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Dog Days of the Summer of Death #TWITTERWAKE

August 28, 2009

It’s not yet Saturday, but the Summer of Death toll continues to rise this week, with the Grim Reaper coming for Senator Ted Kennedy, Dominick Dunne and in a Friday afternoon shocker, DJ AM. Not content with a murder-suicide with a reality TV twist, a story arguably more perfect for TMZ than even Dr. Conrad Murray, the Grim Reaper wanted to shake things up a bit, especially once he checked out Twitter. People were obviously craving more dead notables. They weren’t satisfied with losing John Hughes just a couple of weeks back. Hell, on the eight-year anniversary of her death, Aaliyah was a TRENDING TOPIC, probably just people thought it sucked she died shockingly and never got the benefit of a Twitter Wake.

I suppose the work week had to end with a bang, after all, the Grim Reaper seems to prefer working 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Perhaps the Reaper picked up his business because of the recession. No one is safe, anyone could get laid off. G-Reaper is just trying to make sure he gets his paycheck.

Does the Grim Reaper Tweet? I hope the bastard has a verified account. Sometimes I log into Twitter just to see who died. Twitter must owe its incredible growth to the Summer of Death, as Twitter continues to prove humans enjoy sharing bad news more than the good stuff. All the Iran election controversy was great — tinting photos green, changing one’s location to Tehran. It was entertaining for awhile, wasn’t it? But an increased awareness of international news and the bloodshed of innocent victims in a volatile Middle Eastern nation couldn’t last forever, could it? Especially after the election ended, when protests were shut down, and David Carradine was discovered dead in Thailand.

And so began the Summer of Death, although I like to believe it started with Bea Arthur, who I’m still mourning. (Granted, I’m still mourning Tim Russert, and that was over a year ago.)

Sen. Kennedy is just sad, not because of his pedigree, or because of those in his illustrious family who died too young. Kennedy’s death is sad because he was a brilliant politician who stood steadfastly to his ideals while also being big enough to cross party lines when necessary. Jesus, how I would have loved to have thrown back a few beers with that man. Although he never became President, the youngest Kennedy brother impacted the United States through policy and Democratic thought just as much, if not more, than either John or Robert.

Dominick Dunne, meh.  If there is anything the Summer of Death has taught us, it is that one always slips in there around the same time of an undeniable  cultural juggernaut. Dominick Dunne, sure, he did a lot for the true crime genre, perhaps. And it sucks the way he found himself in that line of work, however, I really loathed his writing. I often tried to read his work in Vanity Fair, but I would just cringe and stop after a few paragraphs. Hell, I couldn’t even sit through more than two minutes of his show, Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege and Justice. Yes, the homicidal tendencies of high society are interesting, perhaps, but Dunne’s work was more or less salacious tabloid fodder mired in prose, most of it coming off as a desperate attempt to illicit comparisons to Truman Capote.

(Meanwhile, Andy Rooney is smirking more so than usual. I’m sure he and Larry King feed off the nutrients of frozen embryos at this point, because there is no other explanation as to why they’ve outlasted everyone.)

Temperatures dropped a bit by the end of the week, as the heat let up. The Summer of Death has also been the Summer of Extreme Weather. And Extreme Twitter. In fact, it was through scanning my account out of boredom on my walk home that I discovered DJ AM died.

I never really thought much about DJ AM, perhaps because he was such a celebrity who came into mainstream prominence for dating Nicole Richie, a girl who is famous for…? Oh yeah, being famous. Being the BFF of Paris Hilton, a blonde twit who essentially turned being-famous-for-no-fucking-reason into a career. I recall reading a bit about DJ AM, who I found a bit interesting as he had conquered a drug problem AND got gastric bypass surgery to combat his obesity issues. His cameo on Entourage was cute, mainly because I like Turtle, and I read he dated Mandy Moore for awhile…I have always liked Mandy Moore for whatever reason.

