Stop. Please. No. Really. Just Stop.

Ed. Note: I started this last night.

american_eskimo_dogSo, I met two really cool women tonight who generously allowed me the use of their pool (thanks, gex), and permitted me to love up their gorgeous Alaskan Eskimo.  In addition, their beautiful and elderly Siamese deigned to grant me the privilege of caressing him a few times.  Then, we had great food at the Pardon My French Cafe.  Sated and happy, I drove home and promptly crashed on the papasan.  gex and her girlfriend, Allie (no, not her real name) were so right.  Bobbling in the pool under the hot sun REALLY takes it out of you.

Anyway, I got up around one, futzed around on the intertoobs, and fired up Keith Olbermann.  To my consternation, the first three stories were about Michael Jackson’s death and the suspicious circumstances surrounding it.  They had on Deepak Chopra, who is, apparently, a good friend of Michael Jackson’s.  He had some interesting insight, I guess, but WTF?  Now, I know Keith isn’t hard news per se.  I know he leans towards pop culture as well as towards sports.   I can see him doing a brief segment, but three?  Aw, hell no.  Not to mention, on the way to gex’s, on NPR, they were going around the country interviewing fans from around the world–who then would sing (badly) a snippet of a MJ song.  Note, people who cannot sing should not do so on the national radio machine.

Just fucking stop it, people.  No, really, stop.  I mean it.  Can I be honest with you?  I don’t give a shit how MJ died.  I don’t give a shit if he was Oxycontined up to his eyeballs every day of his life.  I don’t care that the mother of his babies was turkey-bastered with someone else’s sperm (a British rumor, presumed to be false) or with his, and that she was essentially a womb for hire.  And yet, I now know all this even though I have made no attempts to find out any of this shit on my own.

Ed. Note: From here on out, it’s today.

cameraI remember the same thing happening when Princess Di died, however many years ago that was.  My mom was obsessed with the death.  She would watch all the coverage, and she would get mad if I wanted to turn it off.  Now, this s going to sound cold, but I didn’t give a damn that she died.  Oh, I felt sorry for her and her family, but I didn’t get the hoopla at all.  I mean, I could understand, to a certain extent, the Brits who were so passionate about it because she was one of their own, but the Americans who gnashed their teeth and wailed?  Did not compute at all.  I mean, I gave her props for working tirelessly for charities after her separation from Prince Charles, but I was disturbed by the amount of attention her death received around the world.  I remember that Mother Teresa died a few days later, and she didn’t receive a tenth the attention that the death of Princess Di got.   On one level, I get it.  Princess Di, like Michael Jackson, died unexpectedly.  Mother Teresa, like Farah Fawcett, died in a manner that wasn’t surprising.  Still, Mother Teresa did so much good in her lifetime.  I always thought it was a shame that her death was treated as a footnote to Princess Di’s death.

On the last thread I wrote, I Left My Heart in the 80s, an interesting discussion developed in the comments concerning our society’s obsession with celebrities.  There have been studies that show our interest in celebrities is a good thing, as gex pointed out.  However, I would posit that any good we get in connecting over cultural tidbits is more than wiped out by the fact that we are fucking insane when it comes to our celebrities.  “Did Brad Pitt cheat with Angelina Jolie WHILE he was married to Jennifer Aniston?”  “Well, I read that Jen didn’t want children, and Brad was desperate to start a family.”  “Angelina loves kids.  Did you see the way Jennifer just whined about the whole thing?”  “Yes, if she wanted to keep Brad, she should have had the children.”

I didn’t give a fuck about JenBrAngelina, and I still don’t.  What’s creepy to me is how people talk about celebs by first name as if they (the hoi polloi) know them (the elite).  It smacks of desperation to me, as if the commoners want some of the magic to rub off onto them.  Like I have said, I am not above having an interest in a celebrity.  For regular readers of my blog, you know that Alan Rickman is, well, a favorite of mine.  So is Margaret Cho.  So is Wanda Sykes.  If Margaret, knock on wood, was to meet an untimely demise, I would be devastated.  She was the first Asian American female stand-up comic I’d seen, and she was fierce.  In addition, she’s loud, crass, ballsy, plump and full-figured, and she talks some serious smack.  In other words, she’s who I want to be when I grow up.  I identify with her, and she seems like someone I could actually hang out with in real life–maybe mess around with, too.  She’s hot.  So, because I identify with her, I would feel like I’ve lost something if she were to die (before I do).

CB064133On the other hand, someone like Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Aniston dying wouldn’t affect me in the least.  I can’t relate to them at all, so I wouldn’t feel as if I’ve lost something with their passing.  Hm.  That sounds narcisstic of me, but I can’t help it.  Since they are not actual people in my life, they can’t contribute to my life in a tangible way.  Therefore, for their death to have any meaning to me, they have to strike a chord in me, and they don’t.

Back to MJ for a minute.  I heard Spike Lee talking about Jackson on NPR, and he was saying something like, “Let’s remember him for how talented he was.  Let’s remember him for his hard work and dedication.  Let’s remember him as a great father.”  Um, ok.  But, who can forget the crumbling face?  Who can forget the dangling baby?  Who can forget the pedophilia accusations and the settlement out of court?  Who can forget him buying the copyright to The Beatles’ songs, and then selling them to companies to use in their commercials?

