I watched the Kennedy Center Honors last night and was pleased to see that Morgan Freeman was among the honorees. As I wrote back in August, I think Morgan Freeman is one of the coolest dudes around and I want to be like him when I grow up.
There were some strange moments in the program: Twyla Tharp looked annoyed to be there, a total sourpuss through the whole thing. And I found it very jarring to have a chorus of uniformed policemen singing "Teenage Wasteland" to honor Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. Really, wouldn't it be more appropriate to have the cops dragging the musicians off the stage? (I'm embarrassed to confess, however, that I'd never heard the song "My Generation" before last night. My familiarity with "the Who" comes from CSI.)
But mostly it was incredibly touching, watching these people watching other people perform for them. I don't know if this was what was happening, but it seemed to me looking at their faces, that they were reliving their lives, seeing what they had done in a new way. I was touched watching Barbra Streisand in particular who seemed, without moving, to be reaching over the balcony up to the stage to encourage the performers singing what were her signature songs. And Beyonce: "It's an honor to sing for you, Ms. Streisand"--wow. What a gift, to give someone a song like that, and to give it back.