Monday, February 24, 2014

I Collect Spores, Molds and Funguses.

This year, I vowed not to keep up with the cult of celebrity. I honestly feel it adds nothing to the value of life and, in fact, leads people down a dead end of low self-esteem (Why am I not famous? Where's my 15-minutes of fame?) and to doing stupid things to garner that fame (Watch this!) It's been hard, particularly when my schadenfreude kicks in at someone's public stupidity. If I was going to drag race down a street at 4 a.m., I certainly wouldn't do it in a residential neighborhood.

Today, however, there is one light gone out in the marquee that is celebrity. Harold Ramis died this morning. It doesn't seem possible. There are people we tend to think will be around forever and it is jarring to accept their mortality. It reminds us that we are mortal. I think Ramis' death is such a shock for a lot of us because he contributed in a big way to movies which are touchstones in American comedy; "National Lampoon's Animal House", "Caddyshack", "Stripes", "Groundhog Day", and "Ghostbusters". The comedy he created was not only slapstick but cerebral, full of sight gags as well as appealing to one's intellect. A good turn of a phrase, such as "Where do these stairs go? They go up," from "Ghostbusters" (One of my all-time favorite movie lines), is as appreciated as dropping 150 pounds of liquid marshmallow on a guy in a suit.

Ramis, as remembered by friends, colleagues and people whose paths crossed his but once, took to mentoring others, dispensing advice in a genial, friendly style, never getting upset at being asked the same questions over and over again. He will be remembered as much for the influence behind the scenes as he was for the few times he was in front of the camera. It's a shame, with the Academy Awards next Sunday, an event I don't care about beyond "she wore what", that the Academy chooses to ignore comedy in their awards. Ramis should have a golden statue on his mantle.

I think the ability to make us laugh is harder to pull off than drama. I would hope that Ramis is making God laugh right now.

Beverage:  Dr Pepper


1 comment:

  1. Yes, it was sad to hear of his passing.
    I also believe that much of celebrity is toxic,
    especially the crowd that lives in "Hollywood"
    That said, there are still celebs to admire and appreciate.
    Harold Ramis will be missed.