Monday, March 26, 2007

Kill Your Idols

HOLLYWOOD, Florida (CNN) -- Anna Nicole Smith does not appear to be a victim of foul play, according to preliminary results of an autopsy performed Friday.

Seminole Police Chief Charlie Tiger said prescription drugs were found in Smith's hotel room. However, Perper said no drugs were found in her stomach.

Smith died Thursday after her private nurse found her unresponsive in her room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

"There are a number of possibilities," Perper said, including natural causes, a drug reaction or some combination of causes.

Perper said there was no indication of blunt-force trauma, asphyxiation or other physical trauma.

He said Smith had a small bruise on her back, which probably resulted from a fall in the bathtub earlier in the week.

The medical examiner said his office is awaiting results of toxicological and other tests, but there were no drugs in Smith's stomach.

He said if she had taken a large number of pills, some of the medicine would have remained in the stomach.

Astonishing, no? Of course it's fucking not.

This recently departed "busty blonde" was obsessed with Marilyn Monroe. She aped her fashion sense, sought to act in a remake of Monroe's "Niagara", and even blessed one of her canine companions with the name of her hero. Some of those close to Anna Nicole have stated that she also yearned to leave the world like Marilyn--still young, still gorgeous.

The story persists and festers and expands grotesquely day after exasperating day. The gossip culture needs its own modern Marilyn. Craves it and will cultivate it by any means necessary.

Never mind the the former Norma Jean Baker actually made some memorable performances in some memorable films ("Some Like It Hot", "How To Marry a Millionaire") while Anna Nicole acted so poorly that a "Razzie" award would be an honor. Or that Marilyn Monroe was actually attractive and followed no one before her.

If the proper connections cannot be made in life, well then, look to death.

A large chunk of the Monroe mystique is the seedy mystery surrounding August 5, 1962, the open-ended questions, the whispers that echo greater than shouts even 45 years on. This recent development for the Smith tale no doubt diminishes the flame born of two million calloused hands rubbing together two million toothpicks. Sure, the industrious soul-suckers will twist words like Barbie doll heads and tell us "A means B" and "tiny bruise on the back" is actually "gaping icepick wound to the neck." Oh my God, will we ever know the truth?

Hell, even the soap operas surrounding each woman's demises are day and night. Read any number of reflections, histories, recollections, theories or "exposes" on Marilyn's passing--you will see, over and over, names like John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Sam Giancana. Now that's a President, a Senator well on his way to the highest office in the land if not for a bullet to the head of controversial close proximity, and a friggin' Mafia boss. Today's celeb-culture would literally maim for that A-list. I mean, you'd have to deal with the inevitable C-lister, in this case actor and Kennedy-in-law Peter Lawford, but that's no problem when the world can be so enthralled by the political and criminal intrigue of the stars!

Well, this Anna Nicole drama is full of nothing but Peter Lawfords. Howard K. Stern, lawyer? Congratulations on not being the most famous guy with that name. Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband? I must confess I did not know she was already on marriage 45, although I must marshal due respect for any woman who snags a man nearly 25 years her junior (even if he does bear a resemblance to the killer dwarf in "Don't Look Now.")

(If the idea of a cerebral horror movie with lietmotivs by the barrelful appeals to you, I would not hesitate to check out that movie.)

Then we have Larry Birkhead. I am tickled that he is described as a "entertainment photojournalist." Dude takes pictures. He is probably snapping some heart-rending shots of his own teary face as we speak. I swear all the best male photographers are gay, and yes that peeves me. I want Richard Avedon in on this scandal so bad....

Anna Nicole Smith's most spectacular legacy, then, is her demonstrable failure at imitating her idol in life or death. Acting in movies, fucking lots of schlubby dudes, courting the bipolar adoration/calumniation of the press and shuffling off this mortal coil in defiance of the established life span is not cutting das mustard.

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