Sunday, February 11, 2007


Few weeks ago I found myself watching one of those old Chinese New Year themed Hong Kong movies which starred the late Leslie Cheung. For some reason I found it highly depressing, though like all Chinese New Year themed movies, it was meant to be a feel-good comedy. I think part of it stemmed from the fact... well... that Leslie Cheung is dead. I mean of course it's no big deal right? We watch movies all the time with someone who is already dead in it, like Gladiator (the late Richard Harris was in it) which I watched over the weekend in a spanky Hilton KL penthouse suite, courtesy of Ben Tang from Singapore.

Anyway, coming back to the topic, the fact that I grew up around the same time Leslie Cheung rose to stardom made the movie kind of depressive. I saw him climb the ladder of success, watched his so-called retirement concert (on TV of course), observed him make a comeback on motion pictures, and just when you thought the guy had everything going for him, he goes and make a bloody mess of himself on a sidewalk. Perhaps it's not really fair that I describe his tragic death that way, after all none of us will really know what was going through his mind when he decided to call life quits. I guess one gets more easily affected by the tragic death of a star if you grew up in the latter's heydays, much like Princess Diana. I remembered being irrationally saddened by her rather dramatic exit, much like the most of the world I suppose. And of course what did she mean to me? Obviously I have never even set eyes on her in the flesh, much less know her.

I also find myself half-heartedly contemplating on Anna Nicole Smith's recent demise. By all means she was hardly what anyone would describe as an examplary star. Every single bit of her life was of questionable morals but it would be also fair to say she was a victim of her own fame. I remembered liking her so I could spite a friend of mine who was a fan of Pamela Anderson. I illustrated her once in this rather provocative pose for a school project on the subject, of all things, MORAL. The teacher was like, "Aiyoo~~ so gatal!". Hey, at least in Anna Nicole, you saw the real ups and downs of a celebrity. She had her fat days and tragedies, and I think in a way we all sympathised and loved her for it, gold-digger or not. She was real in a kooky sense of irony.

Above all, maybe who the celebrity or how they die doesn't really matter. Perhaps what we see in their demise is more of a milestone for the end of an era in our own lives. In their deaths we see our own growth and the innocence we had lost along the way. Perhaps in a way, it reflects on our own personal tragedies, on the choices that we made which has brought us here.

Perhaps it's just in human nature to be morbidly fascinated...

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