Creative Destruction

February 11, 2007

Lashes to Ashes, Bust to Dust

Filed under: Current Events — Robert @ 2:46 pm

(That’s my wife’s riff on Dawn Eden’s rejected headline.)

The death of Anna Nicole Smith, nee Vickie Lynn Marshall, has caused me to reflect on some things.

The first thing is a bit of personal guilt. I have laughed at Anna Nicole’s antics since early days. I thought it was a hoot that this gold-digger got her hooks into a billionaire. I thought it was hysterical when the train wreck of J. Howard Marshall’s death and will became an enormous media circus. I watched her “reality” show with relish. And I can’t tell you how many good solid laughs derived from Jeff’s lovely series of Anna Nicole “greeting cards”.

I’ll confess, when she died I was a little bit sad (“every man’s death diminishes me”), but mostly I saw an opportunity for snark. In fact, I was going to write a snarky blog entry about it. While I was doing the “research” (hey, beef jerky and Coke doesn’t consume itself, you know), I came across this little nugget in Anna Nicole’s Wikipedia article:

She was the daughter of Donald Eugene Hogan (born July 12, 1947) and Virgie Mae Tabers (born July 12, 1951), who were married on February 22, 1967. Her father then left the family; he and Virgie were divorced November 4, 1969.

“Her father then left the family.” In other words, “mommy, why don’t I have a daddy?” “Because he left us, sweetie. Eat your oatmeal.”

Nothing desnarks a blogger like finding out that the target of his ridicule was abandoned by her father. Next up, we’ll be mocking the victims of the orphanage fire. Then, kitten-kicking until 5, when we switch over to the self-loathing session.

So, instead of sarcasm and ridicule, here’s my contribution to Anna Nicole’s eulogy:  She was a sweet and ambitious girl, and her life appears to have been a series of undeserved tragedies compounded by the kinds of mistakes people make when the people who are supposed to guide and nurture them instead disappear. The disaster of her de-spiritualized and materialistic life was partially of her own making, and our sympathy for her should not erase her own agency over the life choices she made – nor should we forget that in the beginning, she was somebody’s little baby girl, and that somebody betrayed her in her innocence. Rest in peace, Vickie Lynn.


  1. I’ve puzzled a little bit about this (read: not much), and your comments seem as reasonable as anything I could say. But let me add a little bit more. We care about Anna Nicole/Vickie Lynn only because of her celebrity, which is borne first out of her Playboy appearances then her seemingling endless post-Playboy antics. Her story has elements in common with everyone who lacks parental guidance, never develops sensible adult life skills, and contributes to their own suffering and eventual demise. It’s an all too familiar story.

    Comment by Brutus — February 11, 2007 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

  2. May she breast in peace.

    Comment by Daran — February 11, 2007 @ 7:08 pm | Reply

  3. So….having a father presence really is important!?!??! A father presence that would demonstrate tolerance and love and kindness to an impressionable female. And that father figure would help that female to understand the differences between “wolves”, “spermdoners” and real loving males Kind of goes against the feminazis idea that men aren’t really needed.
    Seems to me this poor girl was just acting out some of these hidden female traits: the desire for somebody to care for her, the desire for somebody to make her feel safe, the desire for somebody to desire her…as a real person.
    Poor girl…may she rest in peace.

    Comment by Steve — February 11, 2007 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

  4. “Feminazis”?

    Has Eva Braun returned to haunt us?

    Comment by Robert — February 11, 2007 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  5. I thought this was funny.

    Comment by Daran — February 11, 2007 @ 9:38 pm | Reply

  6. So, would it be ok to make fun of her if she came from an intact family? Not that her father’s behavior* doesn’t suck. Can’t people find ways of screwing their partners over that don’t include messing up a kid’s life?

    Comment by Dianne — February 12, 2007 @ 4:53 am | Reply

  7. Step 1: Sterilize to keep accidental kids out of the picture.

    Step 2: Find a partner without kids.

    Step 3: Screw partner over.

    You’re welcome, Dianne. Off-topic to off-topic, snark to snark.

    Comment by Off Colfax — February 12, 2007 @ 6:51 am | Reply

  8. Step 1: Inflate boobs

    Step 2: Find a millionaire partner without long to live.

    Step 3: Inherit.

    Comment by Daran — February 12, 2007 @ 9:09 am | Reply

  9. Ok, I tried to resist the temptation to tell this story, but Daran’s comment was too much…Tackiest ad ever: Picture shows a very old appearing man arm in arm with a young woman who looks about 18. Headline: “There’s only one way this relationship is going to last.” The fine print reveals that it’s an ad for automatic internal defibrillators. At least it wasn’t Viagra.

    My somewhat serious point, above, though was this: Yeah, it’s crappy for a parent to run out on a kid, but that’s not the only possible way for parents to mess up their kids’ lives. I could certainly give anecdotes of people whose lives were just as spectacularly, if less publically, messy as ANS’s but who came from intact families. Usually very pathological intact families, but families in which their fathers did not desert them. And, equally, a number of people who did reasonably well despite having divorced parents. It’s the overall picture of the family, not just the one piece of information (was the father married to the mother) that shapes the child.

    Comment by Dianne — February 12, 2007 @ 9:29 am | Reply

  10. Incidently, off colfax, my comment may have been off topic, but it wasn’t meant to be snarky. Unfortunately, people do use their children as pawns in conflicts with their partners. Sometimes they use the conception of a child in the same way (ie “You can’t leave me, I’m pregnant/I just got you pregnant.”) It’s, in my opinion, one of the worse ways that people can express their love/hate for each other, but it happens. Frequently.

    Comment by Dianne — February 12, 2007 @ 12:18 pm | Reply

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