• author
    • Debra DeAngelo

    • November 24, 2017 in Columnists

    David Cassidy, I don’t THINK I loved you — I really did

    Let’s call it: 2017 is officially the Year of Heartbreak. And hey, it ain’t over yet! There’s still another month for 2017 to smack us around.

    Amid rampant mass shootings and a swamp of sexual misconduct, and random unexpected deaths both personal and public, all against the backdrop of our ongoing post-Inauguration Day hell, 2017 pulled a fourth-quarter dick move and took David Cassidy too.

    Really, 2017? David Cassidy? What did David ever do to deserve that, I mean, besides tumbling down the rabbit hole of alcoholism after suffering the heartbreak of going from ’70s teen heartthrob to Mr. Nobody before age 30? That wasn’t punishment enough?

    Sure. “Organ failure.” That’s the official cause of death. But anyone who’s ever loved and lost an alcoholic knows that unspecified “organ failure” is really code for “fatal alcoholism.”


    Why did he end up that way.

    Well, surely it’s soul-crushing to come of age as the center of the universe, adored by one and all, and then suddenly, inexplicably, get tossed out the back door like yesterday’s garbage. You pound and pound on the door, saying, “Hey, it’s me… I’m a star” and at best you get “Go away, kid, you bother us” and at worst… silence. Harsh, crushing silence.

    The cruel pattern of American culture is to worship celebrities like gods and then, when we’re feeling saucy, or just bored, we rip them to pieces like lions on a zebra carcass. Usually it’s puberty that ruins a child star’s career, or if that star is an adolescent, once they start creeping toward 30, they’re picked apart for aging like normal human beings. They’re just not as shiny and pretty anymore, and hey, look over there! Shiny Pretty!!!

    And then, the entire adoring mob, led by those who make their living alternately glorifying and destroying celebrities, rushes over to play with the new toy. The old one? Kicked to the curb. We’re viciously, shamelessly fickle.

    Remember when Lady Gaga was declared “fat” earlier this year after singing brilliantly in the Super Bowl as she did acrobatics while dangling from wires because the tiniest of tummy ripples showed throw her skintight outfit? Gasp and horror! A “muffin top”!

    She’s disgusting.

    She’s over.

    Muffin top? Really? Muffin for what? A ladybug?

    I’d like to have a muffin top like Gaga’s. By comparison, I have the whole freakin’ bakery wrapped around my belly, and you probably do too. Lady Gaga has more talent in her fingernail clippings than most of us ever will. And yet… the most microscopic of “imperfections” became the short attention span focus — not her stellar performance.

    But the celebrity media vultures started circling, and tearing flesh, and every dimwit with a social media account chimed in, sitting in a fat lump on the couch with a greasy laptop and two half-eaten bags of Doritos. This is how horribly average and grotesquely untalented people feel powerful, you see: They jump onto Twitter or Facebook and post/repost all sorts of clueless moronic bilge to feel better about themselves.

    (Hey you with the weird hair and tiny hands… I’m looking at you.)

    All that said… you know what’s worse than being a celebrity getting ripped apart on social media? Being a celebrity that even the crickets aren’t interested in — particularly when you were once the guy that every teenage girl in America went to sleep dreaming about. The initial rejection is the slam; the utter disinterest is the dunk.

    Social media death is brutal. David Cassidy had 7,985 followers. World’s Best Cat Litter has 15.5 million. This harsh reality has to mess with your head.

    Unless you’re resilient to the core, and realize that your worth as a human being isn’t contingent upon the adoration of others, and you reinvent yourself and become something that fills your heart rather than your ego, you’re doomed. Example: Ex-teen dream Bobby Sherman became an EMT rather than dissolve in vodka-soaked despair. (Side note: if I ever end up in an ambulance, please, please, please, let it be Bobby Sherman’s face I see over my oxygen mask!)

    The heartbreaking thing about celebrity self-destruction is that if they’d just lie low for awhile and hang in there long enough to hit the nostalgically kitschy stage, their once-adoring fans (as well as sad, bored Millennials in search of something ironic) would flock to their feet. Just ask Tony Bennett and Betty White.

    David Cassidy could easily have had all us fat old Baby Boomers and nihilistic Millennials shrieking by the droves, but he couldn’t see it. Just imagine if he’d announced a whirlwind tour. We’d think back… wow… David Cassidy… what a dreamboat… remember when we were young and fresh, and believed that we could be anything, and life would always reward us if we just worked hard and played fair, and were respectful and kind with everyone? Sort of the Anti-Millenials?

    Silly, blissful little dummies that we were! The Millennials are right. Eat, drink and be ironically merry, because life’s harsh AF.

    That said… David Cassidy? Live tour?

    Shut up and take my credit card!

    Sadly, alcoholism and lethal despondency claimed David Cassidy before that could happen.

    His death sparks poignant memories of my own young life, when he was one of my teenage celebrity crushes that helped distract me from the perpetual insane circus in which I grew up. When I was a child, horses served that purpose. But then puberty started simmering. The horse pictures on my bedroom wall came down, and pages torn from Tiger Beat and Teen magazine replaced them: David Cassidy, Bobby Sherman, Michael Jackson, Donny Osmond… the wallpaper of my budding adolescence.

    Oh, David. You didn’t fail. Our stupid, fickle, shallow society with the attention span of an ADHD mosquito did. We all get old. We get it… now. If only you could’ve sobered up… toured… I’d have been in the front row, screaming and clutching my cheeks like the estrogen-soaked 13-year-old I was.

    I don’t think I loved you. I actually did.








      • Maya Spier Stiles North

      • November 26, 2017 at 9:57 pm
      • Reply

      He said he had dementia — that it ran in his familhy. I am sure despair and alcohol sped that all up, but it might well have been a relief to go. Still, you’re right. He needed the Bobby Sherman type of resiliency and an understanding that our worth has nothing to do with what we do or what you meant to the fickle, shallow public. <3

      • I think with terminal alcoholics… “dementia” is also code. His father was an alcoholic too. :/
        And yes, we need to have self-worth… not other-worth.

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