reworks+recent pop icon obits

I revamped this blog because of a few thoughts that entered my mind as I watched TV last week. I had quite a few pop culture comments so I thought of sharpening the focus of this blog to head towards that direction — pop culture media commentary. So I reworked this blog before those thoughts slip from my mind. I also wanted to beef up my media-related musings as a reactionary to some crap I’ve been reading online lately. Yeah that’s me, inspired to do better by bad stuff out there hahaha! Kinda like the cousin of that “Schadenfreude” song in the musical AVENUE Q.

Speaking of which, two icons of pop culture died this weekend, Gary Coleman of DIFF’RENT STROKES TV fame and Dennis Hopper of EASY RIDER film fame. Gary succumbed to a coma while Dennis succumbed to a form of cancer.

I remember Gary well because I grew up watching their show in the ’80s. It was about this white dude who adopted black kids and they had a white sister. Something like that. When I was in the U.S. this summer, the other black kid of the show, Todd Bridges, was heavily on rotation as a guest in different talk shows, promoting his tell-all biography about his drugged out days and how he sobered up. He also talked about Dana Plato, the white sister girl, who sadly committed suicide. He also talked about Gary of course, about his own bouts with fame and how he sued his parents and manager for allegedly siphoning his money and leaving him bankrupt. These are the bad examples of what showbiz could do to kids and the harm it does them when they grow up. Tsk, sad.

Gary was immortalized anew in AVENUE Q as a character there was actually named Gary Coleman which actually pertains to him. This character acts as the landlord of the AVENUE Q apartment rows where the story takes place. In the local staging, Aiza Seguerra played Gary Coleman. I tell you, it works, don’t question it. If they run it again, watch it.

My friend Xe and I at the theater district in New York. He got to watch Avenue Q nights before. I bought a shirt.

I guess that speaks of how big of a pop culture icon Gary was, as he gets immortalized in another work of pop culture and breathes new life in that “role.” Strange.

That other icon, Dennis Hopper, became an icon of rebelliousness in the drugged out post-hippie time of 1970s America. I never knew he lived in Venice Beach in California. I was just there last April! I wonder which was his mansion, as they said.

The very long stretch of the Venice Beach walk. Those are my three friends in the foreground. At both ends of the stretch lie the residential areas.

He came here in the Philippines once because he was part of Francis Ford Coppola’s film APOCALYPSE NOW which was shot here in the country in the ’70s. Hm, fancy that.

I guess he could have been bigger than he already was if he remained sober. He was good at the roles I remember him in, like that crazy guy who wants to blow up a bus in SPEED. But in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, I kinda didn’t notice him there. I guess I was busy deciphering James Dean’s bisexual aura and too preoccupied to find the gay subtext in Sal Mineo’s role there that I completely ignored Dennis, and Natalie Wood actually hehe. Hey, I also visited the site where they partly shot that film, at Griffith Observatory! Kewl!

Griffith! OMG James Dean was here... like 60 years ago. Well, the Charlie's Angels movie cast was here, too. Kebs.

I think another pop culture figure died recently, some singer from a band. Since I am not familiar with the band nor the singer, well, let’s just pray for his soul. And Dennis’ and Gary’s, too.

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~ by leaflens on May 31, 2010.

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