Natasha Richardson – 1963-2009
I am feeling really guilty right now for all the times I fantasized about comforting a grief-stricken Liam Neeson after she left him. I never meant for her to DIE ferchrissakes.
I am watching the Handmaid’s Tale tonight. She is the Offred in my head.
How long before some fascist psychopath blames socialized health care in Canada for her death? She was first seen at a hospital in Montreal, right?
the kids will not forget their helmets during bike riding season this year. Ever.
@smapdi: This photo was the one I found that looked most like her when she starred in that movie.
@FlyingChainSaw: I’m surprised Bill Frist didn’t try and diagnose her condition from a video.
God, she was beautiful, wasn’t she?
Home, now, I think. Sad for her family, and all of us, though.
@FlyingChainSaw: It’s all over the place . Google Richardson canada “socialized medicine”
Good news: I just had little Wolverine and his family over for dinner, They came down from home just to get out of town for a little while. He’s recovering really well and has even been taking unauthorized bike rides.
@blogenfreude: Ooooh, you are bad. @redmanlaw: Cripes. My imagination is as creepy as reality. . . Why unauthorized? You’d reckon the daktaris would be thrilled to have him up and active.
@FlyingChainSaw: I have a long memory. Plus, I’m a complete jerk. That helps.
BREAKING – DEATH PENALTY REPEALED IN NEW MEXICO –
Gov. BillRichardson signs bill/life in prison without parole replaces lethal injection
updates ref to gov to avoid confusion with late actress . . .developing . . .
@redmanlaw: Two people called Richardson in the news.
@Mistress Cynica: Gawd, me too! Why can’t Shrub fall off his bike and hit his head?
And her 12 and 13 year old sons were with her when she fell and when she first went to the hospital. Those poor boys…
I always have to mess up an emotional moment with analysis. Oh well, my world, and welcome to it.
Why do we feel for celebrities, stars?
Here is my theory. We are genetically programmed to live in communal, hierachical groups. Tribes, packs, whatever. And we don’t, anymore, except RML. But inside, we want to. Celebrities create an artificial pack or tribe for us. We all know them, so we all have them in common, as if they were a member of the tribe, except they are not around. And when we know others also admire and know them, that gives us a connection to others. There is the tribe of Bono followers, the tribe of Dacid Foster wallace followers, and the primitive, savage tribe of Limbaugh followers.
And we seek hierarchy, too, yes yes, I know, its not very egalitarian, but animal herds, chickens, lions, monkeys, none of their societies are egalitarian, they have pecking orders. So we are also genetically programmed to seek leaders. So the celebrities bind us, through our common knowledge and affection, or hate, for them, and at least the ones we admire, like Bono, we look at as leaders of our non-existent packs.
So in a real sense, we feel they are part of our “tribe,” and we feel for them, we are interested in their personal life as if they were a member of our tribe, we gossip about them as if they were members of our tribe, and we mourn them as if a member of our tribe has died.
So its a genuine sadness I feel, really. A member of my tribe has died.
Good for Beel.
If I have it right, she was on a bunny slope when she was injured. Which may have given her instructor and the Ski Patrol a little bit of false comfort. Procedures to be reviewed, post haste.
My sister hit her head on a tree and had a welt the size of an orange on her head for a week. Lucky duck.
Sad stuff, truly.
redmanlaw: Outfuckingstanding in re the death penalty repeal. FSM had a purpose in ensuring he’d be aced from the Cabinet post.
@Promnight: Maybe that explains celebrity fixations in general. But I’ve found myself more saddened by this because of the freakish circumstances, that she was incredibly talented and did great work on and off the stage. It’s sad when anyone full of promise dies too young. Especially when crusty coal-hearted evil fucks like Dick Cheney or Henry Kissinger still walk the earth.
And this is why I never tried to learn to ski.
@SanFranLefty: It kills me about her children, and that she was so young still–just a couple of years younger than I. There have been several personally upsetting deaths in the last couple of weeks–a former co-worker (in her 40s) died of pneumonia, a friend’s brother who was 51 dropped dead of a stroke, and my brother’s father, who was my stepfather when I was a child and whose last name I use, shot himself last week. It’s gotten so I scan my email first thing for the subject line “Sad News”.
@Mistress Cynica: I am so sorry to hear about your ex-stepfather. Thats so particularly hard, I hate to hear that someone was in such pain, had so completely lost hope as to believe that tomorrow, and all the tomorrows, could not possibly bring improvement.
@SanFranLefty, chicago bureau: What made the decision politically tough is that a wife or mom of a slain sheriff’s deputy from the non-New Mexico part of the state was over at the capitol pushing for him not to sign it so his killer could be executed.
@Mistress Cynica: I am stunned at your news. I wish I knew what to say.
