It's a very rare occurrence indeed when a celebrity death shakes me to my very core.
When the news was broken to me that Carrie Fisher died, it was as if all the happiness was drained from my being, like a Dementor in Harry Potter siphoning off the joy that I began this morning with.
I became a fan of Star Wars during the very formative years of my life, during its re-release in the late 90's. I can still remember that moment when I first sat in a darkened theater and heard that blast of music, stirring my young soul into a fit of wonder. The franchise soon became the blueprint of my youth, my passion growing with each new movie, game, and even the new merchandise that was released. I had a full-size Darth Vader standee in my room as a lad, and I wanted nothing more for my birthday than a plush of Jabba the Hutt.
Carrie Fisher, to me, was the heart of that series. Princess Leia was every boy's first crush and, eventually, would become a figure of inspiration to thousands. I won't hash out the biographical details, as you can go to any obituary of hers and find that.
Fisher led a life that started as a fairytale and evolved into a real life, one that we all face from time to time: heartbreak, addiction, and social stigma. Fisher battled with drugs, her weight, and Paul Simon and still lived to tell the tale in her own witty and acerbic fashion.
Fisher would be the first person to admit that she no longer looked like the Princess Leia in the slave outfit that every teenager masturbated to. She became a figure of unabashed self-image, reaming the chauvinistic naysayers who chose to criticize her weight:
The thing I loved most about her, truly, was her wit. Nothing attracts me to a person more than a witty, acerbic sense of humor. Yes, she knew she was heavier, but she didn't fucking care! She knew that she wasn't the person she used to be, but neither are we! She was like a sassy mother who tells your bratty friend to go shove it when he criticizes your new haircut.
Those of you who know me well know that I am a fan of sassy older women. Whether it be Joan Rivers, Bea Arthur, or Hillary Clinton, I admire the humor and inspiration that comes from a life well lived.
Carrie Fisher was my touchstone to remind myself that, while things may seem bleak in the moment, life needs to be viewed as a panorama, not a close-up. Like her famous scene in The Blues Brothers, Fisher was all too ready to take a flamethrower and torch the negative people in her life without a second glance:
She is a true feminist icon, as both a cultural figure and a truly special human being. Fisher once said in a Tweet that "youth and beauty are not accomplishments. They're the temporary happy byproducts of time and/or DNA. Don't hold your breath for either." (Edited from the source) She dedicated a big portion of her life to loosening the shackles the entertainment industry puts on women, especially those who haven't aged to perfection.
Fisher also embodied that need that is in all of us for our pet to be our best friend and companion, as she proved time after time with her near-comatose and utterly adorable pal, Gary:
Carrie Fisher was an actress (of both film and Broadway) and a brilliant writer who wrote several novels and memoirs. Her novel Postcards from the Edge was made into a movie with Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, and a favorite of this blog, Mary Wickes, all of whom were strong, independent and trailblazing women.
I'll miss Carrie in a way that is simple, yet profound. I'll miss her wit, her charm, and that sparkle in her eye when she was going to say something especially salacious, whether it be calling Han Solo a "scruff-looking nerf-herder" or trying to blow up John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd.
May the Force Be with You, Carrie... now and forever.
This blog is dedicated to my friend Laura who I know is weeping just as much as I am at this moment...
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In this episode, Jack (The Vegan) and Steven (The Objectivist) celebrate the holidays as only they can! Also: Steven dates a fundamentalist Christian, Jack admits that Christmas is all about the presents, and a cavalcade of fantastic guests visit the studio for this Holiday Extravaganza!
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