Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

       The year 2016 has been particularly rough on iconic celebrities. One upon a time, obituaries for public figures with whom I felt some connection or another were a semi-frequent feature on my previous blog. Since the current blog has not been well defined in spite of its nearly three years of existence, I have been reluctant to resume writing obituaries. Especially this year as the urge strongly hit me on a couple occasions. The death of Carrie Fisher was the tipping point which has caused me to finally resume.
       I am a huge Star Wars fan. Always have been. While I try not to hate to rag too badly on the prequels, I am a die hard fan of the original trilogy. One of the main things to make A New Hope so great was the classic story of an old wizard mentoring a young farm boy and a scoundrel mercenary to storm the evil wizards castle and rescue a beautiful princess? What boy has not fantasized about such a scenario/ I know I did. Princess Leila was my first celebrity crush.
       Yes, her turn as a half-naked harem girl probably messed with my seven year old mind, too. My misspent youth was all about the peculiar role of women in the generally male dominated fandoms of comic books and science fiction. So do not blame a single film for warping my young, impressionable self. Suffice to say, Princess Lelia left an indelible mark on me.
       I am not one to follow celebrity gossip. Famous people put their pants on one leg at a time and what they do in their personal lives holds no more interest for me than the average trailer park drama. So I have no comments regarding Fisher's substance abuse or tumultuous love life. I honestly cannot say much authoritatively about its effect on her professional writing other than it has been described as edgy and bitterly funny. My writing has also been described at times as edgy and bitterly funny. Perhaps Fisher and I shared some views on life.
       I learned Fisher had suffered a heart attack the same way everyone else did—when the d-lit celebrity sitting in the row behind her on the flight from London to Los Angeles tweeted about it in a less than classy manner. When it became known Fisher stopped breathing for at least ten minutes, I knew her prognosis was grim. The survival rate when CPR must be performed hovers around ten percent. If there had not been an EMT on board, Fisher might have died on the plane.
       As far as I am concerned, sitxy is getting younger by the day, so it is difficult to consider Fisher's death a reasonable happening for someone her age. I am certain the matter was exasperated by her past drug use. I noticed in a couple recent interviews she was wheezing an awful lot. In spite of it all, including her turn as the aged Leia in The Force Awakens, I can still only picture her as the young, beautiful princess in need of rescue from the evil clutches of Darth Vader.
       Fisher is set to return in next December's Episode VIII in an expanded role. Principal photography has already wrapped, so we will get to see her one final time next year. There is no word on what will happen if Leia is supposed to return for Episode IX
       Fisher used to tell fans no matter how she actually died, she wants the narrative to be she drowned in moonlight strangled by her bra. You got it, Princess. That is my story, and I am sticking to it.
        Godspeed, Ms. Fisher.     

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