Levity, anyone, levity? Nojo, this is a story that screams for a comment; the New Jersey board of Cosmetology is trying to ban brazillian and bikini waxing in salons in NJ.
Personally, it might jolt me into action, I have been seriously considering a “back, crack, and sack” job (note the Harvard comma), despite my wife’s ridicule of the idea. Easy for her to say, she is not cursed with the hair I have. But is it too much? Is this too much a “metrosexual” cliche thing to do?
Anyway, what I thought was ironic is that NJ voted against both W and his father. This is the first time NJ is coming out in favor of bush.
Can I get a rimshot?
@Mistress Cynica: That’s terrible.
@redmanlaw: I have always been appalled by laws that demand enhanced punishment for those who commit a crime, even murder, against a cop. And the secret, de facto rules which delve out greater punishment even when the law does not provide for it. Cops have become almost a cult, a gang, and they have created a wide gulf between the members of their gang, and the public they are supposed to serve, and basically view the public as the enemy, and their primary loyalty is to their own.
As I recently mentioned, when I was working for a political firm that specialized in municipal law, they were city attorney for 14 towns, that firm would sometimes send me to stand in for the big gun, and sit their on the dais during city council meetings as city attorney.
And during the course of this, I saw the police department engage in an organized program of harrassment against city council members who voted against their least demand (like money for a junket to send the canine squad to a canine squad competition in California). They would give them parking tickets for parking in front of their houses, follow them around. One of them told me she was afraid of them.
Oh, and lest there is anyone here who does not really understand the legislative process, in the way it really happens, as opposed to in theory, this is a perfect learning example.
This measure to ban “brush clearing” in salons, is a project of the dermatologists, the MDs. They are pushing it, you see, so that we NJ residents will have to go to a dermatologist, an MD, to trim down down there.
@Promnight: So where would you stand on my proposal to execute abortion clinic protesters?
A bit of levity for the Project Runway fans here: Cray-zee bitch Kenley has been arrested for assault after attacking her boyfriend by throwing, among other things, their cat and a laptop at him.
ADD: to make it better, he was her fiancé and his last name is “Penley”.
Be strong, Cyn.
I remember seeing Natasha Richardson in an episode of the BBC “Sherlock Holmes” series (“The Copper Beeches”) with the late, lamented, and irreplaceable Jeremy Brett.
I don’t go to the movies, and don’t watch much TV, so I regret to say that I have not seen her more recent work.
Her lineage suggests that she was a born actor, and the person that radiates from her photos seems to have been a good soul. May she Rest In Peace.
@Promnight: I always thought that was the sort of thing that was the most fun shared with a close personal friend, anyway.
@redmanlaw: Make more sense to force them to be foster parents for unwanted children, so they will be too busy caring for the kids to engage in silliness.
If they neglect that responsibility, then kill them.
@Ewalda: I so wish I could have seen her on the stage.
@Ewalda: Even waxing?
And dude, I have heard of an IT situation, longshot maybe something that you could do, but I don’t know, and its of course long shot, but I already mentioned I know an IT guy. Are you on the facebook page? My memory is shit, but I thought thats what you do.
@Mistress Cynica: NY Daily News said “ex-fiancee” – he should have stayed away.
@Promnight: I don’t want to know what made you leap from me to asscrack wax in the same thought.
@nojo: You write posts up there, dude, thats all. You could do it justice.
TJ: My westie rolls in catshit. Yuck.
@Promnight: I’ll bet if you told your wife she could do it to you she’d cave in.
@Promnight: Sure, a lobbyist sneaks up behind a congressman as he is walking to his car, pulled out a fist a 1000-dollar bills and waves it into his face, dazzling him, grabs his hair and pounds it off of the hood of a parked car, tears off his pants, reams his asshole bloody while stuffing the bills in his mouth. Then he jumps back and snaps a picture as the legislator turns around. The lobbyist’s bill is introduced to committee the next day and is passed into law within a month.
@Promnight: No, I’m not on Facebook. Just can’t bring myself to commit to it.
I’ll try to sign up tomorrow under the “Ewalda” moniker. Let you know if I’m successful.
@Promnight: No. Cops have become militarized, accepted as a de facto member of the military. There’s even a shrine to fallen cops in DC now, though it is one of the safest gigs in the world. If the cops were really bad, they’d go out on patrol unarmed and face down the gangsta threat with bare hands and tire irons. Yeah, that’s a cop. What would Fox pay for the rights? There’s no end of programming opportunities at hand. Thousands of PTSD victims from Iraq join local police agencies, ready and eager to go Death Wish on the local gangs, roadside confessions of cops so insane, they confess to the viewers, “Life only has meaning when I am tearing someone limb from limb.”
