13 May 2009

Farewell Farrah. No, really, FAREWELL.

Would it really diminish anyone to quietly die and in peaceful privacy? Perhaps surrounded by friends and loved ones? But truly, no cameras.
Celebrities, some of whom live their entire lives and seem to exist solely to get into the spotlight, are, in fact, mere mortals. Which means that like the rest of us, they come to the end of their life on earth.
And yet they want more. Living in Southern California was never anything so much as it was an education in the desperate neediness of the celebrity culture. But whose fault is this heralding of the end of things that border on creepy?
So on Friday, NBC will air a documentary called "Farrah's Story." Does Farrah Fawcett, suffering through a two year battle with terminal anal cancer, need her dying breath chronicled? It makes me wonder... who is making money off this last greedy grasp at celebrity?
Remember years ago, people who suffered such awful fates went in silence. They suffered through their chemotherapy, exhausted all their options in chemical, surgical, radiation and alternative therapies before simply going home to die. Quietly. It was sad that we shamed them into hiding in some cases. But shall we now be shamed by our own morbid, prying eyes? The pendulum swings too far.
It's wonderful that we now have seen and understood their suffering because of the bravery of some of these souls in going on camera or at the very least, writing about their final struggles.
But when did we lose touch with what was called in an earlier time, a Sense of Decorum? Does our lack of it mean we need to see someone desperately reaching for their final minutes of fame? Do people, particularly because of their past lifelong celebrity status, deserve to have the prying eyes of a camera along? And when will we realize that we are far beyond the limits of good taste in searching out these things?
This is the same fixated culture that allowed celebrities who think that their political feelings and ideas are more valued than anyone else's. It is this the same society that allowed some famous folks to threaten moving to Canada if anyone other than their candidate was elected? (To be honest, those same folks had wives who famously demanded Evian water in which to wash their hair. Think about it.) The more amusing point was the complete lack of voices calling for them to stay. Ha!
I'm truly sorry to see the sad, near end-of-life struggles of anyone going through the worst life has to offer. But I'm even sorrier to see a culture that is so fascinated as to allow for the sick voyeuristic interest in following Farrah Fawcett's "story" to its completely known and unhappy ending.
Let her go. Remember her as she would want to be remembered anyway. And don't let the future be determined by watching, which will surely drive a ratings boon that is rolling right over someone's future grave.

1 comment:

Jen said...

I'm kind of glad I didn't know about this one.

I read Gilda Radner's life story in high school. It was very sad, but well done.

Yeah, decorum sort of died a long time ago. Too bad it didn't die on youtube so we could all watch.