Today, Elizabeth Taylor twittered that she was entering the hospital for some experimental heart surgery. That one of the last bastion of old Hollywood superstardom made the announcement on Twitter makes us face some harsh realities.
The most obvious of those realities is that Dame Elizabeth Taylor, now 77, isn't going to be with us forever, and that is a sad thought indeed.
Dear Friends, I would like to let you know before it gets in the papers that I am going into the hospital to have a procedure on my heart...It's very new and involves repairing my leaky valve using a clip device, without open heart surgery, so that my heart will function better...Any prayers you happen to have lying around I would dearly appreciate. I'll let you know when it's all over. Love you, Elizabeth
Taylor rose to fame in an age when stars images were handled by the iron hand of the studio system's publicity machine. Now she is sending out statements of her hospitalization in 160 character bursts. While we applaud Taylor for keeping up with technology enough to twitter (or at least savvy enough to hire someone to do it for her), that the old guard has fallen under its sway means that we are going to be stuck with oversharing celebrities assaulting us with their private thoughts and personal details until the end of time.
If Dame E is in on the game, it means that Ashton, Demi, and the rest of the entertainers with over active thumbs and a healthy sense of narcissism aren't going to be the end of the craze, but that new stars who we haven't even imagined yet will be even worse. In 50 years, we'll be following AnnaLynne McCord via real-time streaming 3-D webcam feed as she is rushed to the hospital for her fourth surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. You can't stop the march of progress, but today we're shedding a tear for when celebrities knew the best thing for their image was often to keep a bit of distance.