@FlyingChainSaw: Nah, they just had him give a speech at their annual convention 3 years running, contributed $20,000 to his pac, and just kinda softly schmoozed the bureaucrats for a number of years.
@FlyingChainSaw: Well, vis a vis cops, yes, you are right. Its sad that society would view simply speaking the truth in perfectly appropriate words, would be considered criminally insane by our society.
Liam Neeson is one classy guy.
@blogenfreude: TMZ is one classy sleazy site.
@Ewalda: Just leave the family alone. Nothing to see, move along.
@Mistress Cynica: Amen.
I apologize for not knowing who the hell Natasha Richardson is until yesterday.
@FlyingChainSaw: JUST LIKE “THE SHIELD.”
@Ewalda: And someone at TMZ commented FIRST!
@shortsshortsshorts: Clueless as well. That’s what happens when Defamer tanks.
Sorry to hear about her. The first time I saw Natasha was in the movie the Hand Maidens Tale. I feel rather guilty now that one of the reasons I enjoyed it because she was nude in the movie. The other is that she reminds me (vaguely) of a girl I once was madly in love with and who ended up marrying someone else.
@shortsshortsshorts: Don’t be sorry. In the big scheme of things, its absurd you should feel it necessary to apologize for not feeling the personal loss of someone you do not personally know. Its like I said above, knowing her makes you part of the group, the group is mourning, you need to be part of the group. Strange animals we are.
@ManchuCandidate: You know whats the most unsettling thing, is when the girl you were once madly in love with, who married someone else, suddenly dies young. When I was 36 years old, a girl I was once madly in love with, one of the 3 biggest loves of my life, went into the hospital with flu symptoms and died 5 days later of I think menningitis, some kind of viral infection like that. Not someone who looked like her, the woman I once thought was it.
@Promnight: Yes but the sickest part of all is that the empathy/sympathy is minimal, like none. People die. Terrible accidents happen. Shit, I could fall off my dock and drown in mud tomorrow morning. Would any of you know? No? WELL DAMN, I MUST BE A STATISTIC.
OMG I AM LIKE HITLER.
@Ewalda: Yeah, but Liam acknowledged those around him … I would be a basket case.
@ManchuCandidate: I lusted after a Natasha lookalike in junior high – Katy. She broke my teenage heart.
@shortsshortsshorts: Nah, its normal, though the fact is that if we knew, we would care, we are a more real community than the fictional community surrounding celebrities.
If you grieve for every death, your spirit will soon I think be eaten up and you will not be able to grieve for anyone.
That’s a double shot to the heart. Mourning what might have been and her.
I don’t know where Carol, my Natasha look alike, went after she got married–I deliberately lost contact with her.
Are we an arc type or what?
@blogenfreude: I thought I would be a basket case when my father died, and I was somehow chosen to give a eulogy. Its amazing, though, the very need to compose yourself and do a necessary duty in honor of the departed, the necessity, is a godsend, you at least feel that you are doing your duty, holding up for the benefit of your kids, again, the necessity of it, the knowledge that its your duty, somehow gives you the strength to do it.
Star Wars geeks weigh in.
“My prayers go out to Qui Gon and his family.”
Honey, I am so sorry about your step-dad. Gawd, that hurts so bad. How are your brothers/sisters doing?
@SanFranLefty: My brother is quite shaken up. His dad had been depressed for some time (tried to kill himself last year with an overdose of sleeping pills, but his wife woke up and found him), but seemed to be doing better recently. My brother did not expect it to happen now. I’m glad he has a therapist he likes and is on antidepressants.
Guys were talking about untimely ends for exes: my mother has had one ex-husband (my father) murdered, and another one commit suicide.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
As much as I have my Jimmy Stewart moments, I know in my heart of hearts I cannot ever commit suicide because I’ve had too many family members do it and it rips a ginormous hole in everyone however tangentially involved for years and years. Get help for yourself, please, if you can, and please get help for your brother, and naturally you know to please reassure him there is abso-fucking-lutely nothing he could have done to stop this. The worst part about suicide is that everyone marginally related will spend the rest of their lives playing back on the reels what they could have done or said to stop the shit storm.
Is your mom still alive? If she is this must be most odd for her, even if they are exes.
In any event, I am sending big hugs north to you to be the rock your brother needs.
@Mistress Cynica: [speechless]
@SanFranLefty: Thanks so much. At least we’ve been around mental illness long enough to know there’s nothing we could have done. Mother is still alive and I think it will be very weird for her. I do wonder what’s happened to Husband #3, who was the real nutjob (she had to have him removed by the cops and committed once). I always had him pegged for “crazy guy shoots up everything in sight.”
