February 15, 2007

anna I could never quite understand the media’s obsession with Anna Nicole Smith, the former model, actress, and celebrity who was found dead last Thursday in a South Florida hotel room. While I certainly understood how someone like her could gain celebrity status – after all, you don’t marry an 89-year-old Texas oil baron who dies the following year, leaving a $1.6 billion inheritance that you spend the better part of a decade fighting over with the guy’s family without someone paying attention – I could never figure out what it was about her that the media found so intriguing, or why she felt the need to have her so-called “talent” (or lack thereof) exploited by it.

Perhaps she felt the need to prove to the world that she was someone worth leaving a huge pile of money to, that she wasn’t just some conniving golddigger who managed to catch the gold ring (and then some) in life’s merry-go-round. Or perhaps she enjoyed and needed the limelight so much that she was willing to go to any length to market herself – even if it meant allowing herself to be publicly humilated by her own ‘reality TV’ show – and found a more-than-willing accomplice in a media-saturated celebrity culture that holds up the Parises, Lindseys and Anna Nicoles of the world as people with something more to offer society than their own thirst for excess and attention.

For what little I saw of her, she always seemed to me a sad, pathetic, and incredibly self-absorbed human being who spent her days squandering the good fortune life had paid her (no pun intended) and taking her celebrity status way too seriously – as if she thought she really did have some greater talent than most people saw. And I think that, in the end, was what killed her more than anything else – all those stresses, strains, and lifestyle abuses and trappings that go with trying to bridge some immense, invisible gap between the person you want everyone to believe you are and the one you truly are.

Sure, the days to come will likely be filled with stories about the actual cause of her death as determined by the coroner, and there will be continued speculation about how much of a role the shock and depression she must have felt since the strange death of her son five months ago played in her final days. But, regardless of what is printed and endlessly bandied about on the nighttime cable shows, the sad truth will remain that Anna Nicole Smith, for all her riches, lifestyle, and celebrity, had to wait until her death to find the peace and completeness she could never achieve in life.

And maybe there’s a lesson there for us all.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:53 | Comments (2)
2 Comments »
  1. Well stated, GWS.

    Comment by Rob — February 15, 2007 @ 5:31 am


  2. Yeah, I agree. I would add something that I’ve seen elsewhere and that is that she didn’t seem to have people close to her who really cared about her. They were just there for the ride.

    Comment by Dave E. — February 15, 2007 @ 5:05 pm


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