Better ‘Redneckesize’ That TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Has Been Cancelled

Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson and mother, June Shannon's show, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" cancelled due to June's relationship with a convicted child molester.

Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson and mother, June Shannon’s show, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” cancelled due to June’s relationship with a convicted child molester.

It was never clear why TLC had created a reality television series as a spin-off of their “Toddlers And Tiaras” program with their series “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” except to say that people tended to tune in to the show to see the main star, Alana (Honey Boo Boo) Thompson and her southern, redneck family and TLC got the ratings.

Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson.  From normal little girl to twenty-something-year-old look alike in TLC's Toddlers And Tiaras.

Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson. From normal little girl to twenty-something-year-old look alike in TLC’s Toddlers And Tiaras.

While viewers kept the show alive for 4 seasons and several specials, TLC has finally pulled the plug on “disgusting” when “Mama June” Shannon started dating her former boyfriend and convicted child molester/pedophile, 53 year old Mark McDaniel while still being married to co-star and current husband, Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson.

"Mama June" Shannon with convicted child molester boyfriend, Mark McDaniel.  McDaniel sentenced to 10 years of prison for molesting Shannon's eldest daughter and another in Georgia but, she's back to dating him and even house hunting.

“Mama June” Shannon with convicted child molester boyfriend, Mark McDaniel. McDaniel sentenced to 10 years of prison for molesting Shannon’s eldest daughter and another in Georgia but, she’s back to dating him and even house hunting.

TLC apparently cancelled the show in spite of having a season’s worth of footage of the show, taped and canned on the shelves which it says will not be shown.

Thirty-four year old “Mama June” had been dating McDaniel over several months after he had been released from prison, having served 10 years for molesting and sexually assaulting June’s eldest daughter, Anna Shannon along with another case of the same from a different county.  Reportedly, Anna has issues with her mother and considers her mother’s actions as a betrayal.  TLC considered it unsafe since June has allowed her youngest daughter Alana to be around McDaniel after having her sister molested by the man over 10 years ago.

"Mama June" in bed in a hotel with convicted child molester Mark McDaniel.

“Mama June” in bed in a hotel with convicted child molester Mark McDaniel.

Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson is the daughter of June’s current husband, Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson.

Critics have long since hated TLC’s choice in this program to begin with but, with the dirty secrets that have now been exposed, TLC has seemingly taken “The High Road” by cancelling the program, shelving another taped season, getting child protective services involved and possibly taking June’s children away from her.

Incredibly, the show’s first episode had a 1.6 rating in the 18–49 demographic, attracting 2.2 million viewers.

For many though, the show along with its originating show “Toddlers And Tiara’s” struck a chord of child exploitation and critics leaped upon the hater bandwagon for the ethics behind TLC’s decision on both programs but, more specifically, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”.

Forbes, the American Business Magazine, came down on TLC’s choice as trying to “portray Alana’s family as a horde of lice-picking, lard-eating, nose-thumbing hooligans south of the Mason–Dixon line,” stating that “it falls flat, because there’s no true dysfunction here, save for the beauty pageant stuff.”

Many would beg to disagree with this statement.  There was everything “dysfunctional” about both this family as well as the programs on which they appeared, produced by TLC.  There’s nothing glamorous or functional in parents dressing their toddlers up to look like they are 20-something year olds, complete with full faced adult make-up, fake teeth and revealing costumes, training them to walk and act like adult beauty pageant contestants.  It’s a field day for pedophiles waiting to attract them.

Secondly, the family truly is skin-picking, lard-eating, nose picking, dirt rolling, farting, belching, over-eating, overweight, ignorant, dumpster-diving, hicks from the south who live like rednecks.  There is no denying that for anyone who has watched the program but, that’s what TLC seemed to prey upon for its viewership.  People tuned in by the hordes to watch what was akin to a circus freak side-show family and their backwards hillbilly style antics.

Mama June seems to have little if any scruples and has seemingly been passing on her ignorance to her daughters.

