30 May 2022

Being Here, I Like That -- Musings on Memorial Day

Memorial Day used to always be on May 30th, regardless of what day it fell on. (It was moved to the last Monday in May in 1970.)  My maternal grandfather’s birthday was May 30th so he would proudly point out that his birthday was a federal holiday.

Today we had veggie dogs, potato salad and baked beans for our Memorial Day meal. Heirloom tomatoes have just come in so my wife sliced some and put olive oil salt and peppers on them and we had those with the veggie dogs. Delicious.

I stepped outside to put some old shrimp fried rice in the compost bin and noted two young ladies at a distance walking down the street talking and laughing. There was something very pleasant about two young friends strolling along on a day when many people are at picnics or barbecues or combinations thereof. It recalled  a July 4th about twenty years ago when the wife and kids were away and I met a friend for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. After dinner we went to a coffee shop and were the only ones there. We enjoyed a nice long chat and it felt good to be away from the usual hurly burly one associates with Independence Day which often includes excess drinking, burgers on the grill and fireworks. We were away from it all in a coffee shop. It’s a pleasant memory.

I’ve had a good day so far. Worked out. Washed towels. Tidied the kitchen prior to preparation of the day’s big meal. Listened to a podcast. Watched a movie. Worked on the novel. Now I’m writing this. Later I’ll ensconce myself in a book and after that watch last night’s episode of Barry, a show the missus and I quite enjoy.

It’ll be early to bed as I’ll be rising at an ungodly hour tomorrow to work on the novel  before heading off to teach my class. The first week went well and I’m anxious to see the progress my two charges make in the coming weeks. 

The downside of my day, as has been the case for much of the last few years, is the news. I’m growing increasingly pessimistic about the future of the United States. Evil, stupid, ignorant forces are at work aided and abetted by the greedy and unscrupulous. It feels at this point that there will never be meaningful gun control legislation, assault rifles will remain accessible to virtually everyone. Voting rights are being squashed, abortion is being banned in more and more states, climate change is not being properly addressed, books are being banned, teachers stifled and a minority of conservatives control the majority’s will. How does one go on believing in positive change in the face of all this? Where does one find the energy for the seemingly futile fight? Why believe anymore? It’s a struggle.

I have to take care of myself (believe me, not an easy job). I have to be at my best for my wife and children, friends, relatives, co-workers and students. I have to enjoy life as much as I can. Find and nurture those things which bring me joy and satisfaction such as writing novel number three. I also can’t dwell on the past and the mistakes I’ve made or wrong turns I’ve taken. And I can’t focus too much on the future when the here and now is to be lived and enjoyed.

Depression nags at me at times and other times it takes over. I’ve got to make the most of the time I have away from it. Savor the good meals, the nice memories, the companionship, creating my art, living my best life and being here. That’s good in itself. Being here. I like that.

27 May 2022

Ray Liotta, A Rant on Guns, Back to Work and The Last Picture Show

Ray Liotta (right) with Joe Pesci in Goodfellas

So what else is new?

Ray Liotta died, so that sucks. He was ten months younger than me. Liotta made his mark in one of cinema's great achievements, Goodfellas (1990) Scorsese. His performance as the gangster, Henry Hill, was part of the film's greatness. Hill was multi-dimensional character, unlike so many cinematic wise guys. For me the film's most memorable scene is the classic "what's so funny about me"? bit that helped Joe Pesci win a well-deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Not to be over-looked is Liotta's role in the scene, by turns laughing, being frightened, confused and relieved. Liotta never was never showcased in such a great film again but he was a consistently good actor whose performance as a lawyer in Marriage Story (2019) Buambach I particularly enjoyed. RIP, a legend....

