February 16, 2007 |
The natural impulse, on seeing the whole stir over Anna Nicole Smith’s increasingly bizarre and sad family drama and, now, unexpected and untimely passing, is to think: Fury, signifying nothing. But…
Where we are now is in some kind of afterecho of a tragedy. But which one? Several come to mind:
- Oedipus at Colonus (a.k.a., as some would have it, Oedipus 2)? The struggle over Anna Nicole’s corpse called to mind, for me at least, the fight over where Oedipus would be interred… though I don’t know whether any blessing will follow her body.
- A dead child, a new infant, a dead husband, a mediocre suitor (or several)… fragments of Jean Racine’s Andromaque are seen through a kaleidoscope, darkly
- Marilyn Monroe, the platinum-blonde bombshell icon whose form Anna Nicole mirrored (though with little of the content) and who herself died young
- Ever chaste Diana Spencer (a.k.a. “England’s Rose”)– whose idea was it to cultivate Anna Nicole as America’s Rose?
- And of course her daughter is doomed to one of two fates: lose a lawsuit over her stepfather’s legacy and sink into relatively improverished obscurity, perhaps auctioning her mother’s implants on eBay someday? or win, and wind up like some Athina Onassis de Miranda clone– an infant with a gargantuan legacy awaiting her, and even more of a custody-battle football than her late mother’s body.
Her peculiar life and untimely demise, and certainly her movie career, ending with direct-to-DVD B-flick Illegal Alien? (which thing would probably be the stuff of an aftercheese.com movie rant, if we had actually written any of these yet)… None of these things could have been in the classical age, the neo-classical age, Hollywood’s Golden Age, the age of irony, or even the age of reality… Such things could only come to pass now, in the post-irony, post-partum, post-mortem age of aftercheese.