Sunday, July 4, 2010

CBRII Book 23: Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox.

I can't help but compare this autobiograhy to that of David Stratton. Both are about people who've spent their lives 'in film', one as an actor, the other as a critic. One struck me as a pompous windbag, the other amazed me with his unexpected depth and humility.

Don't get me wrong, I already had enormous respect for Fox's efforts to raise money for Parkinson's research. Now, I admire the man, and not just that innate admiration we give anybody who's gives a debilitating disease the old 'fuck you', either.

I admire how readily he gives the credit to everybody else, admits his past fuck ups and appreciates his blessings. I admire how much he adores his wife (please, Michael, don't break my heart with a revelation that you've been cheating on her, though between Tiger and Jesse James, you'd have to cheat on her with Osama Bin Laden to really fuck us all up). Despite how ferociously he's fought for Stem Cell reseach, he speaks of those who oppose it with respect. In fact, he dedicates an entire quarter of his book to his exploration of faith, including encounters with people whose beliefs would condemmn him to hell, and eagerly speaks of their virtues and strengths. He's even considerably more decent to Rush Limburg than the man was to him. If I'd been in his position, my memoir would have been littered with creative expletives. Just one of many reasons why I'll never have a foundation named after me (and, for that matter, never should).

He name-drops, but every name is either part of a 'holy shit, I can't believe I experienced this!' story or because that particular person is connected to his foundation in some way (Ryan Reynolds, for instance, gets mentioned because his father has PD and he raised $100,000 doing a marathon). Though he does talk about the time he came dangerously close to kicking Tobey Maguire in the arse and gyrating his crotch into Usher. That tale was supposed to be about how awesome his wife is. I was too amused by the mental picture to completely appreciate that message.

The Michael J Fox Foundation is determined to cure Parkinson's disease, preferably in the next decade. The scientist in me thinks we don't know nearly enough for that to be possible. The cynic truly doubts that the pharmaceutical giants who make enormous amounts of money from treating PD are going to let some punk TV actor risk those profits by curing the disease.

I became a scientist because I was sick, a lot, as a child. I wanted to cure a disease. On behalf of that dream, please, prove both the Scientist and the Cynic wrong, Michael.

No comments:

Post a Comment