The second amendment to the constitution of the United States states that "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." So by all means, let's have guns aplenty for those "well-regulated" militias. As for private citizens let's be considerably more circumspect in our distribution of firearms. Surely the founding fathers were not envisioning eighteen-year-olds strolling about with legally purchased assault rifles. The NRA and today's conservatives care more for the right to bear arms than they do the right for children to go to school, people to go to markets, cinemas, nightclubs, concerts or churches without fear of slaughter. Conservatives care about the supposed rights of the unborn but don't give a fuck about anyone other than rich fat cat donors. There are few modern evils quite as pernicious as today's conservative. They are totally lacking in empathy for the poor or disadvantaged. They are racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic and transphobic to the core. They are lying hypocrites beholden only to the wealthy. They are undemocratic and support a corporate oligarchy. Oceans of blood is on their hands and they don't care....

I returned to work Monday after a two year and two month pandemic imposed hiatus. It's like riding a bicycle. I'm very happy to be teaching again and wonder how I survived without it. I have a beginner's class, two students (brothers) from Mexico who know only a smattering of English. Fortunately they are eager lads (27 and 30 years old) which makes my job infinitely easier. Teaching beginners -- trigger warning, education cliche coming -- is a challenge, but who gets anything out of doing things that are easy? Los hermanos will be here for eight weeks and I'm excited to see the progress they make....

Photo by author
Sadly the Shattuck Cinemas in downtown Berkeley closed last Tuesday. I'd been seeing films there since they opened thirty-four years ago. Berkeley once had twelve movie houses, now it has two and one of them shows nothing but escapist adventure movies and dumb rom-coms. The Shattuck had eight screens and showed indy and foreign films. It's a sad state of affairs in this country when movie theaters are closing left and right. I went to the Shattuck on Saturday and again on it's last day to see films (naturally) but also to pay my respects to a place that gave me so much joy over the years. I saw an estimated 400 pictures there including some of my all-time favorites such as Inside Llewyn Davis, Inglorious Basterds, Drive My Car, Personal Shopper, Everyone Says I Love You, The Other Side of Hope, Le Havre, A Separation to name but a few. Saturday I saw Pleasure (2021) Thyberg which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was about a woman entering the porn industry and for all the nudity and sex it was not the least bit titillating. Porn never is. Tuesday I saw Emergency (2022) Williams about three college students of color who find a young white girl passed out in their house. It's an "as-if-torn-from-today's-headlines" films and it was one of the best recent releases I've seen in a long time. Damn I'm going to miss the Shattuck Cinemas....


22 May 2022

One of the Best Seven Year Stretches in Cinema History, 1957-1963

Bergman's Winter Light, my favorite film of the period

I have long championed the 1970s as the best decade in cinema history and have also sang the praises of the 1930s. However I recently found a seven-year period that does not fit neatly into a single decade, that produced a surprising number of classic films: 1957 through 1963. In total I rank thirty-five movies (an average of five a year) among my all-time favorites, nine of which are on my top one hundred, three in the top ten. Of those thirty-five, twenty-three (about two-thirds) were made outside of the United States. It was a slack period for American cinema and fecund for European film. 

One thing I found interesting about this seven-year run was that there were a mere handful of films I rate highly in the years immediately preceding and following it. Somehow it stood in isolation. Why? Perhaps largely because several European directors were at their best during that time. Meanwhile other great directors had faded while a new batch of American directors were several years away from cranking out classics.

Another contributing factor has to be that walls of censorship were finally being chipped away, particularly in Europe. American film did not free itself from the restraints of censorship until the end of the Sixties.

The main contributor to the list was the great Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman, with six — twice as many any other director. Federico Fellini, Francois Truffaut and Michelangelo Antonioni each contributed three. There were five directors with two films, Luis Buñuel and Mikhail Kalatozov and three others who made English-language films, Stanley Kubrick, Billy Wilder and Alfred Hitchcock. 

