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Carrie Fisher came to mind when…

... I read about Lisa Marie Presley‘s death. Both born and bred to LA madness, where scads of family and friends drugged and drank madly… You often read these days of uber-LA celebs moving everyone out of there (Australia seems the go-to spot) to avoid a culture where so many are pickling in chemicals.

Fisher made it to 60; Presley died at 54. Both hopelessly drugged up their hearts.


As a university-chronicler, UD sometimes wonders about the almost-total absence of university education in Mad LA, something Ricky Gervais cruelly pointed out at an awards speech (“You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than [17 year old] Greta Thunberg.”). It’s not that you can’t become a walloping addict and have gone to Cambridge (see Stephen Fry), but it is possible that temporary removal from mad LA to a location of some discipline and reflection (note the title of B. Giamatti’s book on universities: A Free and Ordered Space) would have helped some of LA’s victims.

Margaret Soltan, January 13, 2023 11:24AM
Posted in: demon rum

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3 Responses to “Carrie Fisher came to mind when…”

  1. Rita Says:

    Hollywood has remained one of the few sectors of American life where success doesn’t require a college degree, and that’s probably something worth preserving (and expanding, if possible). It’s not been a great thing for our society to centralize every kind of professional success through the BA pipeline. A college experience seems like a nice thing for all in the abstract, but the reality is that the more people who believe they require one to achieve their professional ambitions, the MORE cutthroat, corrupt, and transactional real college experiences will become for everyone.

    The offspring of celebrities are their own class of fore-doomed types. College can’t save them; it’s much too late in the game for them by the time they’re 18.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Well, I’m not recommending it for professional reasons; rather, it seems to me that many many people could benefit from a few years of serious disciplined thought about the world — maybe especially people who are heading into high-profile stage and screen. The lack of focus on one’s self; the historically/critically informed consideration of various modes of art…

  3. Rita Says:

    Ideally, high school should provide this. Unfortunately, child actors often only pretend to go to high school, and the kids of the rich and famous snort their way through it in a haze of cocaine. The problem is that they do the same in college.

    You also have to assume that these are people who could/would be serious and studious in the right environment. I’m not so sure. But in any case, if it is true, they should just do an outdoorsy backpacking trip for a summer or something analogous. At least that wouldn’t affect anyone else’s life. I’m wary of recommending college as a panacea for all the problems of the soul. Turns out to have many ill effects, as I suppose would also be true of summer backpacking programs if everyone in the country began to believe that they were prerequisites for professional and financial success in life.

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