Tuesday, June 15, 2010
News Travels Slow
The other day someone at the shop asked me what I thought about Dennis Hopper's death.
"Huh? Dennis Hopper is dead?"
They looked at me, their eyes showing surprise over this lack of awareness on my part.
"When was the last time you watched the news?"
"Uh, I dunno......maybe day two of the Gulf oil catastrophe.......Uh no, I watched the weather this morning. Does that count?"
So Dennis Hopper and now I understand Gary Coleman are dead. One, an icon of the Silver Screen and the other an icon of the Small Screen. One was older than I and the other was younger. Neither died in spectacular or shady ways. Natural Causes, the guilty culprit.
I am not sure what to think. I will miss Dennis, but Gary was never on my radar. The sitcom he starred in held no interest for me. What gets me is the over the top attention after their deaths. Even though they are dead and buried, their star status carries them into our living rooms and computers as the sordid details of their private lives are laid open for all to see. Why anyone would be interested in the details of someones last days as they struggled against cancer is beyond me. Many if not most of us have lived that nightmare as we watched a loved one or friend live out their last days.
Bottom line is both were actors. Maybe a better way to honor both would be to watch their body of work and appreciate the legacy they left us. Digging into the dark side of their private lives now is low rent and wrong.
Back in March I made the conscious choice to change my lifestyle. Staying tuned into what was going on outside my small corner of Maine was not helping my frame of mind. So I made the decision to not stay tuned in. It was not turning me on and all I had was a feeling of total impotency regarding my ability to sway events beyond my own world. Take care of me and mine and the rest will work out. Or it won't. Either way, I needed to stop worrying about the NASDAQ, the banks, the oil spill, the illegals in Arizona.
Certainly events outside my area were affecting me. The economic meltdown for sure had cut through our area with a vengeance. The nationwide political animosity had recently exhibited itself in the acrimonious and hateful turn of events leading up to a local town election. All of a sudden I heard terms like "Us & Them", "elitist", etc. come from the mouths of good ole boys who never speak openly about politics. And though the election on June 8th resolved some of the controversy, it did not smooth out the hard feelings on either side. People all over have decided that everything is personal now. This is not a good sign.