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Three The Hard Way

Quite a day for celebrity deaths, yesterday. Farrah Fawcett checked out, followed closely behind by Michael Jackson. Soon after this news, a rumor circulated that the actor Jeff Goldblum had bought the farm as well, but this proved false. This was good news, both for Goldblum and advocates of the theory that show business deaths always come in threes. (Johnny Carson side-kick Ed McMahon had died earlier in the week, starting the first leg of the trilogy.) Bumping things up to a quartet would have put added strain on an already-faltering star system and caused guys like Wilfred Brimley great distress, having to wait an extra few days for the other shoe to drop. Of course, an argument can still be made for the four theory with the death of David Carradine, but it really just points to the depressingly rudimentary fact that we’re all dying.

Jackson and Fawcett offered  a marked contrast on the subject of how to grow old gracefully. Farrah was a natural beauty to the end, and maintained a more weathered but none the less beautiful appearance in to her later years. She stood in defiance of the tightly-pulled, over-moisturized, Nancy Pelosi Botoxed route, inexplicably favored by many women today. And Mike .. well, he was just Mike. If you’re going to go down that road you might as well see what the ride can do. Jackson’s appearance in recent years made Siegfried and Roy look like the Nature Twins.

These deaths also helped me gain a better grip on this whole Twitter phenomenon. Having halted my social networking prowess with email, I’ve been out of the Myspace and Facebook loops and struggled to understand how Twitter differed from either. I now see that it serves the specific function of being the first indicator of celebrity demise. Being online at the time of Jackson’s death, I noticed that the news was being “Twittered” well before Drudge picked up the headline and a full hour before the AP and Los Angeles Times. I’m not certain, but I don’t think users of this service are subjected to a particularly vigorous verification process. And I’d lay odds that, like me, Jeff Goldblum is catching on to all of this fast.

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