Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just too sensitive, but does this seem like the era of peace and love is now officially very very dead?...Paul McCartney playing a set at Amoeba Music in Hollywood for people like Michael Eisner and playing tunes from a CD he sold at Starbucks! I can imagine the other Hollywood happening people who were there rocking like maniacs in a morgue...(Baby you Can Drive My Car...My Bentley!) Or how about the crowd who went to see Prince at the Hollywood Roosevelt the other night. For two thousand bucks a pop. It's like that great line from Diner, when the girl on the horse tells Mickey Roarke that her last name is Chisolm. "Like the Chisolm Trail." And Mickey turns to his friend and says, "Do you ever have the feeling there's something going on out there we don't know about?"
I have to take this thing about people telling you about relatives with cancer one step further. For some reason very nice people seem to want to introduce you to other people with cancer. So you could be maybe cancer buddies. That's sort of like meeting an African American person and saying that you'd love to introduce them to some other people of color that you know. You are not defined by your cancer or your color, unless you're Al Sharpton or Don Imus who is very white and very dehydrated. I seem to be the same person. I wake up every morning wondering why no one has yet impeached Dick Cheney. I still worry about how we're going to get out of Iraq and which candidate is actually really good and really capable. And always, always I worry about my son even though there really is nothing to worry about at this point. Except airplanes and cars and poison from China and diseases and madmen and madwomen and the strange absense of bees. (That one is very troublesome.) So it seems like my cancer is just another neurotic fear to add to my list. Honestly, it's as if I was sitting here all these years thinking, "So what's the worst that could happen? Cancer?" Just waiting for the horror to happen. Must be a Jewish thing. And sometimes we are very right about that feeling of doom.
So I was talking with a friend and we decided to go and see a movie and we wanted to go see that Chick Flick with Meryl Streep and Vanessa Redgrave, even though the reviews aren't so hot. But here's the problem. Somebody dies. I don't know if it's Redgrave or Streep, but the question arises whether or not I should "subject" myself to death movies. Not cartoon deaths like the Bruce Willis movie, but soap opera deaths. For instance, should I rent Terms of Endearment? Should I watch Debra Winger say goodbye to her cute little kids? And here's what I think...In a movie, laughing, then death is a good thing. Crying all the way through, and then death, is a bad thing. Greta Garbo dying, a bad thing. All that coughing and looking so pale and wan is such a downer. I remember DeNiro died in Bang the Drum Slowly. Sad movie. Good movie. But Al Pacino did a bad movie where he ran his fingers through his girlfriend's hair and it all fell out in his hand. And for those who can remember the movie Love Story, that one was enough to make you shout at the screen, "Someone please kill that woman, now! She can't act! She's a lox!" Or how about Ratso Rizzo dying in the bus on the way to Florida and coconuts. Now that was sad.
Now here's a crazy part. I went to see that movie Knocked Up. Very funny. And you know what made me sad? The birth. I was sadder watching the birth in that movie than I would ever be watching a death. I've done my birth. And it was wonderful. And I can't ever do it again. Those days are over for me. But death I can do. Haven't done that yet. At least as far as I know. Though I have had a past life sort of experience once but it was only about feeling like I had been someone that I met the day before. Or maybe I just wanted to be her.
Comedy then death. For those of us lucky enough not to live in Iraq or Darfur or New Orleans, that is definitely the way to go.