Anna Nicole Smith: Thanks For the Mammaries

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I was going to blog on the passing of Anna Nicole Smith and the weighty subject of celebrity in America yesterday, but Will Bunch knocked me off my game with his powerful, tear-provoking piece about Jennifer Parcel, a 20-year-old Marine who bought the ranch in Iraq and most assuredly did not make the evening news.

Celebrities arrive, depart and overdose with numbing regularity and I usually could care less, but there was something about Anna Nicole that I liked. I just didn’t know what.

I felt good for Anna Nicole when the courts ruled in her favor over the right to inherit her aged oil baron husband’s estate.

I felt bad for her when her 20-year-old son died.

I felt good for her when she gave birth to a daughter five months ago, even if at least two men claim to be the father.

I’m not into bombshell blondes. It wasn’t like I craved her physically, although I have wondered how she managed to squeeze into those ultra tight-fitting gowns. Was I attracted to her dysfunctional side in some bass-ackward way? I don’t think so.

Then one of those ubiquitous talking heads who get called on when there is Breaking News rode to the rescue. Said Jerry Herron, an American culture prof at Wayne State University:

“With Anna Nicole, she was pathetic but at the same time you thought, ‘Gosh, if I could just scoop you up and fix things, it would be OK.’ ”You wouldn’t want to scoop up Paris Hilton.”

And that, as the Aussies say, is it in a bit:

I could feel sorry for Anna Nicole, but never for Paris.

  

6 Comments

  1. Count me as not feeling sorry for either of them. In fact I was darkly amused when I found out James Browns young wife had been cut out of his will, even though I feel no love for the man himself. These women are players that get played. Predators who’s habits come back to bite them. The youngest ones like Paris and Britney especially serve as the antithesis of role models, showing young girls that all you need to be is pretty and slutty, and that furthermore that’s all that really matters about you, anyway.

  2. Lynx, I think it is not AnnaNSmith’s death that is important, but the reaction to her death.

    Shaun makes an important point, I think, at the conclusion of his post…the idea that one felt one could help ANS but not, say, Paris Hilton.

    Rationally, of course, one knows that one has no idea what either of them are like. But because of the Culture of Celebrity, one “feels” one knows them.

    Recall the crazed hysteria in Britain at Diana’s death. People reacted like losing a close family member…because our media culture had created her as such.

    Thankfully, I had avoided the media all week. But last night at a function a Chinese lady who knew little of our culture, asked me what AnnaNSmith had done. Was she an actress? I honestly couldn’t say. I didn’t think so. I told her as much. The lady replied: “Why is everyone talking about it?” I could only shrug.

  3. It upsets me to see the coverage this person’s death has gotten in the media. She was an unstable user, who used her beauty and body to get material wealth, then destroyed herself and anyone close to her with her substance abuse. She stood for nothing —just what she could get out of others. She sold the pictures of her own son’s death to the tabloids, at the same time appearing distraught and overwhelmed by her death. Her young baby will suffer the effects of her long-term meth use. Why do we idealize a person like this instead of condemning their empty, destructive lifestyle?

  4. ’You wouldn’t want to scoop up Paris Hilton.’’

    Scrape up, maybe.

  5. Miss Anna Nicole
    Had a merry old hole
    With it she gained fame
    Inside it, many men came
    First there was Howard K Stern
    Who kindly donated his sperm
    And even Hubby of Zsa Zsa
    Admitted to a little cha cha
    And then this guy named Larry
    and every Tom, Dick, and Harry

  6. Re #5: Charming. No doubt you think you’re better than Anna Nicole.

    What a joke.

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