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Archive for the tag “peter kastner”

Is the truth really out there?

I’ve just been thinking lately about the power of the internet and how easily fantasy can become fact by a simple posting that is picked up and repeated.  Makes you wonder what is true and what isn’t.  Now a big lie won’t work because if you print something ridiculous about someone like Brad Pitt, the facts are going to be checked and someone (probably Brad Pitt’s publicist) is going to refute the ridiculous statement.  But if you post a lie, intentionally or not, about someone small, someone who does not have the machinery to refute, then you are able to change history by misrepresentation.  The internet is a lazy animal.  It will pick up one story and repeat it ad infinitum.  I have written in previous posts about the Kastner obituary that painted him in an unfavorable light.  That was one article in the Toronto Star.  His wife, Jenny, and several of Mr. Kastner’s friends, left comments at the bottom of that article, denying the statements made in the article.  That Toronto Star article has been copied and reproduced all over the internet and has become the definitive “history” on Mr. Kastner’s passing.   Try it – Google Kastner obituary and see how many places that version of the obituary comes up.  Kind of scary isn’t it.   Now frankly, I have no way of knowing what the truth is in this case.  But its kind of sad that this one version of  a man’s life has been pasted throughout the internet as gospel.   Wonder what other stories that we’ve taken as truth because we read  it in a half dozen places on the internet are actually just one man’s opinion.

A Celebration of Life

In case you didn’t read the comments to the Peter Kastner entry of September 28th, here is a comment and an invitation from Mrs. Kastner: 

We are having a celebration of Peter’s life On Saturday, October 11 at 7 pm at the Winchevsky Centre in Toronto (585 Cranbrook, a couple of blocks north of Lawrence, off – and close to – Bathurst). Musicians (including Peter on video) will sing his songs, we’ll play some of his videos and remember him. We will have something potluck to eat, to stave off hunger at that hour. Please come if you can.

I’m way too far away to attend but I’ll be there in spirit.

Peter Kastner’s Misleading Obituary

I posted the video of “The Ugliest Girl in Town” on Thursday, September 18th having no idea that Peter Kastner (the star of that show) had died that day of a heart attack.  I thank Linda who left a comment on the post for letting me know.  Why I posted, I don’t know other than the song was rolling around in my head.  Kind of  spooky, huh?  I was not a fan of Peter Kastner other than I thought he was cute in the show and he brought a smile to my face.  My condolences go to his family who on top of dealing with their grief had to spend their time refuting an obit that was clearly done with a biased point of view and very little research.  I am reposting Mrs. Kastner’s comments on the story below.  Unfortunately, the obituary has been copied and disbursed throughout the internet as gospel without Mrs. Kastner’s comments.

Peter’s widow responds Part 1

As the late Peter Kastner’s widow (who was not contacted by Martin Knelman nor John nor Jamie Kastner, the sole sources cited in the article), I am disappointed by the tenor and content of Martin Knelman’s obituary. Peter and I were married for 34 years. The Peter I knew was not to be found in Knelman’s piece. First, some minor innaccuracies: he wasn’t driving when he died, he had pulled over to the side of the road. He was not in downtown Toronto. He never came close to landing the lead in The Graduate, but was just one of a number of actors who read for the part. I am offended at having him portrayed as Norma Desmond a comparison–with a reclusive, delusional actress — that is unfair to Peter and unfair to his memory. Nothing addresses the fine qualities of Peter which would not paint him in such a negative and deluded light. His identity was not wrapped up in being an actor.

Peter’s widow responds, Part 2

After he left acting he became a high school English teacher. He became a maker of quirky and interesting videos on a wide range of subjects. He mentored many teenagers, helped raise his step-daughter and was the constant delight of his grandchildren. Not only is the article inaccurate on a factual basis, it is also a gross misrepresentation of Peter’s life after he left acting. The Peter I knew was actively engaged in the world, through his video work, his songwriting, his political activism and his many friendships. It would have been nice if Knelman had mentioned his first wife Wendy Miller, who also mourns him. The incomplete view presented by Knelman fails to capture the sweetness and soul of the good man who died in his parked car on September 18th, 2008.


I think it was Camus who said something about the best way to die being at a time when one was happy. There was nothing sad about Peter’s “end of life” He was deeply engaged with the world, making wonderful music, starting on an exciting new project, and looking forward to a trip to new York to celebrate his grandsons’ birthdays. This grim obit says nothing about who he was. He was happy, we are the sadder for losing him.

Posted by jenny kastner at 11:18 AM Monday, September 22 2008

If you want to read the obit she is referring to just google Peter Kastner – you are bound to get a version of the one the Toronto paper ran.

You don’t have to be a Mia or Sofia…

This is what I love about YouTube.  Things that I thought were lost to me forever reside in little niches and crannies over there.   When I was very young I watched The Flying Nun religiously (I belonged to the Church of Alejandro Rey).  There was a show that came on, I believe before the Flying Nun (maybe afterwards) called The Ugliest Girl in Town.  And for the past 40 years or so, every so often the theme song to that show floats through my head and I feel compelled to sing it.  I used to sound record (this was the sixties children – no VCR’s) the themes to shows and somewhere I still have a reel to reel sound recording of a Flying Nun episode (no not the Harlan Ellison one)* and the  theme to  The Ugliest Girl in Town.  The person who posted this video over at YouTube went me one better, she filmed the beginning and end bits of the show.  I didn’t have a film camera back then.

It was a silly premise and a silly show but it made an impression – its probably why I ended up watching Bosom Buddies too.  …. yes, that’s right I’m a connoisseur of vintage bad t.v. shows – “bad” really is in the eye of the beholder.  

Oh and by the way, you best be readin’ the above in yer pirate voice, or its the plank for ye!  Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day, arrrrrrrr…….

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