I can’t go this week without mentioning the tragic loss of two Hollywood icons, two of the 'greats’ to ever grace our silver screen.
As we choose to live here, most of us will admit it, that part of the draw was the glitz and the glamour of it all. The images and films we saw when we were kids sucked us in and started our love affair with Hollywood. Today through the powers of social media, we get our news far more quickly. "Whats trending?.” A few years back we would read the newspapers (like this one, of course) and watch the evening news - These and the radio were our only a few sources of news available. Or perhaps overhearing a conversation at the club pub. But I’ve began to notice on our facebook walls and twitter feeds that they have become instant memorials and obituruies for those public figures who are now dancing with the angels. A virtual grave site if you will, where we can express our feelings about those we didn’t even know. I remember hearing the news about Princess Diana’s death on a car radio, on my way to milk some cows in Devon. It was the first time i cried over a public figure's passing. Most Americans will more than likely remember where they were on the day Kennedy was shot or the day Marilyn was found dead. Can you imagine if social media was around then, I imagine it would have caused an internet blackout! Which brings me to..
Where were you when Robin Williams died.
“In front of my computer screen.” This doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. does it? Staring at my samsung galaxy, or my iphone 5. However the emotion i felt was the same for Robin, if not more heightened as I watched friends share videos, images and words of condolences. I was actually a complete wreck over Robin’s death (A man, I never knew, that I only saw once walking around Fred segal’s looking very trendy one hot friday afternoon.) But he was the man I grew up with on my TV screen. I wanted to be Robin Williams when I grew up. He was funny, caring, kind, talented, a good father, a great friend to Mind.I felt like I knew him. And the outpouring on social media was overwhelming, friends posting as if they too had lost a love one, chocked me up even more.
So what is it about the famous that we feel so attached too? Why do we feel a tragic sense of loss when they leave our planet? (perhaps back to Ork) Could it be our own mortality staring us in the face? A sharp reminder of our own demons tapping us on the shoulder? Empathy for our own family and loved ones? Perhaps it’s all of the above. Whatever it is, it proves that even in this age of computers and interconnectivity, we are still capable of genuine emotion. And that can;t be a bad thing, can it? Then came the news of actress Lauren Bacall, a stunningly beautiful icon of the golden era of celluloid. who first said the famous line “You just put your lips together and whistle.” The last living star that Madonna sang about in “Vogue.” who died the very next day. Again the number one trending topic on all media platforms. With the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mickey Rooney, Shirley Temple, Our own Bob Hoskins,and James Garner among many more, I feel that the "In Memoriam" section at the Oscars this year will have to extend their running time or even give it it’s own show. Please no more celebrity deaths this year please, i dont think social medias emotions can take it. ;-(
Our hearts go out to all family and friends of the departed.