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We All Have It Coming, Kid

Ashton Mourns Brittany; Tweets Heartfelt Words. This was an actual internet headline this morning for a blurb on the death of 32 year-old actress Brittany Murphy. And they wonder why people get suicidal at this time of year. I should preface this with the prerequisite observation that there’s nothing much funny about a young woman’s death, and as Clint Eastwood pointed out in Unforgiven we do indeed all have it coming. But really, does this headline not tell us everything we need to know about the times in which we live?

Admittedly, I don’t know much about Brittany Murphy – except that she was an actress, was young and thin, and had some problems. Brief research reveals that she also supplied the voice of  “Luanne” on Mike Judge’s animated series King Of The Hill – so I can’t claim that her life didn’t touch my own in some way. Maybe it’s not despite but because of this cursory connection that I feel inclined to ask if this is any way for a young woman to be eulogized. If celebrity status is the most celebrated achievement in this culture, is it worth the price of being remembered via “tweet” by Ashton Kutcher, a guy whose largest contributions to society have been jockeying the MTV hidden-camera practical joke series Punk’d and taking Demi Moore off the market? Again, I should pause to offer Mr. Kutcher due respect, as he was personally affected by Ms. Murphy’s death, having been intimately involved with her at one time. But c’mon, is Twitter really the best place to let your grieving thoughts be known to the world? Do you really want to offer the sentimental gravitas of words like “see you on the other side, kid” for mass public consumption? Having Ashton Kutcher refer to you as “kid” would be bad enough in this world, never mind having him send it out electronically shortly after you’ve prematurely bought the farm. “2day,” Kutcher observed, “the world lost a little piece of sunshine.” Luckily we’ve still got cute, abbreviated numerical prefixes to carry us through.

Maybe it’s just me getting old. Maybe it’s the inevitable onset of late December discontent. Maybe it’s the nagging realization that I don’t have the interest or stamina to keep up with tweeting, yelping, flickring, or posting to my “wall.” Or maybe it’s the even more harrowing reality of what a huge hypocrite I am because despite lamenting each of the above, I’ve partaken in three out of four. Who am I to Bah-Humbug all over Ashton Kutcher’s mourning, his contribution to society, or his chosen means of communicating his grief? I’m sure that Punk’d has brought a lot of pleasure to a lot of people, even if I don’t know any of them personally. Who have I cheered up of late? And one more time for emphasis – there’s nothing funny about a 32 year-old woman dying unexpectedly.

See you on the other side, Kid.

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3 Comments

  1. url url'>heather gordon wrote:

    You spelled “dying” wrong Fluffy. Anyway, nice piece. H

    Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Permalink
  2. url url'>heather gordon wrote:

    Or was that intentional and I didn’t “get it.” You once referred to me as Captain Stubing, I don’t remember why though. I had a dream last night you told me on the phone Sara had died. I have nothing clever to add to this.

    Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Permalink
  3. url url'>heather gordon wrote:

    CBBBBBBB<———- that's your head sideways!

    Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

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