The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

February 25, 2007

Issues of True Import


Web headline Friday:

"As Anna Nicole decomposes, James Brown looking good"

This, folks, was not on some joke website. It was the headline in a Houston Chronicle story they picked up from the world's largest news agency, The Associated Press.

And I hate to get all serious or anything.

But what it tells me is that we care more about two dead people and their respective states of bodily decay during ridiculous battles over the money they earned as so-called celebrities than we do about, well, anything.

Thousands dying in Darfur? A war that should never have been in Iraq? Yeah, they're there, not here...not in the civilized world, where we are. We have more important things to focus on.

So let's do that.

As Anna Nicole decomposes, James Brown looking good
Associated Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. — While a medical examiner in Florida says Anna Nicole Smith's body is decomposing so rapidly that a public viewing may not be possible, the funeral director handling the still-unburied corpse of James Brown says the soul singer is looking good.

"No problem," said Charles Reid, director of the C.A. Reid Funeral Home, which handled The Godfather of Soul's funeral service.

Reid said this week that he has checked Brown's body almost daily in the past two months during the legal fight over Brown's estate and where he should be buried.

The reason for the difference in their condition, experts said, is that Brown was embalmed within a few hours of his death, while Smith's body was refrigerated for more than a week before being embalmed.

Refrigeration creates moisture that contributes to decomposition.

Brown, who died of heart failure Dec. 25 at age 73, looks almost unchanged from his December funeral and could even be displayed for another public viewing, Reid said.

Earlier this week, Dr. Joshua Perper, medical examiner in Broward County, Fla., said that Smith's body was decomposing more rapidly than expected.

In an embalming, blood is removed and replaced with chemicals that mostly consist of formaldehyde and wood alcohol. The preservatives dramatically slow decomposition.

The body is bathed and covered with a disinfectant before being dressed and placed in a casket. The mouth and eyes are closed.

Experts say there is no set time for how long a corpse can remain unburied. Eventually, dehydration sets in and a body deteriorates from the outside in. But Reid said the skin can be revitalized by applying beeswax.

On Thursday, the court-appointed lawyer for Smith's baby daughter said the centerfold would be buried in the Bahamas next to her son, but he did not say when.


  1. I agree. I cannot believe what passes for news these days. If I hear about ANS or JB or BS on the news station one more time, I'll scream.

  2. As always major issues are passed over for trivial ones. Does any one care?

    Celebrity sells even in death. War and blasts deaths are just figures.

  3. Anonymous12:48 p.m.

    Yeah,it certainly makes you wonder about our priorites at times!


  4. I don't even know how to comment on this.

  5. thats pretty ordinary..
    media was a good selling point in becoming TV free...

  6. Yeah..
    so what else is new.

  7. Laurie:

    I agree the media is certainly part of this, a big part, but I'm thinking it's much more.

    I guess it's the chicken and egg people actually care about this crap so much and so the media is just feeding their hunger?

    Or is the media setting out the plate at the table and the public's just eating what it's given?

    Look at the biggest shows on TV. The Entertainment Tonights and their ilk, the freakish talk shows.

    Look at People Magazine and all its copy-cats: Nicole dying and Britney sheared.

    It seems the more outrageous a story is, so far removed from "normal" peoples' reality, the bigger it gets.

    It's like we're all watching or reading freak shows in our living rooms or computer rooms.

    I don't get it.


    Yes, does anyone care. Exactly. Celebrity...and why? Where did the spin come from, and why are we buying it?


    An understatement, I'd say.


    Because you're as aghast as I am? Or because you're wondering why I'm so surprised?


    ORDINARY? I dunno, maybe I've been hiding under a rock. I usually avoid this crapola but this seemed beyond extreme.

    Glad you're TV-free.

    HE: I THAT naive and idealistic that this should just be glossed over as nothing new?

    Is the solution to become jaded and not even think about this?

    **Packs up, runs away to northern wilderness to live with the polar bears**

  8. I think the media is setting out the plate and the public's just eating what it's given. At least that's my hope. If the majority of the population really wants to hear about this kind of crap, we are in even more trouble than I thought.

  9. Laurie:

    I hate to differ, but I really think it's the other way around, in a way.

    The fact is, if people stopped watching ET and the like, as with everything else in TV, which is entirely based on advertising dollars, they'd stop showing it.

    It's about viewership and numbers, not about morals.

    If millions more will tune into Larry King or Nancy Grace or ET or whatever to hear about Britney or Anna Nicole and her decaying body, and no one wants to see starving kids or people getting their legs blown off, that's what they'll show.

