Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael, Farrah and (not) Jeff

Michael Jackson RIP The King of Pop is dead. Long live . . . who?

Pop music lives on, but without an obvious successor to the Pop crown. That Timberlake fella’s just a bit too normal and balanced.

Jackson will be remembered for a few good albums, but mostly for the chimpanzee, the oxygen tent, “Wacko Jacko”, the bizarre behaviour, the accusations, aspersions and gossip.

It’s hard to feel anything but pity for this man who remained a boy in so many ways. And it’s very hard to shake the sense that he’d been dying before our eyes for the last two decades.

In a perfect world Jackson’s life would be a stark warning about the dangers of growing up in the celebrity spotlight.

Unfortunately, his lasting impression will probably be a vague whiff of salacious scandal and a dodgy telemovie starring Jaden Smith as Young Michael and Marilyn Manson as the adult.

Farrah Fawcett RIP Media coverage of Jackson is beyond comprehensive right now, far overshadowing the other tragic celebrity death of the moment, Farrah Fawcett.

Farrah’s battle with cancer (detailed in not one, but two recent documentaries) has been big news for years now, but she’s hardly getting a look in.

One is reminded of Jimmy Stewart’s death in 1997 which rendered the death of legendary actor Robert Mitchum all but forgotten.

Jeff Goldblum FINEWe haven’t forgotten you, Farrah.

Then, just to throw a bit of bizarrity into the day someone somewhere took the idea that “things happen in threes” as an instruction, and announced that Jeff Goldblum had plummeted to his death from a cliff while filming in New Zealand.

This got as far as being officially announced on Australia’s Today show before being revealed as a hoax and denied by a bemused and very-much-alive Jeff Goldblum.

Richard Wilkins, you’re an idiot.

What a day. It won’t quite live in infamy, but we won’t see its like again for a while. Hopefully.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dead Pool 2009 – May Update

Welcome once again to the macabre world of Dead Pool 2009.


Let’s kick off first with a late-reported death from April.

Venetia PhairOn April 30, amateur astronomer Venetia Phair passed away at the age of 90. Phair was brought to prominence in 1930 aged just 11, when she named the newly-discovered planet Pluto. Phair was remembered again recently when Pluto was demoted from a planet to a dwarf planet. Shame about that.

Still, Walt Disney pinched the name for Mickey's dog a few years later. And that’s still cool. Right?

Dom Deluise On May 4 comedy legend Dom DeLuise died of kidney failure aged 76. Best known for his roles in just about all of Mel Brooks’ movies, I still remember him for the opening scene of The Muppet Movie, where he played the sleazy agent who convinces Kermit to go to Hollywood.

So we have Dom to thank for the Muppets. Well, why not? Let’s go with that.

On the 15th, as previously mentioned legendary Australian actor Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell passed away at the age of 86.

Dolla On the 18th US rapper Roderick Anthony Burton II (aka “Dolla” … twice as good as 50 Cent etc etc) was shot and killed in Beverley Hills. Of course if the precedent set by 2Pac is anything to go by, this means a glowing career of successful albums, Grammy awards and unverified sightings in Hollywood nightclubs.

On the 21st we farewelled actress Joan Alexander, best known for her role as Lois Lane in the radio serial The Adventures of Superman in the 1940s. Tragically taken in her prime at the age of 94 this is clear evidence that the curse of Superman strikes again!

Millvina DeanAnd finally, on the 31st the world lost Millvina Dean, the last survivor  of the Titanic disaster in 1912.

Of course, it’ll be some years before we farewell the last survivor of the Titanic disaster of 1997.

The current score for this year’s pool still stands at a draw, with Benn and Ty sharing the lead on 14 points.

Stay tuned for further updates.