Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Carrie Fisher 1956-2016

I saw a lot of pictures of Carrie Fisher this morning on Twitter and Facebook, but I chose this sketch by John Kovalic, a fine cartoonist and a hardcore nerd, to represent her. It's iconic and she was an icon in so many ways. It also gives a nod to the late Kenny Baker, the guy inside the tin can who died this year as well.

We got some warning with Carrie and there was some hope because she was still alive when they took her off the plane, but 2016 has been the year when hope is nearly the worst thing you can have. Carrie Fisher's former flame Paul Simon wrote "These are the days of miracles and wonders". Maybe - just maybe - she might pull through. But the early news reports said she was unresponsive for ten minutes on the plane. Miracles and wonders aside, it's very hard to come back from that.

Carrie Fisher had roles people remember other than Star Wars, including Shampoo before and The Blues Brothers after, but so many tweets and Facebook posts were quick to point out her career as a writer. I show the cover from this book because my friend Mina Millett Vanderberg was of the opinion it started with one of the great first lines in literature, up there with Tolstoy, Dickens, Melville and Austen.

Maybe I shouldn't have given the guy who pumped my stomach my phone number, but who cares? My life is over anyway.  

It lacks the brevity of "Call Me Ishmael" or "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." But there is no denying it packs a punch.

Carrie Fisher was my age. Mina was my age and she died ten years ago. A lot of stuff is piling on today.

The 20th Century is chock full of writers talking about their own drug experiences, but Carrie Fisher was one of the first to talk directly about her own battles with mental illness as well. In her case it was depression and bipolar disorder. On Twitter, there are tributes from other writers who made their struggles public, including Mara Wilson and Stephen Fry. Here's a link to on of Fry's tweets today that made me both laugh and cry.

And so I close as I often have.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Carrie Fisher, from a fan. May she never be forgotten.

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