Small Realities

Inside the mind of Lance Schonberg

RIP Farrah, Michael

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Farrah Fawcett died this morning about 930 Pacific time, or just about when I was struggling out of bed after not enough sleep Eastern time.  I found out on Twitter with the mainstream media taking long minutes to catch up.  I’ll leave a comment on that for another time, maybe.

Flaky, funny, and definitely blonde, she’s done a lot of stuff in her career, but I was a kid when Charlie’s Angels ran in the 70s, so that’s how I’ll always remember her.  Not that I was a big fan, but it was part of my childhood.

But if I was just a kid and not really a fan of the show, why do I need to remember Farrah?  People die every day and some of them are a lot more famous or have much bigger social or societal impacts.  Why Farrah?  Why not Ed McMahon, Roméo LeBlanc, or David Eddings, who have all died this month?

What a second?  David Eddings is dead?  Yes, on June 2nd and I wish I’d found that out more recently than yesterday.   For the non-geeks and non-fantasy readers out there, David and Leigh Eddings are a husband and wife writing team publishing best selling and popular high and epic fantasy going back to the early 80s.  I have a large number of Eddings’ titles in my personal library and some of them have been read quite a few times.  I don’t think his later work was nearly as good as what he published in the 80s and early 90s, but it’s sad to know he won’t be producing any more.  He’ll be missed.

Ed McMahon, well, people in my age group are more likely to remember him as the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes guy rather than Johnny Carson’s side kick on the Tonight Show.  As far as my personal experience goes, Jay Leno was the Tonight Show host, now taken over by someone far less funny.

And who was Roméo LeBlanc?  Unless you’re a Canadian politics junkie, you’ll have no idea he was the Governor General in the late 1990s.  Why would you?

And then this afternoon, Michael Jackson.  Wacko Jacko some style him, but I was the right age for Thriller to be a big thing.  Subsequent lifestyle oddities and scandals don’t change the music.  I watched the full Thriller “movie” this afternoon on You Tube.  Still love the dancing zombies.

The point is that different people’s deaths will affect you in different ways, particularly famous people.  Do I have any particular fond memories of Farrah Fawcett?  Not really.  I sort of remember Charlie’s Angels and seeing her in a few movies, but that’s about it.  Will I miss her?  Not exactly, but there are people who will, people close to her and her fans.  Michael Jackson gave me music in my youth, some of which I still enjoy.  Will I miss him?  Again, not exactly, but a lot of people will.  He’s got an awful lot of fans.

Anyone’s death is a loss to someone, and that’s the important thing to remember.

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