I hate the way we have to pretend that someone is a saint the minute he dies.  Look at Reagan.  They dragged his poor corpse from state to state on a cross-country “Look at the Dead Ex-President” Tour.  Some stupid-ass Republicans wanted to put his head on Mount Rushmore (don’t get me started on Mount Rushmore), and now, he is Saint Ronnie who can do no wrong.

Fuck that shit.  When I die, I want someone to say something like this:   “You know what?  She was a goddamn pain in the ass.  She was always bitching about something, but it was because she cared so passionately about injustice.  She was self-absorbed and caring at the same time.  She talked a lot of shit, but she knew quite a bit, too.  She was funny, sarcastic, hot-tempered, thin-skinned, and charismatic all at the same time.  She was lazy as hell about some things and driven about others.  She spent much of her life screwed up in the head, but she saw the light at the end of the tunnel, once she could see the tunnel for what it was.  She was full of fear, but also courageous.  She did brave things.  She did stupid things.  She had a hard time loving.  She loved too hard when she did love.  She spoiled her cats rotten.  She gave her niece a role model that was a bit different than the rest.  In short, she was a real human being with good points and with bad points.  That’s what made Minna, Minna.  And her tattoos.  And her long hair.  And her propensity for saying fuck.  We will miss her.”

23 Responses to Stop. Please. No. Really. Just Stop.

  1. I’d gladly say everything in that last paragraph, except the last sentence, about you right now.

    I spent the day mostly MJ-free (the only NPR I listened to was Car Talk), engaged in social and geeky pursuits and ignoring the rest of the world. I think I’m better for it.

    Personally, I want to be Ewan MacGregor when I grow up.

  2. Greg, thanks! Then you will be my go-to guy for my obit. I missed Car Talk and drove to Wait, Wait, Dona’t Tell Me to taiji class. Ewan McGregor is HOT! Damn. Now I’m distracted.

  3. I hate to tell you this Minna, YOU may be done, but you remember how long Anna Nicole Smith dominated the news? I remember getting so pissed off at that because it was pre-election, on the chimps watch and there was SO much to expose, but all anyone wanted to talk about was Anna Nicole. At least I know I will have a place to come for refuge.

  4. I hope I won’t get tapped for that job for a long, long time, but in the meantime I don’t plan to defer my admiration.

    Ewan MacGregor played Obi-Wan Kenobi — in a dead-on impersonation of Sir Alec Guinness, yet! — Christian in Moulin Rouge! — in which he revealed that he can really sing — and Catcher Block in the ultra-swanky Down with Love, among other awesome roles. That, plus the hawtness, easily explains why I’d want to be that guy. I can give the role in Trainspotting a miss, though.

  5. whabs, I totally forgot about her. Shit. You’re right. It’s gonna be all MJ all the time. Fuck.

    Greg, I haven’t seen Ewan in the Star Wars series or in Down with Love (I am not a romantic comedy type of gal), but he ruled in Moulin Rouge (I am a musical kinda gal), Trainspotting, Velvet Goldmine, and a plethora of other movies. Have you seen the documentaries of him and his mate riding motorbikes across the world? They are amazing. I have just started the second series, which is not quite as enjoyable as the first, but still fun.

  6. GREAT post, MEH. Am with you 100% re MJ (must EVERY radio station run a tribute ALL WEEKEND?!) and Brad and Jen and Angelina, etc. And I love your obit. Anyone who loves cats can’t be all bad. ; )

    Btw, yesterday’s Car Talk was great, but isn’t it always? And I only got to listen to part of Wait, Wait… (to the point I almost started to feel sorry for Mark Sanford).

    Am off to check out your other posts… (and btw, I just have two cats. The photos just show them in two different poses. ; )

  7. Down With Love is the first DVD I bought strictly because of the production design — I love that swanky early-sixties look, and the accompanying documentaries showed how much fun the crew had creating it. I was pleased to discover it’s a very entertaining flick, too! It’s a love letter to the Doris Day – Rock Hudson comedies, with Renee Zellweger in the Day role and MacGregor as Hudson. Truly a lot of fun, and well aware of how silly it is, which is refreshing in a romcom. Plus, though it isn’t a musical, the producers made a point of including a Zellweger-MacGregor duet over the closing credits.

    I wasn’t thrilled by the Star Wars prequel — I was 10 when the first movie came out in ’77, so I’m very much that generation — but MacGregor’s Alec Guinness impersonation is a wonder to behold. Draw your own conclusions from the fact that I’m more impressed with that than the SFX, ten-fanboy-references-per-minute screenplay, or Natalie Portman’s bare midriff. (Not that there’s anything at all wrong with Natalie Portman’s bare midriff or the rest of her, but in the first three, when Lucas wanted to put Carrie Fisher in a metal bikini, he just put her in the damn metal bikini and didn’t have her clothes “accidentally” scraped off.)

    I haven’t seen the documentaries, but I’d watch MacGregor read a cookbook. Come to think of it, that’s a great idea.