June’s first daughter, Anna Shannon was fathered by a convicted criminal, David Dunn who went to prison in 1995 for stealing a gun and again in 1998 for stealing cigarettes. Anna then went on to become an unwed mother in her middle teens during the show’s first season.

Anthony Michael Ford, a registered sex offender is Jessica “Chubs” Shannon‘s father and had served more than two years in prison in 2005 for sexually exploiting a child.

No one knows who fathered 12-year-old Lauryn Shannon.  Sources close to June believe that even she doesn’t know who the father was.

Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson’s father was David Michael Thompson “Sugar Bear” and he was sentenced to five years for robbing a series of hunting camps.

Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson, Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson's biological father and convicted criminal/thief, sitting with Shannon and her daughters.

Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson’s biological father and convicted criminal/thief, sitting with Shannon and her daughters.

Mark McDaniel criminal record.

Mark McDaniel criminal record.

Even June, herself was jailed for passing bad checks and stealing money from McDonald’s when she was an employee.  Kind of a less than stellar set of examples for a mother to pass onto her daughters, all fathered by criminals and a couple of child molesters.

June then threw her toddler, Alana into toddler beauty pageants and fed “Honey Boo Boo” a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew before pageants with enough caffeine to catapult an adult into a hyper-frenzied mode, let alone a mere child.

“There are far worse things…I could be giving her alcohol,” June responded without a blink and leaving question marks as to whether she has or would do that if it got her a spot on television.

Finally, TLC has come to its senses in cancelling the series.  Whether they did it because it truly was connected to Mama June’s child molesting boyfriend or whether they were taking flack for it which threatened the network’s credibility, we don’t know but, one thing is for certain, June needs to lose her children until she smartens up a few notches.  Mike “Sugar Bear” also needs a slap upside the head and to lose custody of his daughter, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” because it is alleged that he knew about the affair June was having with McDaniel and did nothing about it.

It seems that an investigation into this mother’s actions is warranted as is the cancellation of the show.  Let Alana “Honey Boo Boo” just be a child and her sisters grow up to be ladies with proper guidance.  Let the circus drop.

More than anything, may TLC be more selective and careful in what programming they put on air from here on out.  It’s called, “The Learning Channel”, not the TCC “The Controversy Channel”.

At least, that’s the way that I see things from my little corner of life.

Are We All Sitting Ducks For Ebola?

While the global medical community struggles to figure out how to deal with any cases of Ebola that may reach their country’s doors, it seems that there is little action in trying to prevent cases from leaving the hardest hit countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

WHO (World Health Organization) has been blamed for its lack of proper action and protocol in its leadership in West Africa.  With some 4,484 people dying in West Africa to date and WHO predicting a possible 10,000 new cases every week being diagnosed, it’s certain that this illness is not under control.

“Ebola is a huge and urgent global problem that demands a huge and urgent global response,” reporters were told.

“Nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall,” WHO said of the outbreak and the ability of this virus to easily be transmitted outside of the borders of the countries hardest hit.

The UN has noted that WHO heads in Africa have “politically motivated appointments” and that is why this was so poorly handled from the beginning.

When asked why WHO didn’t act more quickly the response from WHO indicated that it was the fault of the office in West Africa.

“It’s the regional office in Africa that’s the frontline,” he said. “And they didn’t do anything. That office is really not competent.”

The gear alone to work with a patient with Ebola is frightening enough, let alone the procedures where one mistake can expose the virus.

The gear alone to work with a patient with Ebola is frightening enough, let alone the procedures where one mistake can expose the virus.

What seems more perturbing than this is that most countries are not prepared for Ebola.  Many North American hospitals, though fully staffed and equipped for what we’re used to dealing with, are not at all prepared to deal with Ebola.  Training on how to deal with it is currently being implemented.  That means that a lot of us are at risk.  One can only imagine going into a hospital for a routine procedure or for some other ailment requiring hospitalization, only to hear that a case of Ebola has entered that same hospital and the staff aren’t as prepared as they thought that they were.  Or, worse may be to find out that during a flight you were on, one of the passengers had come down with Ebola and everyone on the plane was possibly at risk.

