David Cassidy


I really don’t have a lot to say about David Cassidy, except that he made a lot of people really happy.  That seems like a pretty awesome thing to leave behind in this world.

This clip, however, reinforces some rather nasty sexist notions.  So ignore the scene in front of the song and just enjoy the bubblegum goodness.

The Hazards of Being a Teen Idol


Former teen idol David Cassidy just got arrested again for DUI.  This is not a surprise.  Not because Cassidy is such a flagrant substance abuser; he’s got a definite problem with alcohol, but he’s not really known for repeated trips to rehab.  The news isn’t surprising because David Cassidy used to be a teen idol, a career move that in and of itself seems to guarantee a lifetime of problems.

If you appeared in the pages of Tiger Beat, or if your face was used to market lunch boxes and school supplies, then there’s a better than fair chance that you have Issues.  You probably became a superstar before you were old enough to drive.  You probably had more money, fame, and power than anyone going through puberty should ever have access to.  Puberty’s hard enough, what with the raging hormones, poor impulse control, and lack of practical experience doing pretty much anything.  To go through it while millions of teenage girls are screaming your name everywhere you go is just kind of cruel.

Thing is, teenagers in general are not equipped to make important decisions regarding their own welfare.  Their brains are literally not developed enough to do it.  And when surround by the kinds of wealth that teen idols tend to generate, the adults who are supposed to be looking out for these kids often fail to make responsible decisions.  These kids are overworked and undereducated.  They are isolated from the world, surrounded by Yes Men and Stage Mothers. (Don’t get up in arms about gender stereotyping; I know that rotten business people and parents come in both sexes.)  They are often burdened with being the sole financial support for their families; so even if they want out of the spotlight, they feel like they have to stay.

The list of former teen idols and child stars who have wrecked on the highway of life is long.  Leif Garrett.  Tiffany.  Brittany Spears.  Lindsay Lohan.  The entire child cast of Diff’rent Strokes. These days, Justin Beiber is well on his way to crashing and burning; I’m not so sure Miley Cyrus isn’t so far behind.  (Okay.  That’s two Justin Beiber mentions in two posts; I think I’m gonna start checking the house for pods.)  The horror stories run the gamut from broke by 21 to addicted to multiple substances.  The least bad thing that can happen to a teen idol is that they outgrow their marketability, and go on to lead anonymous lives in the suburbs.  I’d bet cash that they all have regrets about losing their childhoods and adolescence to the fame machine.

I don’t have any magical advice, or pithy quips to offer here.  I just felt like ranting a little about what these very adult businesses do to these children.  The troubles linger, as former teen idols struggle for happiness, or try to recapture the adulation of their youth.  Either way, the picture is pretty sad.