Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Plant a good seed and you will joyfully gather fruit.

Is it just me or is season five of Lost the television show that hates beards? Think about it. Jack's clean shaven. Sawyer's clean shaven. Sayid's clean shaven. Desmond's clean shaven. Locke's clean shaven. Lapidus, a man who looked like he spent the last seven years in a jungle in Borneo, has been given a Ricki Lake style total makeover to the point where he's now practically hairless. Hell even Faraday, season 4's most prominent new beard, has been seemingly written out of the show (Gee Note: Obviously at that point they'd ran out of disposable razors. Frustratingly ol' Faraday wasn't even given a proper send off, rather just a passing mention from Sawyer that "he, er, isn't here anymore". In one of those annoying moments that happens every once in a while in Lost none of the other characters thought to put their hand up and ask a blindingly obvious question. Such as "Where did he go? No really, where the hell is he? Did he leave a note? An answerphone message? Was he eaten by a polar bear? Come to think of it what happened to the polar bears? No really, where the hell did they go? Did they leave a note? An answerphone message? Were they eaten by one of those Dharma Initiative branded sharks? Come to think of it what happened to the Dharma Initiative branded sha… ah forget it."). When the last man standing as far as chop warming wearers go is that bastion of masculinity Hurley, something's definitely up.

Speaking of beards, Brad Pitt had a cracking one in Seven Years in Tibet. Speaking of Brad Pitt (Gee Note: Ah the mystical art of the segue. Once again it has proven to be my downfall), the April 6th edition of The Jennifer Anniston Weekly The National Enquirer led with the story that he and Angelina Jolie had a bit of a bust up recently (Gee Note: Amazingly Jennifer Anniston wasn't featured on the front cover that particular week. You know if you listen carefully and the wind is still you can hear the sound of her publicist getting fired all the way from Beverly Hills). I don't know why they had a fight, something to do with being in New York and Jolie having mood swings because she's ridiculously thin. It wasn't a very interesting story if I'm honest. In fact good gossip was obviously hard to find that week, as the Enquirer's most intriguing article was that Britney Spears may be pregnant. Or just overweight. You know, one of the two.

Thank goodness for The Globe. As an added sweetener the UK edition of the Enquirer occasionally fills space, especially if it's a slow news week, by including the first six pages of it's sister paper The Globe as a pullout. And boy did that hit a home run. Not only does it lead with the breathless headline "Obama Mutiny!", which brings with it a mental image of the new leader of the free world dressed as a pirate - eye patch and all, but also my favourite published news item in months. Stop the presses kids, it turns out that Roy Orbison's ghost is a pyromaniac.

Now Roy Orbison is something of a legend in music circles. Born in 1936 in Vernon, Texas he became famous for his smooth baritone voice, catchy tunes, and pioneering work in the field of both rock and roll before his untimely death of heart failure in 1988 aged 52. During his career he amassed a string of hits including "I Drove All Night", "Only The Lonely", "Running Scared", and the classic "Oh Pretty Woman". He also picked up several Grammy awards along the way, and was inducted in to both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Halls of Fame.

So you would think that by the time he shuffled off this mortal coil Orbison would have a been a pretty content chap. Not according to The Globe however. In fact they believe that Orbison is at the heart of a deadly curse.

Now undoubtedly you've heard of such curses before, most notably in association with Tutankhamen. You know, the type where a group of amazingly upper class explorers crack open an ancient tomb, and then within three days each of them have woken up to discover their left hand has turned in to a balloon with a smiley face on it or something. However you may be forgiven for having never heard of the Orbison curse. Because, as far as I can tell, nobody's ever mentioned it before the article in The Globe (Gee Note: Which must come as somewhat of a relief to grave robbers in California where Orbison is buried.
"Hey, I tell you what, how about we rob someone famous? Like that Roy Orbison perhaps? He's probably buried with a golden guitar or something."

"No way man, 'aint you ever heard of the Orbison curse?"
"No. No I haven't."
"Actually come to think of it, me neither. Let's got get that guitar.") So what possessed The Globe to create a ghost story involving the Big O from scratch? Well apparently a house that was once owned by the music star had burned to the ground recently. Obviously for a celebrity gossip rag that would only constitute a tiny "Also in the news" three or four line report. But, seeing as we've already established that good stories were thin on the ground that week The Globe had no choice but to run with it. Doing a little bit of digging the mild mannered reporters discovered that this is, gasp, the third house that was once owned by Orbison to have burnt to the ground under "mysterious" circumstances.

And so the paper ramped up the sensationalism to a level befitting that of a tabloid. They even managed to get a quote from the editor of the Globe an Orbison family friend, which went a little something like this.

"This is a real life haunted house story… Roy was such a sweet man, but in many ways his life was so marked by tragedy, It's like his spirit is still unsettled and these horrible things continue." said an unnamed but obviously barking mad source. "There are other forces at play here - it's really a story of haunting, and you can't help thinking that it's still the spirit of the horrible tragedies that Roy endured in his life that haven't been laid to rest."

Now, ignoring the obvious issue that for a house to be haunted it needs to be a, er, house and not a pile of ash (Gee Note: I mean really, what ghost wants their pad burnt down? Unless it's for the insurance money of course. But then there's the problem with trying to make it look like an electrical thing or something. And that's a lot of hard work. Also, you’re a ghost. What good would the money do you anyway?) this all seems to be linked to the fact that Orbison went through some turbulent times during his lifetime. In 1966 his wife was killed in a motorcycle accident, and then two years later his two eldest sons died whilst Roy was on tour. They were apparently playing with fire near some model aeroplane glue which ignited and took the rest of the house down with it.

Problem is the Globe lists this as one of the three houses that were set ablaze under "mysterious" circumstances. You know, those three buildings that point to a "real life haunted house story". Now I don't claim to be an authority on vengeful spirits, but wouldn't Roy Orbison have to be, oh gosh I don't know, dead before his ghost started setting fire to buildings? The second house in question had been previously owned by Orbison and The Man in Black Johnny Cash before being sold on to Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb (Gee Note: Wow that's a bit of a come down huh? I mean Orbison = Great. Cash = Great. Bee Gee = No. Not so much. Maybe the house burnt itself down in protest?). Gibb decided to remodel the house, during which process a construction accident led to it being engulfed in flames. Now, again maybe I'm missing something, but for me a house that catches on fire in calm weather with nobody living in it and with no electrical supply is mysterious. A house catching on fire after heavy machinery and men with blow torches have been ploughing through it doesn't really leave me baffled as to what the cause might have been.

The third house, situated in Nashville, Tennessee, went down on January 25th this year. Sadly I can't find the investigators conclusion as to the official cause online. I'm guessing whatever the results turned up, "Ghosts did it" wasn't one of them. If it was then Tennessee may want rethink it's policy of allowing it's fire inspectors to drink on the job.

See this is the thing with stories like this. They always end up putting two and two together and coming up with twelve. And I don’t know, using three coincidental fires to claim that a man who, like everyone else, went through highs and lows in their life is now haunting every house he once lived in is kind of insensitive at best, downright insulting at worse.

But hey, the Globe manage to get two whole pages out of this tripe. And on a slow news week I guess that’s worth it’s weight in gold...

Ah to hell with it. Let’s leave on high note for once. Ladies and gentlemen it gives me great pleasure to introduce to two of the cutest Japanese women ever and the one, the only, Roy Orbison. Enjoy.

1 comment:

Jimes said...

Long Live Big O!