Friday, June 26, 2009
Farrah and Michael
Well, yesterday certainly took some bizarre and unexpected turns!
The death of Farrah Fawcett was unfortunate enough. I was a fan of “Charlie’s Angels” in the ‘70s and used to beg to stay up and watch it; I was surprised to learn that Farrah had only been on the show for one season, because her presence seemed so integral to its success. She was a huge force in the life of any adolescent male at that time -- even a gay one whose responses were based more on affinity than objectification.
I just rented “The Burning Bed” about a month ago -- Farrah did indeed turn in a respectable performance in that movie. And yesterday I posted her death on my Facebook page, feeling the natural need to participate in spreading the news and mourning.
But then came the wholly unexpected news of the death of Michael Jackson, about whom I feel much more ambivalent. Even at the height of his fame, I was never much of a fan. I never owned “Thriller.” I never felt much connection to him, certainly not in his later years when his life became more and more bizarre. I don’t have a single Michael Jackson song on my iPod.
He's long seemed more pathetic than anything -- lonely, disfigured, perhaps mentally ill. His death spares him, and us, the spectacle of a career spiraling ever-downward. I don’t want to say it came at a good time, but sometimes it’s best to just stop. I think Michael Jackson was at that point, if not beyond it.
I went with Dave last night to hear the New York Philharmonic perform Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” at Avery Fisher Hall. It was a beautiful, resonant performance. Dave, who is generally not a pop music fan, pointed out the disconnect in hearing Mahler on the same night the rest of the world’s ears were tuned to Michael Jackson.
(Photo: Chelsea, June 2009)