RIP, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett

by Karoli on June 26, 2009 · 248 comments

rough around the edges

It’s hard to believe they’re both gone in the same day. Michael Jackson’s passing is, of course, the more shocking of the two. I had the sense that recent interviews Ryan O’Neill gave were gestures that the end was coming, and that he was tipping us all off that Farrah didn’t have much time left.

It hurts a little to see the press constantly refer to her as an 80’s sex symbol, as though those piercing eyes of hers and finely-honed features were only valuable when viewed in the context of a Charlie’s Angels episode. Farrah’s finest work was The Burning Bed, all the more shocking because she shed the sex symbol image to tell a horrifying story of abuse. If she is remembered for anything, it should be that work. It was a masterpiece.

Michael Jackson’s birthdate is 5 days after mine. We grew up together, sort of. I never believed he was a child molester, though it was clear that he had grown more and more eccentric, imprisoned in his idea of a childhood lost. And damn…he made some amazing music throughout his career. His dance moves captivated my kids…Sticks still does a mean moonwalk.

MSNBC’s coverage of Michael Jackson tonight gave the distinct impression that prescription drugs continued to be a problem in his life, and that they may have been a factor in his death. I hope not. In some ways, I’d just like to think it was time for him to go, and so, he did.

Already, the press coverage has been an exercise in overkill. It’s not my intention to add to that, but at the same time, the passing of two entertainers who are hallmarks of my time and age seemed to be something I didn’t want to overlook.

The old saw about entertainers dying in groups of three seems to still hold. Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson…completely different genres and generations, yet all great in their time.

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