Here are the films:

Winter Light (1963) Bergman

The Seventh Seal (1957) Bergman

La Dolce Vita (1960) Fellini

Through a Glass Darkly (1961) Bergman

Nights of Cabiria (1957) Fellini

L’Eclisse (1962) Antonio

Vivre Sa Vie (1962) Godard

The Great Escape (1963) J. Sturges

Sweet Smell of Success (1957) Mackendrick 

Vertigo (1958) Hitchcock

Psycho (1960) Hitchcock

L’Avventura (1960) Antonioni

The Silence (1963) Bergman

Ivan's Childhood (1962) Tarkovsky

The Virgin Spring (1960) Bergman

The Magician (1958) Bergman

Viridiana (1961) Buñuel

Ride the High Country (1962) Peckinpah

Spartacus (1960) Kubrick

Shoot the Piano Player (1960) Truffaut

Jules et Jim (1962) Truffaut

Hud (1963) Ritt

Some Like it Hot (1959) Wilder

Letter Never Sent (1960) Kalatozov

The Exterminating Angel (1962)

La Notte (1961)

Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

The Organiser (1963) Monicelli

The Cranes Are Flying (1957) Kalatozov

Witness for the Prosecution (1957) Wilder

The 400 Blows (1959) Truffaut

8 1/2 (1963) Fellini

Two Women (1960) De Sica

Paths of Glory (1957) Kubrick

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) Ford

18 May 2022

“You can't defeat fascism with flower power.”

The following conversation is excerpted from my forthcoming novel. It takes place on October 31, 1970 in Berkeley. The twelve participants have just returned from a an anti-war rally in San Francisco. It's meant to capture the mood and typical arguments that young leftists had at the time.

“That rally was a bummer, feels like the peace movement is dying.” 

“I wouldn’t go that far, there’s growing opposition to the war among all demographics. Activism is what needs a kick in the ass.”

“It’s time for revolutionary purity. Reforms are well-intended but not a solution. The enemy is imperialism, once it's defeated we’ll have socialism in this country and --"  

“Are you talking about armed revolution?”

“You can't defeat fascism with flower power.”

“Let’s not get into this right now.”

“And why not?”

“This is you against the world, or at least everyone in the room.”

“Did everyone notice the dispute between the gays and the organizers?”

“Yeah they didn’t want to let some cat named Don Burton sing.”

“Is he gay or something?”

“He is and I guess he wasn’t registered to perform or something.”

“Is that why they were chanting something while that Indian dude was speaking?”

“Yeah, I heard that they were gonna keep on unless Don was allowed to sing.”

“There’s still — even within the movement — so much homophobia.”

“I don’t know that what happened today was a case of that, but you’re still right.”

“The Indian guy was good though he —”

“Not to me as a woman he wasn’t. Didn’t you hear that bullshit where he complained about women’s lib? He even told the libbers not to come to Alcatraz and tell their women that they’re oppressed.”

“Yeah, fuck that guy. I mean I’m all for Indian rights and support what they’re doing on Alcatraz but there’s no excuse for —”

“See, this is the problem we can’t keep everyone together on all the issues. We need to support all oppressed people whether women, gay, Indian, Black —”

“Right on. Factionalism is killing us.”

“But don’t you think we need to prioritize? Can we fight on all these fronts at the same time? The war is the main — ”

“No, no, we can’t NOT fight for everyone at the same time that’s what this revolution is all about making — ”

“Is it a revolution, though? It didn’t look like one today. Hell, Nixon still has widespread support, the war continues and there are — ”

“Of course it’s a revolution, it doesn’t happen over night. We have to keep the faith. We’ve got a lot of support and it’s growing. Sure there’s some infighting but basically blacks, Indians, gays, Mexicans, everyone is fighting for equality and justice.”

“Justice is a pipe dream. For God’s sakes they’ve go Angela Davis in jail.”

“So we rally for her. Make sure she gets a proper defense. No rest until she freed. We’ve got to free all political prisoners. Especially Angela.”

“Why especially Angela? ALL political prisoners need to be freed.”

“But Angela is a symbol and so important to the movement.”

“And think of how great a victory it will be when she’s freed.”

“Right on.”

“But when is she going to be freed? Can she get a fair trial?”

“People are eventually going to see that she’s being railroaded.”

“Those people better include the jurors.”

“I liked that there was that South Vietnamese student who spoke.”

“Yeah, I dug what he said about Nixon committing ecocide and genocide.”

