don’t call it a comeback, i’ve been (drinking) here for years

Hungry eyes can be treated with prescription drops applied twice daily on an empty stomach.

Examine, if you will, this headline from CNN.com: “‘Hungry Eyes’ Singer Charged with DUI.” That would be Eric Carmen. The song was featured in Dirty Dancing, and topped out at #4 on the Hot 100 in 19hundredand88.

Evil’s not going to bother with a link to the video feed because, frankly, such an event doesn’t rate reading about beyond the headline. (Please don’t let it rate—please don’t let there be a dead hooker in the trunk. Evil can’t handle another celebrity murder trial.)

If it doesn’t rate a link, you ask, why even mention it? Because it caused the Evil to take a break from his Ph.D. thesis—analyzing Dirty Dancing’s impact on society along Hegelian lines—and ponder an aspect of celebrity we don’t often consider: that the end is never quite the end, even when it should be.

Sure, Eric Carmen has to enjoy the four or five moments a year when someone recognizes him and freaks out. OK, that probably doesn’t happen . . . but at least maybe asks for an autograph, or tells him her first dance at her wedding was to “Hungry Eyes” . . . or looks into his shopping cart and says, “If you like Funyuns that much, you should really try the new Sour Cream N’ Funyun flavor!” . . . whatever. Has to make him feel good. And that’s probably as far as his residual celebrity gets him these days, but hey, Evil’s not knocking anyone’s random self-esteem booster shots.

On the other hand, even the slightest screw-up—from even the most minor, forgotten celebrity—apparently rates a CNN headline. Think about it: Mr. Carmen probably had a few too many, decided he could make it home . . . and when he saw the flashing lights in the mirror, he hung his head and thought, “Well, at least Mother won’t hear about it. Thank God this didn’t happen 20 years ago . . .”

Wrong!

And that’s the tradeoff, it seems: years after your celebrity has been leeched of its ability to benefit you (we doubt Mr. Carmen’s strutting into any exclusive restaurant and getting a table, sans reservation) it can still reach up from the grave and drag you into the mud. Britney Spears is a national disgrace, but Evil doubts she flies coach in the cramped airplane of life. But for the others, the Eric Carmens . . . put it this way: he’s famous enough to have a Wikipedia page, but not for the page’s author to have looked up and posted a picture of him . . .

Is it worth it?

Whatever you decide, here’s hoping this DUI and the embarrassing resurrection of his name will help Mr. Carmen resurrect his musical career. It’s about time for that Dirty Dancing remake, right?

Enjoy the weekend. If possible, put Baby in a corner.

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3 thoughts on “don’t call it a comeback, i’ve been (drinking) here for years”

  1. Oooh! You know VH1 is just chomping at the bit to get an exclusive for their next “Where Are They Now? Behind the Music Special Edition”! The one with Erasure and the Sebastian Cabot was so exciting!

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