    CNN's Situation Room isn't about the news, it's about spin -- lobbyists' take on the news.

    And newspapers basically try to follow what's on TV and the Web, with more depth.

    So what's the agenda? I think we've all been dumbed down by the advertisers and promoters, who would tell you they're just giving the world what people want and need, as a diversion from the truly bad stuff.

    I think we're being blinded by the light and by our own inability to process all the lightning-fast messages and sales jobs and ugliness we're being fed, and so we've been convinced that we have to watch this plastic pap...and care about it.

    Instead of caring about what we really should be caring about.

  10. Actually, I rarely watch the news on tv and hardly ever read the regional newspaper. The TV is set on a contemporary or jazz music station and I don't subscribe to the newspaper. I read books, play with the cats or surf the internet.

    I found out about Anna Nichole on Chani's blog and Bratney Spear's shearing on HE's blog.

    I don't have the time or energy to cull the real news from the celebrity gossip and government propaganda, so I don't bother with it.

    Is that a good thing? Probably not, but until someone puts together a television news show or newspaper source that isn’t full of the afore-mentioned crap, I’m not going to waste my time.

  11. I don't really listen to the news and it's by choice except when I travel. First, local anchors really annoy me and second, the news is done by the time I get home so I only read the newspapers on weekends.

    I admit I surf celebrity based blogs often but in those things, what you see is what you get. It's weird when CNN constantly airs news about Anna Nicole Smith. Isn't there enough going on around the world that they have ride on that bandwagon?

  12. Anonymous11:35 p.m.


    Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it. I recall reading a bit more about this at but then again, I could be wrong. But the site’s filled with lots of stuff, great content and weekly comps!


  13. A good way to put things in perspective :-)

  14. I think it's deliberate. I think that the media wants joe bloe to think about anything besides the immoral actions and inactions of our nation.

    if it wasn't for the blogs, and foreign news sites, we'd be in the dark, ey?

    -let's indict bush for war crimes, and stop teaching our children that POS like custer were heroes.-

  15. Laurie:

    I'm with you in many ways on this. I certainly don't watch CNN or any of the big networks.

    I try to catch the local TV news because for the most part, they're not sophisticated enough and don't have the massive corporate agenda going on.

    I read my newspaper but skip the crapola and stick to reading National Geographic, Time and Psychology Today (all from HE, the ultimate subscriber and modern culture maven).


    That's my point...they're jumping on the bandwagon. In fact, they want to steer the damn thing too and charge admission.

    It's like everybody's watching that and it's more important for us to feed the beast and make money than actually present the news like BBC does, so let's take it to infinity and beyond.


    Thanks. Was that a cleverly disguised spam designed to get me to visit your site?


    Thanks. I think it's almost impossible to gain perspective with stuff like this.

    Custer was:

    Yeah I think a lot of this is diversionary, like I said in the post, part of a plan to get us not to think about the things that we actually should care about.

    I think bloggers do least ourselves.

  16. WW, I have to agree with Homey on this one. What else is new? I find it harder and harder to be surprised by this bullcrap.
    Don't go to the woods though. You might end up with writing as tedious as Thoreau, and we can't have that!!

  17. I don't know what to say about the absurdity (have I spelt that right?) of that, so I'll just say hello, which I can spell

  18. Shelley:

    And it's the sheer reality as you and HE and others that I guess I understand but lament.

    There appears to be nothing that we can do about it. This crap, to me, though, eclipsed even the lowest of standards.

    So is this acceptance of what is, with no recourse? Or we just say what's new? Isn't that apathy?

    I may go hide in the woods yet...


    Yes, my dear, you spelled absurdity correctly. And, for that matter, hello. And hello to you.

    Now "spelt," I'm not sure of...

  19. Base Form Spell
    Past Simple Spelt/Spelled
    Past Participle Spelt/Spelled
    3rd Person Singular Spells
    Present Participle/Gerund Spelling

    I KNOW about "spells"


  20. Ziggi:

    Of course you WOULD know about spells. I'm just here to keep you on your toes.

    You are a HOOT!!!

  21. it is a bit shocking... but it also clearly demonstrates the differences between abusing drugs and alcohol and abusing plastic surgery!

  22. I know WW...this is so very sad. I mean ppl should learn to let go atleast after someone's dead...but here they r battling over decomposing bodies and I think there's nothing more ridiculous than that.

    high time to let em RIP!


  23. Angel:

    Bang on...and apparently she abused them all...yet we keep paying all this attention to her.


    It's ridiculous, for sure. The TV media have just so blown it up into a ridiculous story.


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