“Like the Weathermen say, we’ve got to bring the war home. All this talk is not — ”

“I agree to a certain extent but I don’t think the Weatherman’s idea of violence is sustainable. It’ll just bring the pigs — ”

“Exactly, like the Beatles said, we’ve got to give peace a chance.”

“Some pretty good speeches today. I’m just so bummed that the turnout wasn’t better and there wasn’t more spirit among the people.”

“The turnout bothered me but not as much as the lack of spirit it —”

“The spirit was fine, but people are — ”

“A lot of people are burning out ‘cause the movement is too diffused. Every group has to say something and be represented and the focus gets lost. Do we really need one of every group to have their say about every issue? I mean come on why — ”

“But we do, we do need every different kind of voice heard.”

“Well then why wasn’t there, like today, a Jewish speaker or for that matter an Arab or someone from fucking Mars.”

“Why be silly about it Aaron? We get as many under-represented people as possible speaking, especially those who have suffered from this oppressive society.”

“Yeah but — ”

“You can’t have a revolution without all voices heard, you can’t —”

“I keep hearing everyone talk about the revolution but I just don’t see it. When and where and how is this revolution coming about?”

“It’s building, I mean seriously, Tina, do you think revolution happens in like two years? It takes time to build. People have to stay together and keep fighting.”

“I don’t know, I already see it falling apart.”

“That’s because we’re going about it the wrong way. We spend too much time on reform, we need to get the working class behind this because they don’t even recognize their own oppression. Reforms are just a way of gaining more privilege.”

“I think Cordelia has a point there, too much of the movement is led by privileged white people, we need to get everyone but most especially the workers who don’t even realize how oppressed they are to see the necessity of revolution.”

“Power to the people isn’t just a slogan it should be a way of life. All people need to participate and especially the blacks, and latinos and gays and women and what have you.”

“And the prison movement, the prison system is so fucked up and there like lots of political prisoners, Huey and Angela are examples.”

“I worry about over-doing this shit about prisoners being an oppressed group. I mean a lot of these people are murderers and rapists and people who did some seriously fucked up shit. I’d say that’s like the majority of prisoners.”

“I hear where you’re coming from but the prison system is further brutalizing criminals, it’s making bad people worse and maybe people who were’t all that awful are fucked up by all the shit they have to put up with.”

“Yeah some people for sure belong in jail but there’s a lot of brothers and sisters who were busted for something like selling pot and — ”

“Or they were framed by the pigs.”

“Right and there are like way too many I mean like a disprop — what’s that word?”


“Yeah disproportionate number of negroes —”

“You mean blacks.”

“Right, sorry, black people in prisons.”

“The whole fucking system is racist.”

“It’s run by Gestapo pigs and that’s why we can’t fuck around, we’ve got to fight fire with fire.”

“Fred Hampton pointed out that it makes more sense to fight fire with water.”

“We’ve got to be doing something the whole establishment is racist and chauvinistic. Blacks and women get it the worst."

“I gotta be honest here and don’t judge me too harshly but I’m kinna confused by the whole women’s liberation thing. I mean like sometimes I’m made to feel bad just ‘cause I’m a dude.”

“Well that’s your trip if you feel bad, maybe you’ve got a reason to feel bad. I mean do you treat women like sex objects?”

“No, hell no. I mean when I meet a chick who I’m attracted to I can’t help but think of her in terms of sex, that’s just natural that’s nature.”

“But how do you treat her?”

“I mean I suppose I’m nicer and maybe I flirt.”

“But do you just think about fucking her or do you want to get to know her as a person?” 

“Yeah and do you respect her and her views and opinions like you would a male friend?”

“Well, yeah, but it’s different. I mean I —”

“You’re clearly confused. Maybe you and I should talk later.”

“Cool, cool, thanks. I don’t want to be a chauvinist or anything.”

“You’re open to listening so that’s far out.”

“We need to call out all men on the patriarchal bullshit that is keeping women down.”

