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Irony Alert!: This blog may be a tad contrary.

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January 25, 2008



You capture the bizarre timelessness of long distance travel, the abdication of responsibility, the drifting, floatingness of it. Friends of ours left London recently, got derailed in Saudi Arabia due to 'mechanical problems' and put on a later flight. They literally had no idea what time it would be when they arrived in Sydney; both had a different idea and both were wrong by many hours - one had even predicted the wrong day.

Francis Xavier Holden

"Just a Hershey Bar"

Thats really funny.

Coals To Newcastle. Coles to New York.

Where abouts in Harlem? I stayed at Columbia Uni for a while and also at an apartment on 110th not far from St Johns.

Francis Xavier Holden

Life is a musical.

Account Deleted

"should one really care about Steve Irwin, Princess Diana, Michael Hutchence, River Phoenix and now Heath Ledger when so many unknown people die terrible deaths every day?"

In a word, yes...I mean, since we can't mourn every single death, it's only reasonable that we feel more about the deaths of people who've affected our lives in however mediated a way. It's a peculiar flipside of celebrity culture I think, this handwringing over whether celebrities deserve our pity when they suffer. In any case I was much sadder about Heath than any of the others you mention, maybe because I've been following his career pretty much from the start, when he was a pretty, rather artless teenager.


FXH -- I'm staying at the Harlem Flophouse on 123rd St W, near the Apollo Theatres. It's a renovated Victorian, a bit like a guesthouse. Lots of obscure books on their shelves. The place is fairly casual, they let you use their laundry and other stuff, no questions asked. Much better atmosphere than a hotel or hostel.

Thanks, Angus...glad to know we can care about Heath.

Pavlov's Cat

I'm with Angus. I think we project our own best ideals onto the visibly gifted, beautiful and/or charismatic, and then get a bit deranged when those people crash. I mean, I drank three double Scotches in half an hour when Dorothy Dunnett died* and it didn't even touch the sides.

Nobody was shocked by the grief at John Lennon's death, or James Dean's; everyone understood why they were sad. Maybe it's harder these days because celebrity culture and concomitant media madness, each for its own sake, have become indistinguishable from the fame of the actually gifted like Dean and Lennon and Ledger who through their work had made themselves part of people's personal history.

*Brilliant Scottish historical novelist and thriller writer, whom it was my great good fortune to meet one Writers' Week and sit across the table from for a whole dinner. Beautiful, gifted AND charismatic.


Hershey bar

I like the casual way you just toss these into your reportage.


And now I'm eating a bagel with cream cheese!

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