Officials in North American hospitals have quickly discovered that they are frightened because they are not as prepared to deal with cases of Ebola as they thought they might be.  The virus has already affected several healthcare workers who were ill trained and equipped to deal with the total quarantine procedures necessary.  What was first thought to be effective, has proven to not be fail-safe and needs to be rethought as well as retraining of all front line healthcare workers.  That’s putting a lot of healthcare providers at both great risk and tremendous worry and fear in an already stressful career and, they have stated such in the media of late.

In what might be an unpopular and perhaps, drastic measure, one of the possible scenarios to keep this virus in check or at the least contained, might be to stop all flights out of the countries most affected before having each and every passenger produce a valid, signed document by the medical community that they have been quarantined for at least the incubation period of 21 days before they can board a flight out of that country.

If someone truly needs or wants to go to the countries most affected, it should be a requirement that they cannot board a plane out of it without having remained quarantined for that 21 day incubation period.  While it might put great hardship on some people in doing so, it would be prudent to warn all flights going to those countries that there will be a period in which they cannot return without the proper protocol having been followed.  It would then be their choice as to whether they choose to go or not. This action alone might not stop the virus from spreading but, it is certainly a step forward in working to keep the spread from filtering through the rest of the world like the wild fire it’s been in those countries most affected.

Why aren’t authorities stepping up to the plate with this type of measure, knowing that they mishandled this from the very beginning.  Does it take other countries also becoming hot beds of this virus before something is finally done that may appear a drastic measure but, one that might save thousands more lives?  Are we that money and power driven or, that politically correct that we can’t seem to put restrictions on some people’s “rights” to save other’s lives?

If you choose to enter the countries that are hardest hit, you are also choosing to endanger your own life.  That is your prerogative but, you don’t have the right to endanger other people’s lives with your choices.  There must be far more stringent measures put in place to help protect others who are simply innocent victims of both authorities’ lack of action and other people’s choices.

Something more has to be done to save this from becoming a world-wide epidemic and minimizing the deaths and stop us all from becoming sitting ducks for ebola.  At least, that’s the way that I am seeing things from my little corner of life at this point in time.

James Randi, The Illusion of The Great And Powerful Oz

James Randi, magician, conjurer, de-bunker.

James Randi, magician, conjurer, de-bunker.

I recently stumbled across a statement made by magician, skeptic, James Randi, shockingly saying that Psychic Sylvia Browne’s death was the only way that she was “stopped from hurting so many people.”  His full statement can be read here on his foundation’s James Randi Educational Fund or JREF website.

It was shocking to hear such a statement from anyone.  While I am not a fan of the Late Ms. Browne, she was a person…a human being who has died and, his statements appeared to be those of someone who was relieved that she no longer existed.  It was uncalled for at this point in time, cruel and totally bitter towards her as a person.  He seemed to see her only as her profession rather than also a mother, grandmother and wife who left behind a family and friends.  It begged the question of his own human state of mind in spite of calling himself a Humanist.

Most everyone has heard of James Randi throughout the years.  He’s infamous for his $1 million challenge for any psychic, healer, homeopathy or other paranormal claimant to prove that they have the ability they claim to have.

Born as Randall James Hamilton Zwinge August 7, 1928 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Randi became a “conjurist”, a term he carefully uses to replace the term “magician” so that one doesn’t associate the trickery or illusions he creates with anything in the supernatural realm that he is so certain cannot and does not exist and, has spent his life trying to prove doesn’t exist.

Randi appears to give off the public persona of a crusty but, rather humorous and loveable grandfatherly like figure to the public.  Yet, there feels to be a sour bitterness beneath his public appearance that isn’t just an illusion.  He is a man on a mission and has been for many years.  The question is why?  What has set this man into such a frenzy that he has made it what some would call, a vendetta against anyone who makes claim towards having anything paranormal or supernatural especially, psychics/mediums?

