It’s official. You’re the worst. The election was bad enough. Now you take Carrie Fisher, too? You’re deplorable.
Lots of my early icons died this year. David Bowie. Muhammed Ali. John Glenn. I was saddened by their departures, for their roles in my past. But Carrie Fisher was supposed to be part of the future, a model for aging gracelessly. I mean that in the best possible way. The quintessential nasty woman, she was the unparalleled spokesperson for those who lived long enough and hard enough to have no f*cks left to give.
I couldn’t have cared less about her role in Star Wars except insofar as it inspired her to tell the truth — many truths — about Hollywood and women’s role in it. It was her smart, sassy writing that inspired me, as well as her honesty about her mental illness, her drug use, her demons. I was still working on Getting Naked for Money when she gave the hilarious Good Morning America interview I’ve posted here (worth watching for her spokesdog, Gary, alone). It wasn’t a conscious thing, asking What Would Carrie Do? But in the back of my mind, when I wondered about a passage in the memoir that seemed a bit outrageous, I would often think about her honesty and bravery and leave it in.
When asked in a 2013 interview, “What advice do you give people who are struggling with mental illness and are afraid to pursue their dreams?” Fisher said:
Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.
That’s good advice for all of us.
Carrie Fisher is irreplaceable. You, 2016, are not. Not by a long shot. Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on your way out.