Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Dedicated Follower of Farrah

If you’ve been waiting for a chance to invade another country, accidentally drop an atomic bomb or finally lodge that dodgy claims expense form this is the week to do it, because unless your second name is Jackson, nobody will care. Great news for prurient fans of the bizarre, but bad luck for everybody else including the golden girl of seventies television Farrah Fawcett, who also passed away last week. In a death as badly timed as Mother Theresa’s, the Charlies Angels star lost her battle with anal cancer on Wednesday with Ryan O’Neill, her long time partner, and their son by her side. She first found fame in "Charlies Angels" but left after the first series when producers ignored her request for more creative input and a percentage of the lucrative merchandising revenue. Proving that she was more than a haircut, she enjoyed a long successful career, becoming queen of the TV movie world, receiving numerous Emmy nominations, lauded stage appearances and working with directors like Robert Altman.

While she never had an iconic film role after Angels, her place in popular history was guaranteed with her legendary swimsuit poster, the biggest selling of all time that seemed to sum up the spirit of the seventies. Like a silent movie actress, Farrah, all toothy smile, tumbling hair and lean tanned limbs captured, confident,optimistic youth itself; healthy, happy, as sexy and joyous as a summer’s day. She wanted to finally marry Ryan on her death bed, the star she first started dating when the two were at the height of their blonde seventies pin up fame but sadly ran out of time and never regained consciousness.

Back at camp Jackson, because Michael’s still dead, and will be dead for as long as tabloids can wring front covers from the story, it’s been suggested that Michael Jackson’s children may not be his biological offspring. Yes that’s right, the great blond haired, white skinned elephant in the corner has been acknowledged; not only do his children look nothing like the late King of Pop, they look like they’re from an entirely different ethnic gene pool. In a further Virginia Andrews style twist to the tale, it’s also been suggested that Debbie Rowe, Jackson’s former nurse and wife may not even be the children’s biological mother but rather acted as a surrogate womb for anonymously donated sperm and egg. In Martin Bashir’s interview with Michael the star talked about their birth in the same way you or I would describe picking something up at Argos. The babies were born, he cut the umbilical cord and then literally, by his own admission, he ran out of the hospital. When a shocked Bashir asked when the mother got to finally meet her newborn child, Jackson, waffled, did a few verbal moonwalks and swiftly changed the subject.

It’s been suggested that Neverland will be soon turned into a sort of Graceland, a Michael interpretive centre if you will, for his legions of dedicated fans. Which sounds lovely until you remember that Neverland was also the scene of the alleged child abuse that ravaged his career and reputation. Surely turning a house where several young boys claimed to be groomed and sexually assaulted into a tourist attraction may seem to some as bad taste. Where as tourists visiting Elvis’s pad can marvel at the Jungle room where he swung with his entourage and giggling groupies, wouldn’t the Jackson version be a hell of a lot grimmer. "Yes, here’s the Macaulay Culkin suite where as you can see he covered the walls with lots of pictures of young boys, oh, all those hidden bottles of alcohol and stashes of porn, ignore them, now onto the Shirley Temple shrine…great!"

London seems to be coming up with it’s own organic tribute to the man with his music being played sporadically through out the sun baked city. Every now and then a car passes, blasting some disco classic and everybody feels like they’re in a scene from "Fame", like the city itself is having a seventies moment. So girls flick your hair for Farrah and grab your own Ryan O Neill, (because every boy secretly thinks they can do a mean Billie Jean) and celebrate the summer, the heat wave and being happy and healthy, and a golden time before everything started getting weird, broken and sad.

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