Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bruce Willis (ft. June Pointer) – "Respect Yourself" (1987)

If you disrespect anybody that you run in to
How in the world do you think
Anybody's s'posed to respect you?

A young lawyer at my law firm sent this e-mail out last week:

A client is looking for guidance on [a certain federal regulation].  Has anyone put together an overview of that rule that they’d be willing to share?

(It should be “Has anyone put together an overview of that rule that he or she would be willing to share?” – but I have bigger fish to fry than bad grammar.)

I wrote back to the young lawyer – she’s someone I work with on occasion – attaching a memo that I had written twenty years ago about that regulation.  (The regulation at issue has been amended since I wrote the memo, but most of what I had written was still accurate – a little tweaking and it would have been good to go.)

It surprised me when the young lawyer – who has always struck me as being well-mannered and circumspect (almost to the point of being boring) – responded as follows:

Wow, twenty years ago I don’t think I even knew how to use a computer.  Thanks for sending!

In other words:

Wow, you are really, really, REALLY old.  Thanks for sending!

When I shared this with my children, one of them told me that the young lawyer should have written something like “It’s great to be able to learn from an expert with so many years of experience in this area!”

I appreciate her message of support, although I could have done without that “so many years” language.

She went to make a point that I had not thought of:

I get reverse remarks like this at work all the time since I'm often the youngest by far in work groups or meetings.  People will mention an event or a famous person from the past and say, “I BET YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT/WEREN’T EVEN ALIVE FOR THIS!”  Or if I'm with another young co-worker, they will ask our office administrator if she is “keeping the kids in line.”  I find that disrespectful, too! 

It’s probably true that young people are the victims of age-related disrespect just as often as they are the perpetrators.  Not that I ever am guilty of this – I am so bleeding envious of younger people that it would never occur to me to put them down.

Here’s how another one of my children responded to both our complaints:

As Stephanie Tanner would say HOW RUDE!  On both accounts . . . 

Haters gonna hate.  They hate you cause they ain't you. 

My children forever see the world through the prism of the late, great Full House television series.  (I’m talking the original Full House – not the dreadful Fuller House reunion show that’s currently airing on Netflix.)

Stephanie Tanner was our least favorite of the Tanner daughters, but her “How rude!” is one of the more memorable Full House catchphrases.

*     *     *     *     *

Stephanie Tanner was portrayed by Jodie Sweetin, who was only five years old when Full House debuted.

Jodie Sweetin then
Like many of the regulars on Full House, Sweetin’s on-screen persona had little in common with reality.  (For example, Full House dad Bob Saget is known for his X-rated standup comedy, while Dave Coulier – who played goofy Uncle Joey on Full House – inspired the quintessential “woman scorned” song of all time, Alanis Morrisette’s “You Oughta Know.”)

Sweetin’s life didn’t start well.  Both her parents were serving prison sentences when she was born.  

She started drinking alcohol when she was 14, shortly after Full House was cancelled.  She graduated to ecstasy, methamphetamine, cocaine, and crack.  

Jodie Sweetin now
Sweetin just turned 35, but she’s already been married and divorced three times.  But that didn’t stop her from getting engaged for the fourth time in 2016.

A year later, she called off the engagement.

*     *     *     *     *

Did you know that Bruce Willis had a #5 hit with his cover of “Respect Yourself” in 1987?  

The original “Respect Yourself” – which was recorded by the Staple Singers in 1971 – only made it to the #12 spot on the Billboard “Hot 100.”

Which proves that there is no accounting for taste.

Here’s the music video for the Bruce Willis version of “Respect Yourself.”  It has absolutely no redeeming qualities except for the presence of the Pointer Sisters, who must have been absolutely desperate for money.

Click below to buy the Staple Singers’ version of “Respect Yourself.”  I couldn’t live with myself if I though I was responsible for even one of my loyal readers spending their hard-earned money on the Bruce Willis version.

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