Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Setting Fire to the Rain

Unless this is your first time stopping by this particular little piece of Hell, you know that among the things I care about not at all is the opinion of others. Before you finish mouthing the words, "F U you conceited S.O.B." allow me to explain. What I mean is that I am of the belief that your opinion is simply that - your opinion - and that irrespective of how hackneyed and half-assed it might be, you are entitled to it. I need neither to agree with it nor accept it in order for it to have the stink of legitimacy.

That being said, it is my opinion and belief that for the last seven years, Denis Leary and Peter Tolan have been producing a work of art in the guise of a television series. Tonight, after seven seasons on FX, Leary and Tolan's homage to firefighters, "Rescue Me", concludes its run. Given how much of the show's storylines and its general tenor and feel are tied to September 11, 2001, it is not an accident that Leary and his gang are saying their farewell four days prior to the 10th anniversary of that dreadful day.

Leary earns his living making people laugh, while simultaneously making them think and making more than just a small percentage of them palpably uncomfortable. He is not everyone's pint of Guinness. He is, most certainly, mine. He has often spoken of the fact that a core component of the inspiration for "Rescue Me" came not from the attacks of 09/11 but from the death of his cousin Jeremiah Lucey and five of his fellow Worcester Massachusetts firefighters in 1999 while fighting the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire. In the years since his cousin's death, he has put his money into the space occupied by his often caustic mouth.

The Leary Firefighters Foundation has raised more than $10 Million to assist fire departments in securing better equipment and training in an effort to help those who come at the sound of an alarm to help others - including more often than not those who they do not know - make it home safely at tour's end.

I know not how you intend to spend one particular hour of your Wednesday night (10:00 to 11:00 in the Adam Time Zone) but I know how the Missus and I shall spend that portion of ours. Tommy Gavin's tour ends tonight but that of Leary and his foundation shall continue. For while life may time and again imitate art, art can never take its place. One is art. The other is everything. Here's to those who know the difference.

A lesson perhaps to be left for another day....
-AK

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