Archive for February 14th, 2007

Happy Valentine’s Day, Anna Nicole

February 14, 2007

All right, maybe it’s a little odd to send a Valentine to a dead person I didn’t even know, but all the cable news frenzy has been a Valentine of a kind too, right? A twisted one, but then, that’s entertainment… as Anna Nicole (nee Vickie Lynn Hogan) must have known.

I’m guessing she didn’t start out knowing it. A lil’ Texas girl for whom the best available route to the most glamour, fabulosity, and probably also just plain makin’-ends-meet lay in the many gentleman’s clubs that mushroomed up there in the 80s. But you meet a lot of rich guys in those places, maybe she figured, and so she did. Never mind that the one she snagged was old enough to be her great-granddad — he looks pleased as punch in those photos of him they’re showing on TV.

photo from allposters.com

This isn’t exactly the American Dream. And yet it is, for plenty of American women (and gayboy twinkies, too, truth be told, who are just as up for finding Mr. Rich Mr. Right). See, Anna Nicole’s American life is, in this historical moment, pretty much completely shaped by her femaleness, not to mention by her class. And at this time, when the pundits are alternatively helping to keep the bright lights of life still shining on her memory and shaking their heads because everyone’s so fixated on her*, her death, her details, the great attention paid to her passing isn’t just because she’s America’s Rose (huh?) or our next incarnation of Marilyn Monroe or even America’s Diana. It’s because she’s the girl next door who rose to unexpected (and in one sense unexplained) heights. *She’s* the proof that in America, anyone can make it really big… and that fantasy helps so many people wake up in the morning, it’s no wonder folks are fixated on Anna Nicole. For one thing, dying young, while nailing any kind of celebrity to the wall of the pop limbo hall of fame, really messes with the fantasy.
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