“Hey, we’re not all —”

“I’m tired of that argument. Men either open about their bullshit or they pretend to be the exception. “It’s not me,’ they say. All men need to own their shit and realize that —”

“No Tina you can’t lump all men together, that’s not fair. Some men are really powerful allies just like a lot of whites are powerful allies to their Afro-American brothers and sisters.”

“I don’t know, man — ”

“We fight amongst ourselves too much.”

“Yeah it’s a distraction, it keeps us — ”

“It’s a moral imperative that we end the war, that’s the first priority. That’s where our energies should be focused.”

“I think we can focus on more than one thing at a time.”

“We have to.”

“Justice, that’s the key word. Equal justice for all and that includes the people in Vietnam.”

“I dunno it gets really complicated.”

“But it shouldn’t be that’s thing. It should be simple. We oppose the war and fight for equal rights and equal justice for everyone. We stand together.”

“Wish it were that simple.”

“Anyone want to go to a Halloween party? I know of a couple.”

“Are they costume parties because I don’t have anything.”

“I don’t either.”

“There’s one I was going to that’s at Chuck’s house, anyone else know Chuck?”

“I do. Talk about chauvinists….”

“Really, Chuck, yuck.”

“Did you just say ‘Chuck yuck?”

“Still a party at his place might be okay.”

“There’d be too many jocks.”

“Fuck that.”

“Deena and Craig are having a party but I’m pretty sure it’s a costume thing.”

“Yeah that’s the other one I was thinking of.”

“Who are Deena and Craig?”

“Fuck it. Let’s have a party right here. There’s already, what, twelve us. We could probably make some calls and get another dozen.”

“Far out.”

“Hey, the pizza’s here.”

12 May 2022

The Author Enjoys a Trip the Ballpark and the Local Nine Wins

Photo by author

I must have a different brain from the one I had ten years ago. It used to be that I’d go to between fifteen and thirty baseball games a year. One season I went to thirty-nine. I went to my first of this year yesterday and as much as I enjoyed it doubt very much that I’ll got to more than two more between now and October. I’m more of a theater and museum guy now. I never miss a Cal football home game and catch most of Cal’s women’s basketball team’s home games. If I lived in anywhere near London I’d go to as many Arsenal home matches as possible. I still love baseball but a lot of that love is out of nostalgia. I’ve been going to games for sixty years. Early in life I mostly went with my Dad and that evokes special memories. Later in life I’ve taken a nephew and my oldest daughter. Of course I’ve gone to a lot of games with friends, some of whom are — as they say — no longer with us. I’ve also gone on dates to the ballpark, some with the woman to whom I am now blissfully married. But for the most part I feel more at home with the people I attend plays or the museum with than your typical baseball fan. Maybe this speaks to some kind of evolution on my part or simply a different way of viewing the world. Besides, attending a game has gotten expensive. This is equally true of all professional sports and many college athletics as well.

One thing that’s ruined baseball for me is my ever-increasing love of soccer (more properly known worldwide as football). Matches are compact, ending in just under two hours, excepting cup ties which can go into overtime. There’s also not the constant stopping and starting that has become so annoying to me in other sports. There are no time outs, no commercial breaks until half time. I also love the game itself more than any other. It’s beautiful to watch. Plus it’s the sport I was best at so I can better appreciate it. I love the English game with it’s grand traditions, fierce rivalries and storied players. I lost touch with baseball and although aI know of virtually everyone on the Giants roster, know few opposing players anymore. Time was when I could rattle off the starting line-ups for most major league teams as well many of the pitchers and a few of the reserves. I still love reading about the history of the game but today's version is less appealing.


It was chilly but sunny at the yard. I had good seats behind first base. They were far enough from the field (row 32) that I was in the shade so I didn’t have to deal with sunscreen or sunburn. I took a stroll all the way around the yard before the game and then again in the middle. Both walks were pleasant. The Giants won comfortably, 7-1 which guaranteed a good day. The win was especially nice because before hand I’d convinced myself that the locals were going to lose. After all they’d won four in a row (couldn't last, I reasoned) and they were facing their opponent’s best pitcher. The Giants’ hurler was a mediocre journeyman. Anticipating a loss makes a win all the sweeter.