There are few photos of Randi without a look in his eyes that almost dares the viewer to try to scam him or, seemingly beg the question from him of “what wool are you trying to pull over my eyes? I’ve seen it all!”

Having spent a good chunk of his life studying and performing magic tricks, he retired from stage performance to gear his sights onto debunking anything someone might construe as supernatural.  For what reason?

During an interview with journalist, 

”They don’t have any scruples on that, just like any other thief or burglar,” he said.  “A thief doesn’t look at a house and think to pass it up because the family has just suffered a recent tragedy. No, he goes in and robs it anyway.”

When Kohls asked if Randi thought it was driven by money, Randi made what can be thought of as an opposing statement to his own test.

“They’re all different. They all want to make money. They all want to make a living,” Randi said.  “They find an easy way to do it, and it’s so easy that the money just pours in. If you found that you could go in your backyard and find gold-nuggets by digging around you would do it. That’s exactly what they’re doing. Unfortunately, they’re taking other peoples money and making them suffer. They don’t care about that though.” (And, Randi hasn’t made a very good living off of this arena too?)

By contrast, Randi’s foundation, JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) has been offering up a $1 million dollar prize for anyone who can prove that they possess some sort of ability in the psychic/paranormal arena.  To date, no one has been able to claim it.  Some have said it is because of the criteria by which they must be tested that hems them in but, most won’t even attempt such an endevour.  It seems almost incredulous that these are alleged people who were in it for the money but, would by-pass such a chance.  It would be more logical that the lure of $1 million would be a huge draw with the “robbers” flocking to try to claim that money.

Kohls also asked Randi if he had ever met someone who had confounded him with something that they claimed they could do.  Randi answered that he hadn’t encountered such a person.

“Frankly, no,” he answered in response to Kohls’ question.  “I’m 83 years of age now, and I’ve been a magician since I was a kid. I know the tricks and none of them are surprising. They’re all the same old-tricks that have been going on for hundreds of years. We magicians know how these things are being done.”

Perhaps, Randi’s answer, itself is giving Randi’s drive away right there?

In other words, what some of us might hear in that statement if we read what’s coming out the other side of his mouth, is that if he can reproduce an effect via some gadget, some set up, some slight of hand, some electronic method, it can’t be real.  It is only an illusion and yes, apparently he’s saying that magicians know it all.  Interesting statement to think about, Randi.  If you weren’t an Atheist, I’d swear you were implying magicians are somewhat forms of “gods” (I say that with a humorous but, sarcastic grin and a wink).

The most telling statement of all about Randi might lay in an answer that he had given to Kohl when he was asked where he “draws his meaning in life” given that he’s a devout Atheist.

“All I have to do is look into the eyes of a two month old baby and I get the whole thing. That’s enough for me. It’s enough to live for, and inspire me,” Randi responded.  “I don’t need miracles and people running around on brooms in the night-sky. I don’t need any of that to make the world a beautiful place. It’s a cruel place, it doesn’t care about any individual in it, because that’s the way nature is. I’ll manage somehow. I don’t have to have a meaning for life. That’s a meaningless phrase in my estimation.”

Kohl is asking him where he draws meaning in his life and, Randi gives a set of opposing statements which appear to show that there is perhaps, both conflict and confusion going on within himself.  Could Randi have foiled his own illusion right there?

On the one hand, Randi is stating that he is inspired by a baby’s glance but, on the other hand, he’s saying that he there is no meaning to life in this world.  How is it that someone can “get it” (meaning) from the look from a baby’s eyes but, sees no meaning in life and calls “meaning”, meaningless?  Quite the mixed mouthful he’s spit out there isn’t it?

Secondly, he’s saying that he doesn’t need any miracles to make the world a beautiful place but in the same breath, goes on to say that the world is a cruel place that doesn’t care about any individual in it.  Someone please tell the babies whose eyes he looks into that because they are in for a let down that life has no meaning and the world is purely a cruel place to be by the nature of it.

