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Celebrity Demise

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Over the past few years it seems as though we are being inundated with celebrity news stories about drug and alcohol abuse. The result in some cases is death, the final curtain call for those in the theatre, the final encore of a music career gone awry. As bad as I feel about the loss of life, I struggle with the fact that in most cases their deaths end up being caused by self inflicted harm. Their life of parties, nightclubs and world travel with their fans always making them feel larger than life is a recipe for disaster. But what really goes on behind closed doors, away from the glitz and glamour of celebrity life? I am sure that the hard living aspect of celebrity life is not all its cracked up to be.

I know how I have felt after going at it for a couple of days of celebrating with friends, be it while on vacations, weddings or birthdays. Exhaustion sets in and you take a step back for a while, realizing that you just can't keep up the pace. Do celebrities the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen or even Courtney Love have that ability to step back and take stock of what they are doing to themselves and those they care for? The quick answer is, probably not.

The celebrity curse is not new either. There is the proverbial "27 club", which membership dates back to the early '70s. Take the careers of Janis Joplin, age 27, Jim Morrison, age 27, Jimi Hendrix, age 27, Kurt Cobain, age 27, or even more recently, Amy Winehouse, age 27. The common factor in their demise is either drug or alcohol abuse and overdose. How can we the general public feel badly for them when they brought it on themselves? No one showed up and forced them to take the drugs or binge on booze for weeks on end. They were probably given several opportunities to seek help and decided against it, as the sickness (addiction) has the ability to mask good judgement.

Again, as a mother I feel bad that they are gone, but I can't help thinking that they are their own worst enemies. I recently had to have a conversation with my children who love the TV show Glee. Actor Cory Monteith, a 31 year old seemingly normal young man who at the height of his career overdosed on a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol. What about the effects of those around him, his family, siblings, or even his cast mates? How will it affect them for years to come? His on screen girlfriend was also his real life love interest. I can't even fathom the emotional despair she must be feeling. How did she not know what was going on right in front of her eyes?

The drug and alcohol abuse is rampant around the entertainment industry, but it is by no means limited to it. Take politicians, and athletes for instance. They say that Howard Hughes, an American business tycoon possibly died of kidney failure due to chronic use of aspirin. Not really a heavy duty drug, but a drug nonetheless. Dr Sigmund Freud died of a physician assisted suicide of a cocktail made up of morphine. Senator Joseph McCarthy, a US government official died of hepatitis, exacerbated by the heavy use of alcohol. Abbie Hoffman, an American political activist died of an apparent suicide of Phenobarbital, an extremely potent prescription drug. As you can see its not all about hard celebrity living, but the odds are certainly against them in so many cases.

My point is this...

If the celebrity lifestyle breeds this level of contempt for themselves and those around them, then don't get involved in the industry. If you don't have enough respect for yourself, then think of your family and those you are undoubtedly leaving behind. They deserve better from you as I am sure without their sacrifices along the way you wouldn't have made it big in the first place. I, for one am sick and tired about hearing of their untimely demise. Get a grip of yourselves and slow down the proverbial train wreck.
Just how many times are we going to be subjected in the media to the perils of being Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes or even bad boy golfer John Daly? Now to be fair, the same can also be said about celebrities who have realized their mistakes, misgivings, and misbehaving ways and appear to be on the right track to sobriety and overcoming drug addictions. Britney Spears for instance was probably going to lose her two sons if she hadn't gotten her act together. Kudos to her for having a family that cared more for her than the Hollywood lifestyle. She seems to have turned it all around for the better. One of my favourite actors, Robert Downey Jr was probably months and not years away from either overdosing or killing himself due to his demons. He was hard living at every turn with no regard for those around him. In my opinion, his best work has taken place since straightening himself out. Long may it continue...

I have had these discussions with friends over cocktails while watching movies or out for dinner. We are all of the same belief, that Hollywood has the ability to make or break a career, and in some cases end a life. Sad, but true.

I hope that anyone who reads this blog understands that I am not trying to incite anger or disdain for the entertainment industry, I am just sad to hear of the ongoing cases in which innocent young lives are lost way to soon. Their talent can only live on through the movies, videos and CD's that we purchased in helping make them famous in the first place.

I am done feeling sorry for them...