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Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP Farrah Fawcett...and Michael Jackson

What a bizarre day in entertainment news. First, we lose pop icon and "Charlie's Angels" star Farrah Fawcett at age 62, following her lengthy battle with cancer. Then, the far more shocking death of Michael Jackson at age 50. All this mere days after the death of longtime TV personality and "Tonight" show sidekick Ed McMahon.
It's all so sad and strange. Granted, Jackson's odd, alienating behavior over the past few decades made it difficult to love him as a person (though many did), but he definitely made a contribution to the world of pop music. I'm going to go ahead and admit this: the "Thriller" video kind of freaked me out as a kid, but I still loved it. And I think the Jackson 5's "The Love You Save" is one of the best (and most underrated) pop songs ever.
By the same token, Fawcett exhibited some odd behavior in her later years (most notably a scattered performance on Letterman in 1997), yet her TV work and modeling career made her a major pop culture figure. And her courage during her last few years of life was admirable.
Obviously, her death got somewhat short shrift after Jackson's passing was made public. As I type this, I have Larry King on in the background, and he mentioned that he was supposed to do a whole hour on Farrah Fawcett...until Jackson died. Suddenly, all Farrah got were a few kind words from her buddy Cher (who was, of course, also on to talk about Jackson). That's really too bad. Why do we do this? Why must Fawcett's equally sad passing be pushed aside? Why can't we give them equal attention?
They were both complicated, fascinating people. No matter what you thought of them, they made an impact and attention -- equal attention -- must be paid.

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