Corey Haim 1971-2010

For those living beneath not one but several rocks, 80’s teen heart-throb Corey Haim died this week of an apparent overdose in Los Angeles.

Haim is best known for a string of films he starred in with Corey Feldman, including ‘The Lost Boys’, ‘License to Drive’, and ‘Dream a Little Dream’. His career sputtered and then prolapsed in the 90’s, as Haim fought what Hollywood is so fond of calling “personal demons”.

I won’t go in to the particulars of Haim’s rise to stardom, his terrible, staged 2007 reality-TV show with Feldman ‘The Two Coreys’, or the ongoing investigation into his death by the LAPD.

What’s bugged me is the reaction to Haim’s death. I click on Facebook yesterday, and I’m swamped by a barrage of ‘RIP Corey’, or ‘Corey Haim dead đŸ˜¦ I’m so devastated!’, and so on and so forth, forever and ever, etc.

None of these people cared about Corey Haim! Who amongst can honestly say they’ve thought, for even the briefest of moments, about Corey Haim in years?!When was the last time you saw Corey Haim in… anything?!

You’re not devastated. You’re mildly saddened. That’s about the extent of it.

Maybe the tidal wave of celebrity death in 2009 has deadened my senses entirely. See, I feel a small degree of sympathy for his family. But that’s about it. Platitudes like ‘His movies framed a generation‘ is really just so much bullshit, and jumping aboard the “he was so awesome” bandwagon mere hours after his death is (in my opinion) callous, insincere an and even more disrespectful response than those that greeted news of his death with blasĂ© internet snarkasm.

And that Facebook-y reaction of “Remember ‘Fast Getaway’??? OMG! I’m gonna miss him soooo much”…

If we’re going to be entirely honest with each other, then let’s get one thing straight:

You don’t miss those movies. Not really. And it’s highly doubtful you’ll miss Corey Haim. At all.

What you miss is your own childhood.

You miss being a kid, watching those flicks with friends, and sleepover’s, and VHS cassettes, and no stress in your life, your parents weren’t divorced yet, and New Kids on the Block were cool, and you didn’t have a job or feel any pressure or have to pay bills. That’s what you miss. Don’t confuse grieving for a more innocent time in your life with mourning some poor child-star who unfortunately burnt himself out on drugs, and died a young man.

I wasn’t a big Corey Haim fan. I dug ‘The Lost Boys’, sure, but I’m not going to laud his storied acting career or his endless on-screen charisma because that’s not the way I personally feel. For those who are legitimately mourning the man and not a lost part of themselves, I can appreciate this reaction from the AV Club website:

“Haim has so long been the butt of jokes about Hollywood burnouts, it’s tough to think of him burning out for good. But before mocking him, remember him for a moment as an actor who meant a lot to many people for a while before his long, slow, self-perpetuated fade. And one whose career began with a promise he never found a way to fulfill”.

I’m yet to feel the sting of a dead celebrity that I’ve honestly, truly cared about. Perhaps my feelings will chance when that inevitably happens.

But until it does I’m not joining in the movement to mourn every celebrity that dies, just because they were famous once. I’d rather pretend to care about the people I actually know.

Because I’m an asshole, sure, but an asshole with a degree of self-awareness.

BPM

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