Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gary Coleman 1968-2010

Gary Coleman has died. I am reminded of the death of Michael Jackson last summer, as in both cases a once-beloved but now largely forgotten pop-culture icon of the Eighties with a troubled personal life suffered premature mortality.

Coleman's claim to fame was the series Diff'rent Strokes. My biggest memory of that show is the theme song, or, more specifically, the last line of the theme song. (I don't remember the rest of the the words, and when I try to think of them I think of the theme from The Facts of Life.) That line was (I thought) It takes diff'rent strokes to rule the world. That sentiment sounded pretty awesome to me, because, as we well knew in the Eighties, everybody wants to rule the world. (In retrospect, though, the idea of diff'rent strokes ruling the world conjures the incongruous image of Arnold and Willis leading a Mongol horde across the steppes of Eurasia on a journey of conquest.)

At some later point in my life I found out the the lyric was actually It takes diff'rent strokes to move the world. Moving the world as opposed to ruling the world came across as much weaker, like some leftover hippy-ness hanging on a decade too late. And the theme song didn't sound as awesome to me as it once had.

But none of that was Gary Coleman's fault.

Requiescat in pace.

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