  8. J., thanks for dropping by my blog. Your TWO cats are both beautiful. I only heard the first part of Wait, Wait as well, but I wasn’t feeling sorry for Sanford in the slightest. Once he compared himself to King David, any sympathy I had for him dried up completely.

    P.S. The sacrifice bunt is a good thing if used properly. I agree with your spouse.

    Greg, I don’t like Renee Z., either, so that’s another reason I never watched Down with Love. As much as I adore Ewan, there are some things I won’t watch–like Star Wars. If he were Alan Rickman, I would watch the movie (I even watched the dreadful Kevin Costner Robin Hood because Alan Rickman was in it), but I’m not quite at that level with Ewan. By the way, Ewan narrated a bike race documentary as well. I haven’t seen it, so I’m just throwing it out there.

    gex, your dog is much cuter, too. I love his eyes.

  9. Oh, Good ford, but RH:PoT was a PoS. But Rickman totally stole the movie from Costner. And of course, that cameo by Connery…Still, the Errol Flynn version is still the cat’s meow. (Any movie in which Basil Rathbone uses a sword is bound to be fun!)

    Speaking of which, sorta, did you ever see My Favorite Year?

    I don’t know how strong your dislike of R.Z. is, so I hope you’ll give Down With Love a chance. MacGregor is great — he plays a ladies’ man, man’s man, man about town. But as I said, it was mostly the retro appeal that I dug.

    Sorry to be so off-topic with the movie chat, but I’m picking one out for tonight.

  10. Greg, I had to start fast-forwarding through all scenes that did not include Alan Rickman for the Costner debacle. Hm. I wrote a review on it. I may post it just for fun.

    Don’t worry about being OT, I’m the queen of it. Besides, tonight’s blog entry is going to be a movie review. How’s that for a teaser?

  11. Hi Minna… chiming in to say that I have avoided reading anything related to MJ. Have turned the channel anytime it came on to the news. Basically taken any and all steps necessary to avoid having to hear about it or read about it.

    He was a sad man. He lived a sad life. A huge family, and yet seemed to have had a big hole in his life. Whatever one’s beliefs, he must be in a better place now, end of story as far as I’m concerned.

    I really resented the fact that it was splashed everywhere interrupting what I wanted to have on the news, which was 24/7 Iran coverage. Reminds me of that Jack Johnson song about what’s on the news today…

    I cried for Di’s boys when she died. That’s cuz mine was nearly the same age and the motherless child thing really resonated.

    Ewan is cute, but not hot. We have the Motorcycle trip DVD, Scott is addicted. Damn them a thousand times over for convincing him that he needs a motorcycle. Next thing I know he’ll also need a round-the-world motorcycle trip, sans wife & daughters of course.

    Glad the pool time was good, hope it keeps you going until the AC is fixed.

    Calgary temp is juuuuuusssssst riiiiiigggght. Aaaah.

    And I agree that Renee Z sucks. Same facial expression in every effing movie. Serious? Same. Comic? Same. Sad? Same. Yukky pouting thing. So gross. But I put up w/it to watch Colin Firth in the Bridget Jones movies. Now THAT’S a hottie.

    Now I’m distracted… must start re-watching my BBC Pride & Prejudice series for the bazillionth time…

  12. SMR, good to see ya! Yeah, I don’t really want to know anything more about MJ, thank you very much. I also felt for Princess Di’s kids when she died, but I still didn’t get all the hoopla.

    Ewan McGregor is WAY hotter than Colin Firth! We will just have to agree to disagree on this one. Hey, do you have both the motorcycle documentaries? He and his bud did a second one to Africa. I haven’t watched the whole thing yet, though.

    MN temps have broken, so it was mid-seventies today. Not great, but acceptable. Glad to see you on my blog again.

  13. …and then later, Guy of Guisborne asks, “Why a spoon, cousin?” and Rickman snaps, “Because it’s dull, you twit, it’ll hurt more!”

    How’s that for a teaser?

    None better, I look forward to reading it.

  14. My favorite line in that awful movie was when Alan was rushing around here and there, saying to the wenches, “You, my room, ten-thirty.” “You, my room, ten-forty-five. Bring a friend.”

    Heh. Another Alan Rickman movie available on the Netflix! Woooooot!

  15. Gregory!!!! YES!!! I was hoping someone would finish it for me, because in all actuality it was the explanation of WHY he would use a spoon that made that line what is is (for me!)
    I still think he was masterfully brilliant in Closet Land.
    I don’t think I could have re watched that while W was in office. I did just last February and it was still just too close and fresh.

  16. Happy to oblige, sillywhabbit.

    I have to admit, bad movies are a guilty pleasure of mine.

  17. whabs, I still haven’t watched Closet Land all the way through. It gives me the chills. I will, though, by god. I love Alan Rickman.

    Greg, if you read my review for yesterday, you can tell that a certain genre of movies is MY guilty pleasure.

  18. I did read it. I’m all for guilty pleasures, even if you’d have to ply with drinks to get me to admit some.

  19. Jeff, welcome to my blog. You may certainly use my part of my post as long as you fully credit me and link back to my blog. Thanks for dropping in!