The news of Michael Jackson’s passing came the same day as the news of Farrah’s death. And once again, “Breaking News” took precedent, and Farrah’s death was shuffled to the bottom of the pile.
Which is unfortunate, as all three were pop icons of the past 25 years. All three deserved their time in the limelight. Sure they each had more than their allotted “15 minutes of fame”, but I think a little more time should have been devoted to their deaths.
I extend the same courtesy to all the average people who never even had their 15 minutes.
The passings of these three are important to my generation.It seems I’ve known them my whole life.
Ed McMahon was always at Johnny Carson’s side on the “Tonight Show” – from 1962 to 1992. That represents most of my life.
And Farrah was the definitive “Charlie’s Angels” – even though she only appeared on one season. I was thirteen when her poster was published… ‘nuff said.
And Michael Jackson was “The King of Pop”. As a pre-teen I devoured “Tiger Beat” magazine, on which Michael and the Jackson 5 frequented the cover. In high school I helped usher in MTV and the “Thriller” video. I never wore “the glove” or tried to “moon walk”, but I saw a lot of others attempt it.
And now they are gone.
Their passings remind us that we’re growing older. As the idols of our generation grow old and pass on at a seeming faster and faster rate, so do we. One day, even Brad and Angelina will be spoken of with the same reflective affection as Bogie & Bacall.
“Do you remember the name of that movie they were in…?”
Even Jimmy Buffett will pass away one day. Yes, he’s growing older, but not up!
In fact, that little piss-ant country singer, Kenny Chesney, is already angling to become the next Jimmy Buffett, what with his beach songs and constant trips to Key West.
Not going to happen, Buck-o!
Every year we begin the Annual Conference with a Memorial Service honoring clergy and spouses who have passed on in the past year. And every year, I know more and more of the names read.
I believe it was Yogi Berra who advised, “Always go to other peoples’ funerals, or else they won’t come to yours.” Indeed.
This year at conference I encountered a retired preacher who had once been my D.S. He had always been a take-charge, in-control kind of guy. Twenty years ago he was going to “shape my career”… whether I wanted him to or not. Now he is slipping into dementia. I almost cried.
And when I look in the mirror, I see more and more gray hair on the head staring back at me. When did that get there? And my body is taking on my grandfather’s silhouette. And my fingers are getting stiff and starting to twist at the knuckles. And getting up out of a chair brings an almost audible “ufh” sometimes.
I used to be one of the “young clergy”. I used to be “on the cutting edge”. I used to complain about the old farts who were “out of touch” and in the way.
I guess I didn’t notice when church members stopped telling me, “Why, I’ve got a grandson your age.”
…and the bunch of young guns roaming the conference started telling me what a mess I’ve made of it.
Worst of all, I realized the cuties at Hooters only card me now because it’s company policy to card everyone.
Who, I must admit, are now young enough to be my daughters.
So the death of these three pop icons reminds us that life is fleeting. We are here today, gone tomorrow.
That sounds so morbid, fatalistic. It isn’t meant to be.
I don’t worry about dying. I know my eternity is secured.
I just don’t like the idea of growing old.
So here’s to today. Let’s make the most of it!
And if there is no tomorrow, we’ll have no regrets!