Tuesday, February 20, 2007

"Dear Anna"; the overclarification

I have found I have a sizable capacity for offering both empathy and criticism, though not usually at the same time. My understanding of the truth and my faith tells me there is a place for both if applied in the right spirit. I fail often on getting the timing and spirit right. Sometimes I hold certain issues or people up to scrutiny and comment, often to clarify the truth (hence this blog), but as often when a show of compassion would be more appropriate. Sometimes I remember we are all "merely dust" and choose a conciliatory stance, or hesitate to say what I really think for fear of hurting feelings or fear of rejection. My tendency is to find the sliver of truth in the opposite of whatever view is being presented, and champion that. Makes me appear insightful, if not obstinate. "Speaking the truth in love" is a skill in which we could all probably use some improvement.

I think maybe this piece (scroll up or click here to see it) falls into both categories, critique and compassion. A new female acquaintance declared a casual admiration for Anna Nicole Smith. This made me realize that 1) our values and perspectives must be farther apart than I thought and 2) maybe she saw something I didn't and should have (the compassion thing; women seem to rule this area) OR maybe she’s in the same fog as Anna Nicole was, just not as thick. And maybe we all are. Since it's the story we habitual media consumers/critics can't (won't?) escape, I felt like responding to what I've seen and heard.

I'm still not sure what to think of “Dear Anna”…whether it’s a lyric or a poem or neither…whether it’s finished…whether it’s just another drop in an overfull ocean of commentary…but given the (hopefully) short shelf life of the subject, I'm posting it here in case someone might find it worthwhile. Or at least to help me justify the time I spent on it as more than just a writing exercise.

I should make it clear that my portrayal of Smith's fans is an exaggeration to make a point about the human condition, not a direct reference to my "acquaintance"; she just provided the spark that started the creative flame. Still, I doubt this will put me into her "top 8" on the slim chance she ever sees it.

And, yes, I do realize the fact that, in writing this ambivalent and possibly melodramatic ode to Anna Nicole Smith that portrays her as a Marilyn Monroe wannabe who was a willing victim of her own fame, I may seem like an Elton John wannabe without the glitter or piano...but I promise, I admire his talent and success, but I definitely don't want to be him. And who wants to live in Atlanta, anyway?

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