But I wasn’t overly invested in the result. I needed a day out. I needed to get away from the writing desk and do something different.

It was a fun and relaxed atmosphere, especially after the Giants assumed a big lead. It’s nice to be around thousands of people who are in good spirits.

The park itself is beautiful, nestled right against the bay. Indeed it is considered by many the most beautiful baseball park in the majors. The views are spectacular. It was also unusual for me because I haven’t gone to a day game in probably over a decade. I’d forgotten just how nice the park looked swathed in sunshine. It is pastoral and bespeaks the old days.

I was blessed with a smooth, fast and easy commute home, returning to my abode exactly one hour after the game ended. Nothing can take the joy out of a pleasant visit to the ballpark like an uncomfortable commute with overly-crowed trains boarded after long waits. When the team has lost and you suffer a bad return trip it’s like double jeopardy.

The best part of coming home was chatting with the missus and telling her about my day and in turn hearing how much she’d enjoyed a bit of solitude. Was glad to have provided it.

09 May 2022

Impersonal Friends, If Your Being Dishonest, Pretty Incredible and Sensible Tragedies -- It's Time for More on Words and Language

Yesterday I heard someone refer to another person as “a personal friend of mine.” Personal friends are the best. Impersonal friends I can do without. I suppose people have friends within their profession, but isn't she or he still a friend to you "personally?" I should think so. 

Today I heard someone say, “I’m going to be honest with you.” That’s refreshing but then we are left to assume that the speaker normally lies. I’ve also heard some people say, “if I’m being honest….”  So many questions. What if you’re being dishonest? Why is this stated as a hypothetical? Are we left to guess as to the veracity of what you normally say?

I’ve also heard people preface a sentence with “honestly, I think that…” Again, why the “honestly?” Is this to differentiate from all the times you lie?

Another use of “personal” I sometimes hear is on public transportation when an announcement at the end of the journey suggests that people look around for their “personal belongings.” Screw the belongings that are associated with work, you can leave those behind, but your “personal” belongings, those that have meaning to you, they’re what you should look out for. And what if your toting around something for a friend? Shouldn't you check for that too?

I remember when in school a teacher saying that he’d had “just about enough” of someone’s nonsense. I took that to mean that he could handle a bit more nonsense. After all, he did not say, “I’ve had enough” only "just about."

Again I heard someone say that they “couldn’t find the words” to express how they felt about someone. Look harder. There are lots of words. Surely you can find a few to slap together that will express how you feel. That's what words are there for. Then again you often hear people say that they are "speechless" then they go ahead and speak. Make up your mind.

Since I’m writing again about words and language allow me to remind everyone that “a lot” is two words. Can't be stressed enough.

When you sign off an email with “best” what do you mean? Best wishes? Best regards? Or something else entirely, such as “I best be going?” Using only “best” is lazy and I do not approve. I also do not approve of “yours.” Stick a “truly” at the end of that or even a sincerely. Speaking of “sincerely” is it used to assure the recipient that you were sincere in everything you wrote? If so they might as well start the email with “If I’m being honest with you.” If I’m replying to an email I tend to follow the leader. If the sender went with warm regards I’ll give them the same. However if I’ve started the correspondence then the onus is on me. With friends I’ll use “your friend” or “cheers” or “warm regards.” If I don’t know the best person well or at all I generally stick with “warm regards” or “best wishes.” I like “all the best” too and will use it with friends and strangers alike. I’ve occasionally gone with “love” if for some reason I’m writing to one of my daughters or nieces or nephews. I don’t tend to email the wife as we share a home but if I did I'd definitely go with "love." 

I once again heard about a “senseless tragedy.” Still waiting to hear something described as a “sensible tragedy.” In the same vein you often read about a “needless loss a life.” Is there ever a “needed loss of life?"

