figmo: (Default)
First it was Ed McMahon.
Then Farrah Fawcett.
Then Michael Jackson.
Now Billy Mays.

I wasn't totally surprised by McMahon or Fawcett going. He was in ill health, and she was in the endgame of dealing with cancer.

Michael Jackson was a shocker. The man was only about a month and a half younger than me. I don't know why, but I figured Madonna would be especially spooked, given that she's a whopping 12 days older than he is. Now that we know about his addiction to prescription pain killers, his death is more sad than surprising.

Billy Mays dying totally shocked me. I was even more shocked when I learned he was only 16 days younger than me. I was never particularly fond of his ads, but my respect for him jumped when I started watching the Discovery Channel's TV show Pitchmen, which I've found to be curiously addictive. Apparently the man would test every product to make sure it worked the way it was supposed to before he endorsed it.

I fear the rash of celebrity deaths aren't going to end.
  • Walter Cronkite is apparently quite ill and "not expected to recuperate," according to United Press International.
  • Patrick Swayze's latest TV series just got cancelled while the National Enquirer, the oft-unreliable tabloid that has been scooping the mainstream press in the last few years, claims he's "dying."
  • Zsa-Zsa Gabor is in her 90s and is reportedly in the hospital with pneumonia.
figmo: (Default)
I don't know whether to call her "brave" or "foolish" for going back when she did. At the same time, if I said I was surprised, I'd be lying through my teeth. Heck, I don't think she was surprised.

I remember reading an interview with her in the mid 70s in a news magazine. Her father was still alive and in jail in Pakistan (for political reasons); some time after the interview he was hanged. She was finishing up her education in England and talking about her future. Despite Pakistan having never had a female leader, she knew she was the "heir apparent" to one of the country's political parties and would likely die at the hands of an assassin. Pakistan has a long history of violent politics.

She wasn't perfect. Some of the things she did while in office, such as using the Taliban as "security forces," cut crime in her country, but with a very high price.

Even then she knew she was walking into a violent situation, yet she did it with her head held high, as if it was "expected" of her. Every time I read an article about "women leaders" in women's magazines, it always seemed they were more interested in "wives of leaders" than the real thing. I always wondered why these magazines never touched folks like Bhutto or Corazon Aquino, who, to me, rose to the occasion when they had to.

The unstated undertone of the article I'd read in the 70s -- for me, at least, was that things were improving markedly for women in Pakistan if a woman was "expected" to take the helm even though none had done so before. I now wish I remember where I'd read it.

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