disdained it and was very into 60s music and some 70s. But in the 80s, even if you didn’t like the music you still heard it and you still saw it on MTV so I still am shocked by the loss of so many icons of that era.

And yes, all these deaths and facing mortality is tacked onto the horrible shit show of 2016 with the election etc.

P.S. One of my favorite all-time skits from SNL is where Dana Carvey played George Michael and he’s talking about his butt being a perfect circle and how scientists use it to calibrate their instruments (as a former scientist who used to actually calibrate instruments I found this particularly hilarious). Unfortunately I can’t find the full clip anywhere online YouTube Hulu NBC etc. (I wanted to include it in a presentation once.) There’s a little bits and pieces of it but not the whole clip – – especially the part about calibrating instruments – – that part’s not online.

8 KeAnne { 12.27.16 at 11:37 am }

I adored George Michael and was so sad to hear of his passing. I liked Prince and Bowie but they weren’t as relevant to my as George Michael is. I heard a guest on Diane Rehm (retiring!) a few weeks ago say that all of the celebrity deaths we have had will continue because of the age of these pivotal figures. As far as celebrities go, 2017 will likely bring more of the same.

9 KeAnne { 12.27.16 at 11:41 am }

Oh and PS: I didn’t have cable but my grandparents did, so I saw the video for “I Want Your Sex” and was appalled because I was a prude LOL. I loved “Freedom 90”, but “Father Figure” has always been one of my favorite songs AND videos.

10 Geochick { 12.27.16 at 1:16 pm }

I heard about it on the playground in middle school. That was about the time I started to realize how out of touch and uncool I was.

Except for the big thing that didn’t go the way I wanted it to, personally, 2016 hasn’t been that bad. I’ve had much worse years.

11 MissingNoah { 12.27.16 at 1:39 pm }

Actually, the numbers suggest that 2016 has had an increase.

” From the music industry to screen stars and sports legends, if it feels like a large number of celebrities died in 2016, it’s true.
Linnea Crowther is the author of celebrity obituaries for the site Legacy.com.
In October, Crowther offered her analysis of celebrity deaths.
“As of September 30, the total number of celebrity deaths so far in 2016 is 71,” she wrote. “That’s more than the total number of celebrity deaths for the full year in any of the other years I looked at for this study. We’re already outpacing previous years by 5 to 20 deaths, and we still have three months to go.”
Since then, more stars have been added to the list including beloved TV parents Florence Henderson and Alan Thicke, veteran newscaster Gwen Ifill and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.”

12 KeAnne { 12.27.16 at 2:09 pm }

Carrie Fisher. Damn it

13 Working mom of 2 { 12.27.16 at 2:18 pm }

I know, wtf.

14 Laurel Regan, CZT { 12.27.16 at 3:13 pm }

I don’t know the statistics re. celebrity deaths in a given calendar year, but between the ones this year and the election and the terrorist attacks and and and, 2016 has felt relentless. I don’t see how it’ll be any different in 2017, but at least a new year gives us the illusion of a fresh start.

15 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 12.27.16 at 3:54 pm }

Yep, you’re cool! And George Michael would’ve defffffffinitely been banned at my house. I don’t think I even let my parents know I was aware of his music. I listened to it secretly at my friend Becky’s house.

16 Chris { 12.28.16 at 3:40 am }

Oh yes this. We were actually standing in my BFF’s Mother’s kitchen on Christmas (now that we’re back here we always spend holidays together in our very own, very complicated family.) And BFF’s fiance called to tell her that George Michael died. My husband, my dad and BFF and I just stood there stunned. This is actually the first of any of these celebrity deaths that really hit me- and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Growing up we lived in the middle of BFE and did not have MTV. I still don’t really “get” music videos having missed out on this as a teenager. LOL But, I certainly had his albums, and I nearly wore out “Faith” it was one of the first tapes I bought for my car (no real radio reception to speak of so cassettes were a necessity). I imagine I’m finally feeling what so many Gen X’ers were feeling over Michael Jackson, David Bowie and Prince, but I’d never been a fan of any of them. But George Michael is leaving me teary. And, I’m sure it would not have been banned. My parents weren’t the banning type and (see above reaction) my dad always listened to pop music, which is just pretty funny if you knew how uptight, and stuffy he is in every other area of his life. Censoring was never my mom’s style.

17 JustHeather { 12.29.16 at 3:21 pm }

I couldn’t imagine music of any sort being banned at my parents’ houses. In fact I remember when I ordered cassette tapes from BMG (?) and purposefully getting the ones that had the explicit lyrics in them. 😀 I was 14-15 years old then.

I think Journeywoman and Working mom of 2 sum it up quite well of what I feel about 2016 and what I’ve heard others say too. It’s just everything all mixed into the year that has is feeling pretty craptastic.

18 loribeth { 12.29.16 at 8:17 pm }

I was in university when Wham and music videos first became big, but I adored “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” and it’s been playing in my head all week. 53 is way too young to die. 🙁

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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