Went to see Michael Jackson’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today. It was covered in photos from his Thriller and Bad days, which is I guess how I’d like to remember him, too. (The child molestation stuff makes me sad. I guess it’s just easier to avoid thinking about that.) Just a few feet away, impersonators dressed as Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and the Joker were sidling into tourists’ pictures, hoping for a tip. Those celebrities also died unexpectedly of overdoses of painkillers, sedatives and other drugs. (OK, the official test results on MJ haven’t come out yet, but it seems like everyone suspects this.) It made me wonder, does rising to this kind of fame always lead to an enormous amount of pain? Obviously they had better access to these drugs than the average person, but were they trying to escape the fame that most people would kill to have? I’m sure Michael Jackson’s unexpected death will seal him into the pantheon of America’s greatest stars. Maybe dying young is the price of living forever.