Friday, October 30, 2009

Trash Day

"My Journey with Farrah - a Story of Life, Love and Friendship" by Alana Stewart William Morrow 266 (turgid) pages $23.99 "A portion of the proceeds ... will go to the Farrah Fawcett Foundation to support cancer research."

Stewart's dubious achievements include marriage to George Hamilton and then Rod Stewart with whom she had three children. She and Fawcett met in the '70s when both were struggling actresses from Texas. Their friendship flourished and ended only with Fawcett's death in June, 2009. The book came out in October, 2009, so no grass growing there.

Rank assumes privilege -- Fawcett and Stewart (apparently) spent most of their time in 1st class on Lufthansa, going to and from LAX and Frankfurt. But there is never a nice word for an especially friendly or helpful FA. The pair routinely abused Lufthansa's VIP services, almost always the last to board.

Her doctors were a six hour automobile trip from the clinic she stayed in. She insisted on staying there, over and over again. Other famous folk believed in the clinic, including Dominick Dunne, who should have known better. He's dead, too.

What drew them (and presumably others) was the fact that clinical trials there are not scrutinized or as well monitored as they are here. They can inject any old kind of stew in your veins, then run scans and report, "The tumor has shrunk by 50%!"

Naturally this encourages the patient. Fawcett kept falling for it over and over even when the tumor was bigger! More of them dotted her liver! "But we'll try this!" clinicians caroled and she let them.

To give Fawcett her due, she hung on well after she could have (and perhaps should have) given up and just died, awready. Stewart's part seems to have been finding all sorts of dubious charismatic "healers" (faith and otherwise) which only encouraged Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal in their foolishness. Godless heathens the three of them.

Stewart can't resist inserting herself into the narrative. First she has an affair with a chef in the clinic's village. Then she gets a report of an irregular Pap test smear and freaks out. "OMG, I've got cancer, too!" Puh-lease! (She didn't.)

This is about as sad an example I can think of -- two friends, well-meaning, but more gullible than a pair of toddlers. Reading it is similar to passing a fresh wreck on a freeway.

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