March 6, 2008, - 12:21 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
**** UPDATE: Video Added – “Red Dawn” Trailer and “She’s Like the Wind”; SCROLL DOWN ****
On this site, I’ve been extremely critical of actor Patrick Swayze over the years. That includes his drunken piloting of a plane and then covering it up when it crashed, his claim that he knows the Arab world because he raises Arabian horses (in his critique of the Iraq war), his defense of Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic comments, and his promotion of the Islamic Arab Gulf States (including his project to star as and sanitize the true story of an Arab Muslim Sheikh who was kidnapped from his Anglo parents and forcibly converted to Islam). While I was critical, I felt he did these things out of utter ignorance, not malicious intent against America, like, say, Alec Baldwin, Angelina Jolie, or Sean Penn.
That said, despite my utter disagreement with his misguided, ill-advised activities and statements, my prayers are with him as he tries to fight pancreatic cancer. Having just lost my beloved father, H.L. Schlussel, MD–Blessed Be His Memory–to this aggressive and largely terminal form of cancer, I know what it is like to watch someone you love know that he will certainly die very soon from this horrible illness.
As an optimist, I hate to be pessimistic on this kind of thing. Anything is possible, and only G-d knows the future. But, even though Swayze’s spokespeople dispute tabloid reports that he has only five weeks to live, the fact is that almost all of those stricken with pancreatic die within five years. And most die within five or six months.
My father, fortunately, outlived that amount of time, which he was given by doctors as the prognosis for the length of the rest of his lifespan. But he, too, died far too quickly and much before his time. Sadly, there is a Jewish gene, which makes it more likely that Ashkenazic Jews (those generally of European heritage) will develop pancreatic cancer in greater percentages than the general popularion.
I remember that, 24 years ago, Patrick Swayze starred in the great 1984 movie, “Red Dawn,” which showed us what would happen to America in a Communist invasion. That movie, which only recently came out on DVD, was vastly underrated and panned by liberal mainstream media movie critics. But it could easily be remade into “Green Dawn” or “Black Dawn,” an accurate portrayal of what would happen–and may very well happen–when Muslims take over America, as is their declared goal. Hard to believe that movie is nearly a quarter century old.
At the time it came out, we were in the midst of fighting the Soviets and other forces of Communist hegemony in the Cold War. That’s why despite universal critical panning, the movie was a box office success, with Americans paying to see it in droves. It was an important film that embodied the fight Ronald Reagan was preventing in our future by fighting–and beating–it during his Presidency. If only President Bush had done the same in the last 6.5 years, instead of kowtowing to it. Unlike Ronald Reagan, his actions insure that “Black Dawn” will not just be a movie.
The handsome, talented Swayze was magnificent as the hero who stood for freedom in “Red Dawn.” And he not only starred in big hits like “Dirty Dancing” (which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary), “Ghost,” and the hockey movie, “Youngblood,” but he was a talented, accomplished dancer and singer (don’t forget his hit song, “She’s Like the Wind,” which others pan as cheesy, but which I still like; last year, it was remade into a hit by hip-hoppers). And I loved him as a Confederate soldier in “North & South,” the ’80s ABC Civil War miniseries (remember network miniseries?). He was definitely a showman.
Perhaps his affliction with pancreatic cancer will draw much needed attention to this form of cancer, which has no obvious symptoms, no cure, and does not get the attention other more “sexy” disease, like breast cancer and AIDS, do. There has been very little advance in treatment of pancreatic cancer because it afflicts to few and, therefore, gets little money for research and advancement in finding cures and effective treatments.
Pray for Patrick Swayze. It’s very sad. I hope he recovers and that this is not an obituary. But, unfortunately, the odds are against him. Maybe he will beat them.
**** UPDATE: Trailer from Patrick Swayze’s “Red Dawn” and Patrick Swayze Video/”She’s Like the Wind”:
**** UPDATE #2: Reader Ari says this comment about pain, from “Roadhouse,” is the best line ever delivered by Patrick Swayze:
Tags: ABC, actor, AIDS, Alec Baldwin, America, Angelina Jolie, Black Dawn, Breast cancer, Bush, cancer, Charlie Sheen, dancer and singer, Debbie Schlussel, Dirty Dancing, Ghost, H.L. Schlussel, hockey, horrible illness, Iraq, liberal mainstream media movie critics, Mel Gibson, North & South, North and South, pain, pancreatic cancer, Patrick Swayze, President, Red Dawn, Ronald Reagan, Sean Penn, treatment of pancreatic cancer, Youngblood