Both of those statements seem to openly display the inner workings of a man who has lived a good portion of his life, preaching to others about the lack of need for and in religious beliefs and has tried to debunk it, seemingly smugly feeling that he’s succeeded in doing so.  It is reminiscent of the great and powerful Oz from the movie, The Wizard of Oz.  When the curtain is drawn back, there stands a bearded older man, operating the levers of a projection produced illusion of a great and powerful magical, fear inducing leader who knows all and is much like Randi, even in appearance.  “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”  It’s all simply an illusion, a great and powerful, money making illusion that Randi has projected much like Dorothy had uncovered in Oz when she exposed the man behind the curtain.

What I see personally in Randi and his life, is someone who has more than likely been emotionally hurt rather early in his life, lonely even when surrounded by people and perhaps, was considered somewhat of a “geek” by others within his peer groups. I imagine him as a child, surrounded by books and a train set, doing little else but, reading and mostly, solitary pursuits. It’s known that he spent a good deal of time with books on magic and, I’d be willing to bet that he wanted the appearance of someone as seemingly great and powerful such as the magicians he’d watched on stage or read about as a child.  The draw of fooling others with magic does have a sort of super power feel to it and may be what drew him into it.  How awed would everyone be when they couldn’t figure how he did something as mystical and mysterious as magic tricks seem to be to those who haven’t studied it?  I can imagine him feeling that he would be perceived as a step above those who perhaps, made fun of him.  However, this is only from my own personal reflections and nothing more as is the following.

There is a powerful feel to the name “James” which later became his stage name. Randall may have felt  small and powerless but “James” may have had a sense of strength within its feel to him.  Even removing his last names and never referring himself or attaching himself to his surname(s) seems to indicate that he somewhat distanced himself from his childhood. There feels to be a bitterness from within him, likely beginning in that time frame. Or, perhaps, that bitterness and distancing from religion and his Atheist connection came about when he discovered he was Gay and eventually came out about?  Religions don’t seem to take kindly to the Gay lifestyle and is shamefully, ruining many people’s lives because of that stance.  That bitterness could be understood if that is to be the case of when he pulled the plug on religion.

What we see him proclaim to be doing by allegedly protecting the vulnerable from the charlatans is more likely Randi’s cloaked and hidden protection of himself and his own personal demons.  It’s akin to a crab with its tough exterior shell to protect the inner softness from harm.

Incredibly, Randi has lived his life trying to both fool others as well as divulge the possible foolery in others.  He’s made a living, a rather good living at doing both of these things.  He’s become a martyr in a sense but, been paid well to have done so. He simply justifies his money by labeling it as a noble cause.

If Randi can’t use his five bodily senses to detect it, can’t reproduce the effect, it doesn’t exist.  He’ll even refute Quantum Physics discoveries.  In part, could it be that it might prove that there is a connection between consciousness and a deity or perhaps, simply that consciousness survives physical bodily death and, Randi would be out of business in his skepticism, humanist and atheist involvements?  Would Randi, himself then be de-bunked?

No one, including Sylvia Browne (real or not) could possibly pass Randi’s million dollar test simply because it is set up to cause them to fail.  Randi doesn’t want to see anyone prove what he has spent his life believing doesn’t exist.  Yet, I can’t help wonder if perhaps, there is a tiny part of him that wishes to see someone prove it to him, under the most difficult of circumstances and beyond what he’s set up to cause them to fail so that he can believe.  Let’s face it, Randi is no Spring Chicken anymore but perhaps, it doesn’t matter to Randi.  He’s either going to be dead and not know the difference or, he’ll be surprised in arriving at some place beyond this physical world.  Either way, he has nothing to fear.  His real fight seems to be with himself and this world.

At least, that’s how I am seeing James Randi from my little corner of life.

David Blaine’s Stunts/Illusions Need Clarification As To Real Or Illusion

Illusionist David Blaine's stunts are crossing lines to dangerous.

Illusionist David Blaine’s stunts are crossing lines to dangerous.

