Friday, June 26, 2009

Grieving for Two

But not the two you might think.

Yes, I'm aware of yesterday's double whammy of celebrity passings. And yes, like everyone of my generation, I have an abundance of memories related to both Farrah and MJ. I had the iconic poster on my wall, of course. Watched Charlie's Angels. Went to see Saturn 3, being both a fan of hot chicks with feathered hair and sci-fi (and being terribly disappointed -- what an AWFUL movie. So awful, they completely dubbed Harvey Keitel's entire vocal performance). Listened to the Jackson 5. Had the "Off The Wall" and "Thriller" records (and still think the high points of "OTW" are higher than those of "Thriller"). Remember being in college and everyone congregating around a TV in the common dorm areas when MTV's on the hour showing of the John Landis "Thriller" video would play. (Remember "videos" showing on MTV and not vapid whores?)

So yeah, I was sad about that. But for some reason, seeing an animal pass away on film gets to me every time. Not necessarily in the uncomfortable way of the ox in Apocalypse Now, but more when a beloved pet shuffles off the mortal coil. I can't explain it. I'm not a crazy vegan and not about to go throw blood on the grand opening of a new KFC. But for whatever way I'm wired, Old Yeller made me cry far more than Brian's Song (though of course, that made me squirt a few also).

I bring this up, because Monday's The Closer just killed me. It was a very solid episode, with a great turn from a bitchy Mary McDonnell as a Internal Affairs officer, but Fritz and Brenda came to the resolution that their beloved Kitty wasn't going to make it. That ending scene with Brenda lying on the couch, arms around a sickly, purring and meowing Kitty just wrecked me. To make matters worse, I've been catching up on some Futurama episodes I've missed, and that same evening, what was waiting for me on the TiVo? The heartbreaking classic "Jurassic Bark," which revolves around Fry's "past" dog Seymour. Those final 30 seconds or so of that ep left me sobbing like an infant.

Maybe it's getting caught up in the emotional narrative of the story. Or perhaps because I think that one of my "kids" isn't doing that well. Whatever the reason, I'm glad that double dip in the pool of pet mortality is over, and I can go back to enjoying watching vampires, Cylons, stormtroopers, redshirts and other fake "people" die for my entertainment and fondly recalling the pop culture contributions of real people who are no longer with us.

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