I had a post I was working on. It was a ramble. I’m not sure if I’ll finish it as I’m not sure if the point I was trying to make is clear enough or if I have enough of a handle on it to make sense.
Instead, I’ll point to our three recently departed celebrities. My mom always told me that little superstition that celebrity deaths come in threes, and this time it seems to be the triple feature of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. In that order.
Since I’ve been remiss in my posting around here, a celebrity ramble post is better than nothing at all, right? Right? Oh, well, maybe some of you will stick around.
Ed. Well, I don’t have much in the way of feelings about Ed McMahon. He was a loyal and steady sidekick to Johnny Carson and served as his foil and, it seems, his friend. I don’t think Ed’s work changed the world much, neither on the “Tonight Show” nor as pitchman for the Publisher’s Clearinghouse giveaways, but then again, most of us don’t change the world much. Not even celebrities. But for solidity, loyalty and reliability, I’ll give the old codger plenty of credit.
Farrah. She was never my favorite on “Charlie’s Angels.” Jaclyn Smith was my gal, and she still holds a place in my heart. But she was a pop culture icon and a sex symbol back in her day, and she did a powerful performance in “The Burning Bed.” What little I saw of her reality show left me wondering if she had lost her sanity recently, but then again, as it turns out she had cancer, who knows how much might be attributed to that? But somewhere even in that quesy behavior, she seemed to have some depth of heart and emotion she was trying to convey. In any case, it’s sad that cameras had to follow even her dying days. Nothing is sacred anymore, and it saddens me that celebrities and non-celebrities alike will let the most personal parts of their lives out the world that should only be shared by family and friends.
Michael Jackson. The guy had talent, no doubt about it. He was a pop music powerhouse once as an adult solo act, and he was a lynchpin of The Jackson Five when he was a child. He got creepier and creepier the older he got. I mean, even without the suspicions that he liked to get intimate with underage boys, his continued plastic surgery made him look ever less human and more like a brother from another planet. Or a white guy from another planet. Whether his father’s overbearing upbringing or the pressures of fame or some chemical imbalance, Michael clearly had serious demons that he never exorcised. He left the world at a nadir in his personal popularity, but all the same, he leaves a brilliant musical legacy. Truly, another example of how being an artist is sometimes a cruel mix of ugliness and beauty.
I knew none of you personally, and you may have been better people or worse people than I suspect in your personal lives. But you were, despite being celebrities, just people in the end. My prayers for your families and friends in their grief, and rest in peace.