You can't sweat out . . .

If Farrah Fawcett died in a bed three hours after Michael Jackson, would the media make a sound?

In Jesse, the Rippers, and their contemporaries on July 8, 2009 at 11:33 pm

Admittedly, I had no idea how much Michael Jackson meant to people until last week, when his death was almost followed by the internet itself dying as bloggers, twitterers (tweeters? assholes?) and virtually every other news outlet rushed to print their opinions.  Growing up, before I remember hearing any of his other music, to me he was the guy who sang the Free Willy theme song, a title that spurned hilarious punch lines during recess in elementary school once he was accused of child molestation. Then there was a period of about a decade or so that he spent gradually getting whiter and weirder, becoming more or less, for the lack of a better word, a freakshow.  Then he held his baby over a balcony.  Then he died.

That’s how the end of MJ’s life played out for me.  The songs will always be there, and videos of his sicker than sick dance moves, but the man who sang them had been gone a long time.  Sure, I love Thriller, I absolutely love the Jackson 5, I love the moonwalk more than Frank’s Red Hot Sauce but not as much as Gatorade, and I love the fact that he made the ying-yang unbelievably cool for a brief period of time when he sang about wanting someone to hold him like a river, but I can’t say the passing Michael Jackson was shocking.  In fact, I was surprised he made it this long.

Enough about the King of Pop though- he has been covered by billions of words, millions of images, and at least a dozen tears from Joe Sargent.

In what is perhaps the shortest “Celebrity death that was going to be on the cover of 75% of magazines at the cash register the following week,” Farrah Faucet passed away the same morning.  She was only the biggest news story of the day for approximately three hours before someone more famous than her died.  Sure, that’s three hours more than any of us will get when we die, but it still really sucks for her.  I mean, we usually go weeks or even months without a relevant celebrity death.  Honestly, the woman sold 12 million copies of a poster of her in a red bikini on a day when it was evidently cold.   And this fact was referred to by Barbara Walters three times in the first five minutes of an E! special celebrating her life.  (The special came directly on after Kendra”, and there are few times that I won’t be flipping through the channels and not stop when a Playboy playmate is on the screen in HD.  I am but a man).

Barbara Walters outlives them all

"Cancer took Farrah Fawcett's life , but not our enduring memories of her iconic beauty, grit and courage. . . and that bombshell body. Her hair, known as the 'Farrah Do', was copied by millions of women across the world."

Hearing Barbara Walters say “bombshell body” was worth my monthly cable bill.

That caption of the picture above was the word for word ending of her opening monologue of the special, which of course led into commentary from. . . her hairstylist, Jose Iber.  or Eebear.  Or something like that.  In case we weren’t getting enough of a sense of Farrah the person, he brought it all back to something we could understand: the hair.  “It was an easy, windblown haircut, but also very sexy, and very feminine.  Everybody wanted it.  That signature hair will definitely be remembered forever and ever.  But I think Farrah represented more than that.”

Those flowing locks, that cowboy hat.  The inventor of the "Farrah Do."  This guy has it all.

Those flowing locks, that cowboy hat. Fake lips. The inventor of the "Farrah Do." This guy has it all.

Unfortunately, he didn’t really go on to tell what she represented, and I soon lost interest and changed the channel.

I guess there are several morals or this story.  If you are going to be accused of molestation, it will end up cool in the end as long as your music is good enough to overshadow the bad.  And of course, the ultimate moral of  story has to be if you are a governor who is going to have an international affair while in office, come clean about it right before a woman with fantastic hair and the King of Pop die.  We may not forgive, but we’ll forget.

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