After realizing I’m drunk. this still makes sense:
OBAMA EATS GAY BABIES FOR DINNER. hEE MAID AIG. Also.
We need more “SHADOW GOVERNMENTS” in this place, for dramatic effect
Oh, bloody hell! She died? Last I heard she was receiving treatment for her head injury. Damn. I hope Joely doesn’t find herself slingshotted into an anorexic fast.
@Promnight: I’d like to think that because of how the work artists do touch us in a way that makes them feel like we know them, we take their deaths as personally as we would someone we know “in real life.” But, I can’t help but think that it’s just rubbernecking.
@RomeGirl: Oh, for sure it’s just rubbernecking. I feel a transient pang of sadness whenever someone I didn’t know dies, but I feel more empathetic to the family members that have to deal with the loss — that feeling I can relate to.
Instead of celebrities, I’m more concerned about the Panchen Lama, the little boy China disappeared in the 90s. I receive emails daily from AI about political prisoners who were disappeared or live under the threat of execution — this stuff touches me.
It’s always sad when someone dies, and maybe I’m just cold hearted, but I don’t feel the loss many do when celebrities die. Unless it’s suffering people like David Foster Wallace, Kurt Cobain, Lane Staley, Hunter Thompson, etc. Maybe it’s because I know what it’s like to be suicidal. I don’t know…
@RomeGirl: At one time, Mrs RML was paid to care about stuff like this when she was a People magazine correspondent here for several years. (One weekend she did Julia Roberts’ wedding. I saw her meet and interview Rumsfeld at a little community fiesta parade.) As the gossip columnist for the local paper, she still gets to track the movements of celebs through town, i.e., Jennifer Connelly working out at a local resort while hubby is in town, movies in production, Jessica Alba hating on how uncool some of her locations were, etc. I should start linking to her column here and at FB.
I’m sure you all saw that Don Imus, who has a ranch over by Pecos (along with Jane Fonda, Patrick Swayze, Randy Travis, and Val Kilmer; Gene Hackman lives a little further east) and who hates on the Hispanic locals has prostrate cancer.
There’s a biological basis for identification with celebrities, as well. There’s a structure in our brains–it’s the amygdala, if I recall–that stores and recognizes faces. It’s especially crucial during infant and early childhood development. The more often we see someone–even in movies or on teevee–the more likely we are to have positive feelings about that person, which is why we very erroneously sometimes feel that we have a personal emotional connection to our favorite actor, politician, etc.
Technology has fooled our innate biology.
I hope you don’t “fall off a dock.”
We’re just getting to know you.
In the most platonic, non-threatening, non-seshal way, of course ; )
My deepest sympathies.
@Original Andrew: Update: still alive. But for how long?
I’ve been enjoying your blog SSS, but c’mon, no centerfold?
More Nash Fratmen PLZ!
@Mistress Cynica: I’m so sorry.
@Mistress Cynica: Cynica, I am so sorry for your loss. I hate weeks like that, and I have unfortunately had a few myself.
I am a little curious about this Natasha Richardson thing. I hope you won’t think I am insensitive, but I have been thinking about this all morning. My favorite cousin died last August after hitting her head on something. She had a headache and went to bed early and never woke up. She was only 41 and had three boys and was raising a fourth. However, when they did her autopsy, they discovered that she had cirrhosis of the liver so severely that her blood had become incapable of clotting, thus what should have been a routine bump on the head turned fatal. Her brain cavity literally filled with blood and killed her. She had been a secret alcoholic, and was at such an advanced stage that the coroner said that she would have been dead in a month from something, this just happened to be the thing. I just saw this video of Richardson at a public event and she seemed…er…very happy, so I wonder if she had this problem as well. Again, not judging (my favorite cousin was my favorite cousin because she and I would have a few drinks at family functions to help ease the pain) or starting rumors or anything, just wondering. I know people with other conditions can also be fatally injured by hits on the head.
@Mistress Cynica: God, that’s a lot of heartbreak and trauma in one life. Stay strong–my thoughts are with you, your brother, and your mom.
As to Richardson, I’m just like the Fug Girls in having a huge soft spot for the Parent Trap remake that she was in with Dennis Quaid and still-cute-as-a-button Lindsey Lohan. She just glowed. In honor of her and of the long-lost Defamer, where I would’ve normally followed this story, let me just say: Should’ve been you, Katherine Heigl!
@homofascist: Hmmm. Could be possible. This has me freaked out since I am so spastic that I fall down just walking down the street, let alone when running or playing sports.
@flippin eck: My soft spot comes from how moving Liam Neeson was in “Love Actually” as the grieving widower and how it has come to life.
@SanFranLefty: “Love Actually” is a “Dude Approved” Chick Flick in my book. I may go get it for Mrs RML today.
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