Thursday, March 11, 2010

Another "Celebrity" Drug Death

Look, I've never in my life formed an opinion about Corey Feldman. Ever. But I think that I kind of knew that I was going to form one when I saw him at Michael Jackson's memorial service...dressed like Michael Jackson. Who does that? I've been to plenty of funerals in my time and never once have I gone to one where the attendees were dressed as the deceased. Never! Not once! You know why? Because it's weird. That is correct.

When Michael Jackson died, suddenly everything turned into the "Corey Feldman Media Tour". He did interviews with everyone that would listen to him, and given the state of the media these days, that pretty much included all of the media. He seems pretty fond of going on Larry King Live for some reason. Maybe it's because Larry isn't exactly at what I would call the top of his game anymore. (I'm assuming Larry knows that he's IN a studio and that it's the year 2010, but other than that, it's really hard to say.) And now that his buddy Corey Haim has met a sad, but fairly predictable, early demise, I'm expecting the Corey Feldman Media Tour to pick up steam and start moving full speed ahead.

I'll get back to Larry King in a moment. First, I'd like to present to you the slightly strange public statement that Corey Feldman issued in the wake of his friend's death. Now, Feldman and Haim had been best friends at various points in their lives. It was due to Haim's constant/frequent drug use and the sort of behavior that results from constant/frequent drug use which produced a strain on the relationship of these two former child stars. It's unclear exactly how close the two were at the time of Haim's death yesterday morning. But Feldman isn't going to let a little distance between friends come between him and a little bit of free publicity for himself. Here's his statement that he released after learned of Mr. Haim's death (which drugs likely played a part in).

"I was awakened at 8:30 this morning by my brother and sister knocking on my bedroom door. They informed me of the loss of my brother Corey Haim. My eyes weren't even open all the way when the tears started streaming down my face. I am so sorry for Corey, his mother Judy, his family, my family, all of our fans, and of course my son who I will have to find a way to explain this to when he gets home from school. This is a tragic loss of a wonderful, beautiful, tormented soul, who will always be my brother, family, and best friend. We must all take this as a lesson in how we treat the people we share this world with while they are still here to make a difference. Please respect our families as we struggle and grieve through this difficult time. I hope the art Corey has left behind will be remembered as the passion of that for which he truly lived."

OK, I don't know about you, but I found that a rather odd statement to make. And there was actually a part of it that made me a little mad. the part about "We must all take this as a lesson in how we treat the people we share this world with while they are still here to make a difference." Um, is he implying that Mr. Haim was mistreated during his time on this earth? Look, when you're a drug addict and you act like a drug addict, it's really not the people who are not drug addicts who need the lecture on how they're treating the drug addict, you know? It's not like the drug addicts are treating the non-drug addicts with the utmost respect all of the time. In case you were unaware, Mr. Feldman, drug addicts are rarely concerned about the lives of others. No, they're a little self-centered. But I digress. (Whoops. Gee, do you think a little bit of reality seeped in there, folks? I think it might have. Carry on.)

So, Mr. Feldman was on Larry King Live where he made some interesting statements. One of the things that he said which stood out to me was "Where were all these people to lend a handout, to reach out ot him and say, you're a legend, you're an amazingly talented wonderful person who's never really gone out of his way to hurt anyone, other than himself." Um, OK, first things first. "A legend"? Dude, Corey Haim might have been a lot of things, but he certainly wasn't a legend. I don't know that I can give you the exact formula for what makes a legend, but it doesn't include Corey Haim. He's not a legend.

Now let me go after the rest of that statement. He asks where everyone was. Does he not know? I wasn't around, but I can tell him. They were there. They were right there. They offered all of their support. They offered all of their love. They offered all of their time. And Corey Haim chose drugs instead, time after time after time. It gets old after a while. It gets really old. And just because people don't come around anymore, it doesn't mean that they don't care about you any more. A lot of the time it just means that they can't take you anymore. Try coming around them when you're all cleaned up and not high on whatever it is that you prefer to get high on. They'll be there for you. They'll do more than that. They'll welcome you in and they'll ask you back. But not when you're a disaster waiting to happen. No one wants to stick around to see that.

Mr. Feldman also remarked, "In this entertainment industry, in Hollywood, we build people up as children, we put them on pedestals, and then, when we decide they're not marketable anymore, we walk away from them." While I won't disagree with the meat of that statement, I don't see anything in there about how the industry walks away from them with a bag of drugs in their hands. You know, there are plenty of child stars who did not end up as tormented adults. I haven't done a study, nor have I even attempted to count and/or quantify that statement. But since when did all of this guy's problems become everyone else's fault?

While on his self-publicity stunt via a friend's death on Larry King, Feldman, in continuing to enable the late Mr. Haim, said, "Speaking from personal experience, Feldman said that, while he got himself cleaned up after struggling with drugs, his Two Coreys counterpart had a harder time, and by the time he was ready to face life sober again, "there was no one there to pull him up." Well, that explains it. Look, if you're on drugs and you want to get off of drugs, you know who you have to have help you? No one but yourself. You have to find that thing, that reason, that drive that is only deep within you that will motivate you to do what you have to do. You can't expect other people to be there for you. You can't expect other people to help you. There are some things in this life, no matter how much we might not like it, that we have to do on our own and without any help from anyone else. Don't get me wrong. Having people support you is a huge help whenever you're trying to overcome any obstacle. But you can't make your success contingent upon who is or who isn't waiting for you at the finish line.

In closing with Larry King, Feldman said that "...funeral plans haven't been made yet but that he and Haim's family "want to plan a sizable memorial. I would like to see Hollywood pay their respects." Define "Hollywood", Corey. There will be folks there, but I don't know if "Hollywood", in its entirety, is going to show up. But even if "Hollywood" did show up, I doubt that they're going to be there in the capacity that Mr. Feldman expressed that they be, which was him saying "Hopefully he's going to be remembered as a beautiful, funny, enigmatic character who brought nothing but life and lights and entertainment and art to all of our lives." Yeah, that's not going to happen. He's going to be remembered as a good guy who couldn't pull himself away from the drugs long enough to save his own life. He'll be remembered as yet another Hollywood actor who died way too young from drugs. You can't glorify someone's life when it ends with an early death which was likely caused by drug use. You just can't.

Hopefully, this will be the last that we see of Mr. Feldman for a while. And really, it seems that all it will take for that to happen is for people that he knows to not die. Hang in there, guys! You can do it!

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Scott Jacobs said...

That was his press release? I could have sworn it was "No, I'm fine... You want the other Corey..."

I have to admit that I, like so many online, was completely shocked by the announcement of Mr Haim's death...

I could have sworn he was already dead. Who knew?

Mare said...

See, Scott, this is why I said I liked you.

I thought he was already dead, too.

~ Mare