Wednesday, December 06, 2017


Johnny Halladay died last night a little after 1:00.

President Macron issued a statement about an hour later.

The rocker was 74 and had sold over 110 million records. In France you only needed to say Johnny and everyone knew who you were talking about.

Most of the major stations preempted broadcasts with the story of his life and music.

It has been suggested that there be a national day of mourning, although I doubt that will happen.

The next issue of Paris Match will be filled with photos past/present.

And the type of headlines that dramatize death that the French love so much said "France has been left an orphan by Johnny." It doesn't quite have the same emotion for a non-French, American born me as the one that said, "Arthur Miller has joined his Marilyn."

At the same time writer Jean d'Ormesson died at 90. His death was eclipsed by Johnny, although France treats many of its writers with reverence. They even have TV shows about books.

In England Christine Keeler died at 75. She was the mistress of a British Secretary of War John Profumo and caused a massive scandal. She was an icon of another kind. The British stations rehashed her life.

Neither D'Ormesson or Keeler will get the shock and tears that Halliday will get.

I wish I could think of something profound to write about the different levels of reactions to icons or near icons or even well knowns. I can't. Like all of us, they will have walked thru their lives and others and like every living creature will end their time on earth marked by various degrees of sorrow.

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