We all know that Magician/Illusionist, David Blaine is both a genius and a total obsessive compulsive freak with his illusions.  The man has gone to no ends to figure out how to perform wildly different versions of old magic tricks.  There is no refuting that point.

We also know that Blaine has gone to extraordinary lengths to get himself in shape to do his stunts.  Some of them have been pure mental and physical training where he’s put himself in great health danger but, for the most part, Blaine’s illusions are more the result of lengthy, oftentimes a decade or more, of re-creating newer and more exciting versions or spins on old magic tricks done by many before him.

One stunt stands out in mind as perhaps, one that is a combination of disgusting as well as worrisome.

In Blaine’s television special which aired back in November of last year, entitled “Real Or Magic” Blaine proceeds to seemingly and realistically, put an ice pick through his hand on a couple of occasions, in front of celebrities.  He also seemingly sticks a metal skewer through his arm in the bicep area and has someone else pull it back out for him. No blood, no pain on his face (except for his smirky, quirky grin), he pushes both the pic and the metal skewer through both his arm and his hand on separate occasions.

Watch actor, Ricky Gervais’ reaction when Blaine sticks the skewer through his arm at the bicep.   Note: if you’re faint of heart or squeemish, you may not want to watch this one.  

A fantastic and magical endeavor but, one in which it has an ethical dilemma that it leaves behind for younger people.

Blaine leaves in doubt whether this is an illusion or whether he’s simply a total freak or to use his word, a “maniac”.

While there are people throughout the world who have meditated and can do this type of thing in reality, Blaine has had people talking about this on boards all over the net. Most people don’t know how it’s done but, know enough that sticking something like an ice pick or a metal skewer through parts of their bodies, isn’t something that anyone should do.  However, there are younger people and even older people who are curious enough to want to try this.

A lot of people are under the assumption that Blaine is actually sticking these objects through his body parts and Blaine has done nothing to uncover the reality behind this illusion.  He leaves it to the imagination as to whether he is really doing this or it is an extremely well done take on a very old illusion.  It is also leaving behind, people who will inevitably, sit in their own livingrooms, bathrooms or bedrooms, sticking needles through their hands and biceps, figuring it is real.  Afterall, Blaine has bragged about his “training” for other stunts.

There have been several explanations for Blaine possibly really doing this illusion.

Some have hypothesized that Blaine studies with swamis and mentally prepared himself for pain and to control bleeding.  Others have thought that Blaine may have had tubes, surgically implanted in these body parts to pass the pick or the skewer through with the skin having become scar tissue over both sides.  Still others, have hypothesized that Blaine had spent years of sticking needles through exact spots in his hand and arm, working his way up to a thicker gauged instrument.

No matter what hypothesis one can come up with, this is dangerous to go on believing that Blaine has done this in reality.  It is a trick…an illusion that many before him have done.  It’s simply a far more clever variation than what has been done before.  That is what took Blaine the 13 years that he claims it took him to prepare to do this illusion.

One of the best known versions of this came back in the 80’s when actor and amateur-comedien magician, Harry Anderson of “Night Court” fame did his stunt in front of audiences.  Again, if you are squeemish or faint of heart, you may want to by-pass watching that video but, know that it IS a trick.  Anderson is really not sticking anything through his body.

Anything dangerous that is an illusion, shouldn’t be left to the imagination that it’s possibly “real”.  It not only allows for imaginations to run wild in those who have more guts than brains but, it opens doors for kids to get themselves into serious problems. One can only hope that Blaine will come out and tell his fans that this IS an illusion and not to try this as a real event.  At least, that’s the way that I see things from my little corner of life but in the meanwhile, let’s lighten this entry up with a parody on David Blaine’s Street Magic.  

Celebrity Deaths Can Help Us

Three celebrities died during August and early September of 2014  Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall and Joan Rivers all passed away within a couple of weeks of one another.  One was barely talked about, another was covered for a couple of days and the other was and still is being talked about.  What made the difference?