Late last summer, DJ AM survived a Learjet crash in South Carolina. Plane crashes scare the shit out of me. Always have and always will. It’s why I never watched Lost — the previews for the pilot were way too graphic, detailing what I think may be the scariest fraking thing imaginable. Four people on the plane with DJ AM died, and he was treated for extensive burns following the tragedy.

Not even a year later, DJ AM was found dead in his NYC apartment. The New York Post (and TMZ, of course) were the first news outlets to report this story, also citing unnamed sources that said prescription drugs were found at the scene.

From MTV:

TMZ, citing a police source, reported that DJ AM (real name: Adam Goldstein) was found in his apartment at 5:20 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon (August 28). Citing “sources,” the site also claimed that prescription medication bottles had been found near his body. The site also said that Goldstein had not been seen or heard from in days, and that friends who had previously gone to check on him had received no response. When police broke in the door, they reportedly found Goldstein’s body.

The New York Post felt the need to mention the drugs AND Goldstein’s LAST FUCKING TWEET:

In his own last post on Twitter, dated Tuesday, DJ AM quoted a Grandmaster Flash song: “New York, New York. Big city of dreams, but everything in New York ain’t always what it seems.”

Jesus Christ. Let’s just look into the guy’s last fucking Tweet for clues as to what happened. Was this a suicide note? Was it a cry for help? Was it an accidental overdose? (Sucks Heath Ledger missed the Extreme Twitter Craze, doesn’t it?) Perhaps there were gastric bypass complications years later — who knows. Fact of the matter is, the autopsy may not even begun, but already people are discussing crack pipes, prescription meds and what exactly the last thing the guy posted on a social networking tool might mean.

Maybe the guy just arrived in NY and quoted a Grandmaster Flash song because it popped in his head? WE WILL NEVER KNOW. It’s the fraking Rosebud of the digital age.

And sometimes, a sled is just a sled. And a Tweet is just a Tweet.

DJ AM was a celebrity for his musical talents, perhaps, but he was just as famous for dating starlets and twits and hanging out with mysoginist musicians who feed their narcissism through openly airing their exploits via the world wide webHe made the right connections and built himself a solid reputation as a DJ and established a name for himself…with a little help from the paparazzi, celebrity bloggers and the gossip rags. DJ AM was an excellent social networker.

Perhaps DJ AM’s tragic death at the shocking age of 36 has brought the Summer of Death full circle. Maybe we should have recognized this once the Kennedy News Twitter account was created immediately following the Senator’s death earlier this week. Towards the end of the first decade in the 21st Century, will a person’s fame only be judged post-mortem, by how long they were a trending topic?

Sorry, Dominick Dunne. Your death has already been forgotten. For all the beautiful people circles you mingled in, it didn’t matter in the end.

It didn’t matter in the end, because you weren’t on Twitter.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2009 12:31 am

    Okay, trending topics aren’t always some kind of rally. True, with #gokeyisadouche and all those stupid frakking Jonas Brothers things they’re setting on twitter fire, it is, but it’s mostly just a measure of how many people are talking about things… and clearly, lots of people felt the need to tweet “RIP DJ AM” after reading that douchebag Perez Hilton’s blog about his death. So it was a trending topic. And that way people find out about these things.

    But yeah the last tweet analyzation thing? It could be anything… not like he was a poet. Plus he nabbed someone else’s lyrics so. I mean, David Archuleta is constantly quoting lyrics just b/c they have the name of the city in them… don’t think he ACTUALLY wanted his 200,000 followers to meet him in St. Louis when he got there. He just didn’t die, so no one really read into it, I guess. It’s really ridiculous how news sources are quoting Twitter these days… like wtf? Is that your only source, you stuck-up pricks? Twitter?

  2. August 29, 2009 9:06 pm

    “It’s the fraking Rosebud of the digital age.”

    This is my favorite thing you’ve ever said. Poetic.

  3. deez permalink
    August 28, 2009 11:02 pm

    “Towards the end of the first decade in the 21st Century, will a person’s fame only be judged post-mortem, by how long they were a trending topic? ”

    Too much sobering content to snark on.
    R.I.P. Ted Kennedy.

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