Monday, June 29, 2009

The double-whammy of Farrah Fawcett and then Michael Jackson got me considering if MJ's demise was the biggest celebrity death of our generation. It's easily had more of an impact than Kurt Cobain or Princess Di. Andy Kaufman, by the way, is still alive.

For me -- more of a punk/heavy metal aficionado than a pop fan -- I was particularly saddened when Joe Strummer of the Clash died a few years ago. I listened to London Calling a billion times, but never owned Thriller or any Jacko album. Still, musical tastes aside, the effect of The Gloved One was tremendous -- sure I could headbang, but I secretly always wanted to moonwalk.

I remember as a kid when Elvis passed away, and for the older folks it was a big deal, esp. because the King was only 42. He was just a name I heard on those bad K-tel type commercials, where they'd scroll down the song titles and highlight 'em if they were featuring video of the fat bastard crooning in Vegas. At the time, I didn't know the difference between him and Englebert Humperdink and Bobby Vinton.

This weekend, people were wondering who was the next star to pass away, and we all started playing the name game. I pondered whose death would have an even greater impact that Michael Jackson.

It couldn't be someone old and legendary -- say, if Dustin Hoffman or Clint Eastwood died, even if they're in good health. Sure, those guys have made tons of iconic movies but those guys are over 70. Paul Newman died recently and it was sad but you didn't hear everyone remarking that a part of their childhood was gone.

And if it's someone young and upcoming, it'd be tragic for sure, but the world would keep turning. Think about Heath Ledger or Aaliyah.

No, it'd have to be someone who's already an international icon but far from done creating movies or music or whatever, and controversy. Like Tom Cruise or Madonna. David Letterman, maybe?

Okay, this is too morbid. Besides, I had brought work home this weekend and had to get to it.

This piece I was working on was about a bunch of guys filming a prank they played on their friend. To get their buddy to sit in front of the camera unsuspectingly, they had him perform his impression of TV pitchman Billy Mays.

I was trying to figure out how to write this up, but decided to procrastinate by checking out the latest developments surrounding MJ's autopsy. Checked TMZ and there it was -- Billy Mays had died. Man, that's just friggin' weird.

Okay, I need to stop thinking about celebrities for a while...


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