My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends -
It gives a lovely light.
Edna St. Vincent Millay, "A Few Figs from Thistles", 1920
US poet (1892 - 1950)
Anna Nichole Smith died yesterday at the age of 39. It would be very easy to be snarky, but I'm going to try to avoid it. She epitomized everything that was great and beautiful and stupid about being an American and a Texan. She barely made it out of the eighth grade. She worked in a titty-bar. She met a rich old coot and made his last year on earth a happy one. Why shouldn't she get a half a billion bucks for it? I'll bet the old coot thought she was worth every penny.
She became a media whore, addicted to being watched (amongst other things), no matter what the reason. She knew she was a trainwreck but went along for the painful ride anyway. She took drugs, probably lots of them. She probably drank a lot and ate a lot, too.
The fact is, on the surface it looks suspiciously like she was an addict... to everything.
Of course all she really wanted was to be loved. A lot of people self-medicate and die early because they have this great big empty "love-me" space in the middle of their souls, which goes back to childhood. I should know. I had one and tried to do the same thing. Luckily for me, I failed.
You can flip through our roster of dead American "personalities" and odds are pretty good that MOST of them wound up pursuing fame to fill that empty love-hole, and many of them wound up pursuing it right into the grave when they realized that a million photographs of themselves, smeared all over the tabloids, will never make up for the missing cuddle they didn't get from mommy when they were sick, or the bullying slap they got from daddy when they were seven. And yes, it is that simple. Orson Welles knew it and shot it in close-up... the lips of the dying Charles Foster Kane uttering one single word summing up a lifetime of desperately shitty living in the relentless pursuit of the one thing he could never, ever have again... "Rosebud"...
Anna's name is all over the papers today and probably will be the butt of tons of jokes by the late night comics until Sunday morning, after both Saturday Night Live and MAD-TV get through crucifying her tawdry little memory. Soon though, she'll just be another footnote in Hollyweird History.
It's hard to work up much sympathy for folks who clearly got everything they have, not because of hard work or diligence, but simply because they have great facial bones or big tits. Harder still to sympathize when they seemingly have everything, yet bitch about the pain. Pain? WHAT PAIN?
I really do feel sorry for the newborn infant, no matter who the father winds up being. Primarily because she, as the only rightful heiress to whatever fortune there winds up being, will find herself being saddled with a bunch media-whore daddies who will fritter away said fortune litigating her parentage right into the poorhouse. As usual, only the lawyers will win.
The greatest tragedy in all this is that there wasn't, and isn't, a single adult in the whole drama who could turn around and bitch-slap everyone involved for being so monumentally self-serving and stupid.
But I've gotta admit it... and I am ashamed of it, but I too love watching the entire show.