Thursday, May 24, 2012

Always Happens in Three's.

Celebrity deaths are a strange phenomenon.  No one really stops to recognize that except for a very select few, the world doesn't actually know these people.  They are not our friends.  They are not our family.  We have grown up with their work, been influenced by their personas, been enamored by their talent -- but they do not know us and we do not know them.

Despite this, we all seem to take it so personally when a celebrity passes away.  I've heard all my life that "it always happens in three's."  (Never does a famous person's death occurs without my mother making this statement.) There does seem to be a lot of famous death going on this spring, though.

If memory is serving me properly (it's been a little crazy with work; I think I'm getting this right), the first was Dick Clark.  An icon.  An icon for a million years.  There's an apocalyptic gatherer at work who tried to prove his point that the world was destined for destruction by using Dick Clark as justification.  "There can't be a New Year's Eve without Dick Clark, can there?  So there, you go.  No new year, so 2012 is clearly the end."

And then Davy Jones.  Sweet Davy.  I wasn't old enough for the Monkees first run, by any means.  But in Junior High, MTV aired the series.  And I fell in love with the show!!!  I hated Mike; Mickey sort of annoyed me, Davy didn't do anything for me, and I loved, loved, loved Peter.  With time, though, I realized it was Davy that had the best sense of who he was.  He embraced who he'd become.  He didn't fight it; he didn't fight the fans who wanted him to remain the sweet little guy who had wacky adventures and showed up at Marcia Brady's prom to save the day.  I actually saw Davy Jones in concert once.  There was a mentally challenged man dancing with delirious delight in front of the stage.  Davy seemed concerned, and right before the man fell to the ground, Davy had called out for someone to bring up some water to help the guy who'd become over-heated.  I don't know that this necessarily makes Davy Jones some sort of great humanitarian, but it does say something about him not being a big asshole.

MCA.  How many times have you heard "Sabotage" in the last month?  Who didn't love this song?  Who didn't love this video?  Who didn't come to embrace the Beastie Boys?  If you were of a specific generation, it was just unavoidable.  He was so young.  Death is always pretty tragic,  but when they go so young, it makes it all the worse.

Donna Summer is the last in this line.  I was pretty stunned to see her added to the list.  I certainly never participate in the Death Pools that others seem to be obsessed with.  Even if I did, hers would not have been a name I'd have thrown into the hat.  You think back to Thank God It's Friday, and she's just a sweet young thing with giant frizzy hair, a disco ball shining over her, and a dream.  I always really dug Donna Summer.  Even when it was decided that disco was devil's spawn, I kept a very soft spot for it in my heart.  Donna Summer lived there, for sure.

I know I didn't actually know any of these people.  I'm not sitting about crying over their passing, mourning their loss with any serious grief.  But it does mark a passage of time, and it definitely makes you aware of your own mortality.  That, and make you wonder a little about the Mayans.

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