Friday, June 26, 2009


By Mitchell

This, it must be said, has been a most strange week; and at some point one has to ask when all of life became a Fellini movie.

Thursday was the pinnacle, of course, with the deaths of two of the great pop figures of recent decades, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. (I was going to call them icons, but Jonah Goldberg provided a proper reason to avoid that terminology.) Fawcett's death was hardly unexpected, and her very public struggle with cancer brought a definite sense of dignity to a life that, as is the case with most lives, had its share of ups and downs.

Jackson's, on the other hand, was from out of the blue (although in the moments after it happened, one could find any number of people saying, in essence, that this was an accident waiting to happen) and the reported scene at the hospital - people weeping, information hard to come by, Jackson songs blaring through the hallways while a throng of people and reporters gathered outside - sounds as surreal as any image from Satyricon or Amarcord. It was a strange end to a sad life, and it is very hard not to pity Michael Jackson for the talent he had, and the strange waste his life appeared to become. Ed McMahon's death earlier in the week was almost forgotten, and you have to think that he deserved better than that.

Oh, and Jon & Kate, who brought televised self-immolation to new heights (or lows), announced they were divorcing. Couple this with the truly bizarre disappearance and reappearance of South Carolina Governor Sanford (as we discussed yesterday), and about all one can say is that it was a good week to be working in cable news.

Nor were we limited to news - the sports world provided its share of excitement. The U.S. defeated top-ranked Italy in soccer, and that must have sent someone scurrying to see if it was snowing in Hell. Formula One, playing against type, actually did something that made sense: Max Mosley (whom we talked about here) announced he wouldn't be running for another term as FIA president, and the renegade manufacturers announced they wouldn't be forming a breakaway group after all. Manny Ramirez, he of the drug suspension, now has his doctors being investigated by the DEA, and MLB says they'll cooperate. Phil Mickelson blew another U.S. Open golf championship, and it seemed that might have been the most normal thing about the week; it was all downhill from there.

I wrote at some length yesterday about how life imitates art, and this must be a final confirmation of the fact. Deists suggest that after the act of creation, God no longer took an active interest in life. Regardless of one's own religious beliefs, the last few days must certainly put a lie to that - for at the very least, Fellini seems to have a hand in the script, which suggests that someone up there is running things.

*For all you TV oldies out there, "That Was The Week That Was."

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