Lauren Bacall had been out of the limelight for awhile.  She was also 89 years old which led to an acceptance that Life has to end at some point or another.  This was hers. More to the point, Bacall’s death came a day or so after a tragic suicide of another celeb who was more in the spotlight at the time of his passing.  It was with little wonder that Bacall’s passing got little more than a media notice and the public was still engaged in William’s suicide.

Comedian/Actor, Robin Williams on the other hand, was only 63 years of age, had a number of projects wrapping up and was moving onto the planning stages of yet another.  His sudden death by suicide was shocking to the world as he was well known around the globe.

Comedienne, Joan Rivers’ end came at 81 years of age and was just as much of a shock as Williams’ death but, was seemingly the result of a medical error or condition. The final cause of her death is still under investigation.  Rivers was also still extremely active and in the spotlight at the time of her passing.

While one can accept that Bacall had lived a full and long life and this was simply her time, it has not been the case with Williams’ nor, with Rivers’ deaths.  Yet, there is seemingly more fascination with Rivers’ death than with Williams’.

Perhaps, the reasoning for the public’s fascination with Rivers’ death, in spite of being 81 years of age by comparison to Williams’ death at 63 years of age, has to do with a number of factors.

Williams’ death had a known cause.  He ended his own life.  Furthermore, it was known that Williams had been suffering from depression and anxiety as well as early stage Parkinson’s Disease.  We quickly dismissed his death as being one of “choice” in a loose fitting way and accepted the explanation given to us as the public, being that of depression.

Rivers on the other hand, seemingly full of life, no depressive episodes known to us, going in for a routine procedure many people go through on a daily basis, seemed implausible to have happened especially, given her fame, fortune and connections with the best of medical care and, we still don’t know for certain what it was that happened during that procedure that caused her life to end.

What also made a difference were a couple of more pieces that our minds can’t seem to accept.

Williams’ family quickly had a very private funeral without public notification.  No one knew that his remains had been quickly cremated and ashes spread.  While the public was still chewing on the horror of his tragic death, his family was discreetly carrying out his funeral, unbeknownst to his fans.  It was over before it began for the public.

Secondly, suicide still has a taboo attached to it.  For many, suicide is still thought of as a “sin”.  Not many want the “shame” attached to a family member’s death via suicide.  It has the ability to cast a form of blame onto those who were closest to him.

Rivers, on the other hand, did not look like her chronological age of 81.  Thanks to her many rounds of plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures, we were fooled into feeling her to be younger than the years she actually had lived.  Her vim and vigor at this age, with a full plate of both ongoing and future public appearances were of little help in the public’s mind of her being the age that she was.

Next to those facts, the idea that her death was one that shouldn’t have happened while undergoing such a routine procedure that millions have every year, in a clinic that allegedly had the most state of the art equipment and, she could afford the best of doctors, was a shocking revelation to most that things can and do go wrong in spite of all of the above.

Finally, we don’t know yet what actually caused Rivers’ heart to stop and deprive her brain of the oxygen that damaged her brain beyond the capacity to live.  For all intents and purposes, this never should have been the case but, we don’t yet know what it was that caused it to happen.

What is saddest of all (beyond the obvious that world stars have gone) is that Williams’ death by suicide has been all but dropped as a topic of discussion.  The stigma of suicide has once again, caused the topic of depression to be swept under the carpet when it needs to be front and center and discussed to help others who may be facing a similar fate.  Many are in need of this type of a discussion being had and the families of those who have or will face the ravages of guilt from family or friend’s suicides through depression, also need the support that can only come through such a discussion.

On the same hand, we need to know what happened to Rivers in the clinic so that future patients will not end up with the same outcome.  Though extremely rare for this type of thing to happen during a procedure such as this, there are lessons to be learned for all.

Williams’ death needs to be kept in the lime light as much as or more than Rivers’ death.  Until we can remove the stigma attached to depression, mental illness/disorders and suicide, more will happen.  At least, that’s the way that I see things from my little corner of life.