I know it is un-American of me not to blog about Michael Jackson today on the day of his passing. I could at least be a marginal-American by blogging about the passing of Farah Fawcett, or even an older American by blogging about Ed McMahon. They were all important to me growing up and it is sad that they are gone and unfortunate that the passing of Michael obscures the contribution of the other two. This reminds me of when the death of Jim Henson was eclipsed by the passing of Sammy Davis Jr! (Note to self: Die on my own special day). I have plenty of thoughts on the matter, the chief thought being one of intrigue. As I posted on my facebook update:
"Apparently death covers over a multitude of sin. I can't wait till I die and get to hear how great I was! I wonder if MJ would have felt less pressure if he could have heard these great things recently - BEFORE he died! We love to topple the ones at the top! (Of course if he WAS guilty of crimes against children, I don't care how talented he was. No disrespect for the dead intended). RIP"
But I am NOT going to talk about such things today. I can catch the virus of sympathy and empathize with the families, but truth be told, as intimate as I was with the Farah poster and how she looked when she was cold in a red one piece bathing suit ( NO, I was not "intimate" in the way my boyfriends at the time were, but I did study and copy her hair style) - I still had to look up the spelling of her last name. These were important people to my generation, and their art became part of what highlighted the important events in our lives, but we did not really "know" them. The grief seems, well, make believe. Sorry. It just does. (Perhaps that is more of a personal admission of shallow sentimentality than a global one).
So I am not going to treat this day as the day time stood still! Great artists died, but I had a great day as an artist (though admittedly I am stretching the bounds of that word)! I don't want to focus on the sucky day the families and fans of these other artists are having. I just came back from the murky land of second hand suck and I refuse to be sucked down again. I spent a day or two in suckville and I just don't like it. The postcards from there suck, the t-shirt sucks, the weather there sucks. It is just not a good place to re-visit too often (though as an occasional change of pace from Shallow Town, I would still reccommend stopping by from time to time).
Today was a good day in a sling of several good (though exhausting) days. I am performing in goofy skits for day camp. I love the freedom to be OVER THE TOP and the laughter of 250 children is intoxicating! They are all so ready to board the silly bus to Ridiculousville and go with me wherever I want to take us! (Usually with scenic stops in Pratfalls and Pieface mountain, with little potty humor breaks along the way). I don't take the responsibility to make them laugh, lightly. I am enormously honored by their trust, and their willingness to join me in whatever story or moral I am spinning. And they return the favor by sharing their take on the tale when I encounter them off stage later. In fact, they feel obligated to tell me the subtle plot points that I missed as a participant: "THAT GUY IS NOT REALLY A PARK RANGER!" "I was sad when you were sick yesterday!" (Even though my nose honking and sneezing got the biggest laugh of the day). And my personal favorite came in a conversation about forgiveness (yesterday's theme).
7 or 8 year old to my character: I felt bad when that Park Ranger ruined your film yesterday!
Me: Oh, I did too. But I forgave him! I try not to hold a grudge
7 or 8 year old: I had to forgive like 8 people yesterday!
Me: Wow, that is a lot! Did you hold 8 grudges today or were you able to forgive and forget?
7 or 8 year old: Oh, I don't have to forgive anybody today. That was yesterday's lesson!
To re-iterate the point of my last blog, even the worst news days always have something "unsucky" tucked away in them! I have chosen to see that unsucky thing by changing my focus (just as my un-hip husband changed the channel from E!News to something with Alan Greenspan on it...although if you ask me, that was just out of the suckpan and into the suckfire). Michael Jackson may have once been the greatest 8 year old to ever appear on stage, but today I got to be the "greatest" to an 8 year old, BY appearing on stage. For me and mine, I get to be alive today doing that and that is good news! I hope that will keep me from boarding the bus back to Sucktown anytime soon! And I hope by remembering to take lots of snapshots of the beautiful scenery on the way back from Suckville, I won't consider the trip a total waste of this apparently limited time we all have on this crazy, wonderful earth!