Saturday, July 10, 2004The Children Of Sick Celebrities
I've never been much of one for celebrity-worship; I've met a couple, and I have experienced the strange, confusing familiarity that comes when you see someone famous on the street. Mostly I've always been astonished to discover that the vast majority of television and film stars are considerably shorter than me, which is a weird sensation.
But there have been a few cases when a seriously-ill celebrity has caused me a bit of low-level, sympathetic sorrow, only because I've known their kids and I feel bad for them. David Bowie's current heart problems are a case in point: I went to film school with his son (the one originally called Zowie, although he no longer uses that name), and now that I'm reading about David Bowie in the paper, I feel really bad for his son. This isn't because Bowie Jr. was a friend of mine -- he was a few terms behind me, and while I met him and drank with him a couple of times, I didn't even realize who he was until just before I left school. We weren't even remotely close. And yet, while David Bowie is cool and all, I feel a lot more sympathy for this guy I barely knew, who's no doubt doing a lot of sitting at the hospital with his sick dad these days.
A similar thing happened a year or two back with Warren Zevon, whose daughter Ariel attended my college at the same time I did. Again, I knew her but we weren't particularly friendly... I always caught a whiff of unappealling snottiness from her, although to be fair that could also have been garden-variety guardedness. If I'd been raised by Warren Zevon, I'd probably be pretty guarded, too.
But when I learned that Warren was suffering from terminal cancer, all I could think about was Ariel -- how awful for her, how terribly sad. It happened again when he died (especially what with that rather black album coming out just prior).
I didn't particularly care about these celebrities; I didn't particularly care about their kids. So why does it bother me in this context? |