I’ve often written to people who are under stress or in a bind that “I’m sending good vibes your way.” People seem to like that. The truth is that I have no idea how to send vibes, good or bad. But it is a clear case of the thought being what counts. I never send "thoughts and prayers" because I don't pray. I suppose I could send "thoughts" but that's a little weird.

I saw a tweet today in which the tweeter referred to something as “kind of incredible.” I’m against virtually all uses of “kind of.” It’s especially egregious when placed in front of a powerful word like “incredible.” Something should be either — in a person’s mind — incredible or not, no need to quality it or diminish it. Another example of this I see a lot is “pretty amazing.” I can accept “pretty good” which I take to mean something was okay but not one hundred per cent satisfactory but, like “incredible,” something is either “amazing” or it isn’t. While we’re at it let’s curtail the use of “sort of” by about ninety-nine per cent. It’s usually used in speech and it is — not sort of, not kind of, not pretty — annoying and useless. “Sort of” belongs in the bin with, “ya know” or most uses of “ya know what I mean?” (If I don’t know what you mean, I’ll bloody well tell you.)

05 May 2022

I'll Be Sporting a New Look if....


Here's the thing, I'm building a time machine so that I can return to the 1970s and buy these fabulous clothes at Seventies prices. I'll be sure to Instagram myself in them. Now if I can just find that socket wretch I can get started.

03 May 2022

This Post is Dedicated to the One I Love (My Lovely Missus)

I love this song from the Mamas and Papas. When I was a teenager I had a massive crush on Michelle Phillips who sings lead on Dedicated. I've often wished I had a time machine with which I could go back to the Sixties and hook up with her. But I'm so happy with the love of my life (I had the sense to marry the woman of my dreams) that I'd never actually go. 

When I visited the video on You Tube today I noted -- unsurprisingly -- that I'm not alone in my affection for the song and to many others it has an especially deep meaning. Here's a sampling of  comments that people have left:

I came back from Vietnam and my wife would sing this song to me at night when i woke up screaming. Memories are not always good. Been tough since she died. I miss her more than i can say. Goodnight baby.

I lost my mam last month. She battled stage IV cancer for 7 years. This is the song she asked to be played at her funeral. I miss her more than words can say 💔

My mom died in 1966 when I was 8  years old. When this song would come on the radio I knew that it was from her. I'd listen to it every night  before going to bed. That was her goodnight kiss.

When a song you’ve heard 100 times still gives you the chills. . . .

If you ever need to teach a music student how vocal arrangement and dynamics works – this is the song. Michelle Phillips start the song so softly, and then John, Denny, and Cass come in with those powerful vocals and beautiful arrangement. Still makes my hair stand on end after all these years. What a classic composition and performance.

It's like a voice from heaven when Michelle opens this song.

Always brings a tear. So good, and moving. Michelle's gentle voice gives me goosebumps.

Que bonita, Michelle no cabe duda que bien dicho esta, "disfruta de la juventud" que cuando se llega a viejo no hay vuelta atrás!!! 
Saludos desde México

The vocals on this song! The harmonies, mein Gott. Just stellar. Up there with anything the Beatles or the Beach Boys ever did... in terms of vocal arrangement.

Odd. Michelle is singing the lead in this song and doing it beautifully and most of the  comments I see are about her looks and how great mama Cass' voice was.  I would have thought some people would actually acknowledge that Michelle could sing and that she was a big part of their sound.  She wasn't just a pretty face.

Now I´m 68 years and I remember I made my first steps kissing a girl during this song. I think I have a bit tears in my eyes.

This was my mom and Dad's Song... They loved to dance this... RIP DAD I MISS YOU!!!

Le souvenir est trop fort et mes larmes sont infinies . Nous n'avons pas d'image, seulement le son, c'est tellement dommage. MERCI POUR CE SOUVENIR TRÈS PUISSANT. c'est le meilleur de ma vie.

Whenever I listen to this song I think of soldiers fighting in Viet Nam and thinking of their loved ones back home.   Sad and haunting song, beautifully composed.  Plus, Michelle Phillips  looked like an angel on Earth in this video.