Here is is, 2010 and the world is wired up on speed, instant information, hooking up, (rather than hanging up, when we used to have dial telephones and to end a call you of course, had to hang it up), insatiable thirst for more, more, the biggest, newest, coolest, smallest, sleekest, prettiest gadget, moving so fast i forgot what i did five minutes ago. and i'm guilty, even at 50, i love it all and find such a dazzling universe at my fingertips and i, too, can't get enough. my iphone makes me weep with joy, offering me the world literally at the press of a button....well, not really a button, it took me a while to get used to that. my kitchen is infused with tastes, scents, and flavors from all over the place, thanks to fedex and the fact that i can order saffron from egypt and find it patiently waiting on my porch the next day. none of us has to wait for much of anything anymore, or take it easy, or wait, or think, or sit, or dwell, or......
The thing of it is, though, there's something amazing happening on facebook. something remarkable that i can only look at with wonder, and yes, with a great big heap of awe: the tsunami which is the all-encompassing open armed, singing hearted love of betty white. i love it, i really do, and in all of it, zipping through the faces of those fans lining up on the wall to stake their claim on how much they love betty white, i noticed the hodge podge of ages and genders all mixed up in a big puddle of adoration. enthusiasm. glee. (back when glee just meant happiness, rather than that amazingly happy existence known as a new tv show and the land inhabited by gleeks)
So how is it that these two worlds can co-exist in such a lovely, powerful, three cheers for betty kind of way? the zip zip speed of instant connect which is the internet, faster than the speed of light, almost faster than the speed of thought. i pondered: why do all of these people love betty white, and why (most interestingly) are they writing about her all over the let betty white host snl facebook page?
I think that what is happening is that we all realize that, as fast and as furious as our lives get to be now, and to the people under 25 on facebook, i'm most dumbstruck, betty white represents something. exactly what, i'm not sure i can put my finger on it. and instead of googling it, or posting a questionnaire, i'm just going to punt.
Betty White comes from a different world. literally. she was born during the great depression. she has seen fledgling automobiles replace a good horse, seen rickety early aviation become the norm for speedy travel, seen the typewriter get trounced by the laptop, watched the fading light of so many 'modern' inventions, only to be replaced over and over again by something new, shiny and more wonderful. the wonders of progress, the modernization of life, the convenience of a tv dinner!
Here, nothing but change has surrounded this woman as she's giggled and entertained her way through her amazing life. sharp shooter, with a twinkle in her eye, seemingly standing up against the boredom of the fickle public, it seems as though she's outlasted, evolved, stayed current, and to use that silly cliche line i find so over-used, "captured our hearts".
Everyone still needs a gramma. amazing as it is, this gal has hooked us, big time. she's irreverent, such a wolf in sheep's clothing, and then some. she's game for a laugh, obviously. she's someone we all want to hug. and we know she'd hug us back like she really means it, and i think you could probably tell her anything and she'd listen. i think that her constant vim and vigor has us all bewitched, not only for how enjoyable she is, but also, maybe more importantly, she maybe shows us that it's not so scary getting older. you don't lose, you gain. momentum, experience, desire, appreciation, confidence. and throngs of admirers.
So how cool is it that, who knows, a quarter of a million people from all ages, places, cultures, races, genders, are standing up and giving this dame a standing ovation? very.
Betty Marion White (born January 17, 1922) is an American actress, comedian and former television host with a career spanning over sixty-five years. Her television roles include Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls.
White has won six Emmy Awards and received 18 Emmy nominations over the course of her career, and was the first woman to ever receive an Emmy for game show hosting. She has also made regular appearances on the game shows Password and Match Game and played recurring roles on Mama's Family, Boston Legal and The Bold and the Beautiful. She is also recognized for her affiliation with animal charities such as "Actors and Others for Animals" and the Morris Animal Foundation.