“Jim Carrey: Maybe Untangling This and Other Messes”

* “You’ve been so busy lately
That you haven’t found the time
To open up your mind
And watch the world spinning
Gently out of time”
– Blur

After Hillary Clinton defeated Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary this last May, my cousin shared this image on facebook which was Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura 2, I think with some sort of like spear stuck into his leg, and making this exclaiming mannerism, like “WTF!” The caption then read something like “When you have to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.”
What’s funny is that pretty much no one, at least who I happened to talk to, knew at this point that the actor’s girlfriend had committed suicide, just eight or so months before.
Now, Jim Carrey is still alive and well, as far as we’ve heard. That is, there’s no NEWS STORY with him right now, other than of course his late girlfriend’s family suing him for wrongful death, a case which has made minor news in a couple publications. Nope, at this point it’s only an extremely haunting tale, made only more so for how little attention it’s got considering that we’re talking about a man who was once arguably the most famous and talented actor on the planet this side of Tom Hanks and Chris Rock.
Well, we don’t know what death is. And really, we don’t know what girlfriends are, either. Maybe we suspect shallow motives for having them. We’ve seen, after all, enough of these Hollywood stars dating girls who are like half their age… maybe we’re hardened. Or maybe it’s just become accepted that as a Americans, our lives are “hard,” our lives are a “struggle,” when really, we still have way more luxuries than almost anyone else on the planet.
Ok, here’s the story, as far as I know it. I’m faint of heart. The girl OD’s on pills, she’d been dating Jim Carrey on and off for three years, she got the pills from Carrey. Her family is now suing Carrey for wrongful death, claiming that he caused her untimely demise by slipping her those drugs, and that he had somehow caused her emotional traumas in some other ways. The blame game begins.
I myself have been very busy this fall, but I have to admit, when I heard that Jim Carrey’s girlfriend committed suicide, I was very surprised. In a way, to me, it’s even more haunting than Robin Williams doing himself in. That is, at least with him, I’d already known he was SENSITIVE. I wouldn’t say I wasn’t surprised at ALL — I mean the guy’d had an exorbitantly successful career, obviously, and he had a beautiful young family to take care of… how does the meaning just get zapped out of someone’s life like that? Well, it’s gotta be drugs, I guess, and according to rumors Williams was quite the coke-head in the ‘80s, a fact which more than anything really makes me glad I didn’t grow up in the ‘80s, because there but for the grace of God go I. We were total hippies in the ‘90s by comparison, don’t let anyone tell you different.
Ok but… what exactly the fu** happened here? I mean I think of Jim Carrey as successful. He’s not exactly like the lead singer of Everclear, or something, “losing (him)self in a white trash he**” with a “heroin girl,” you know? I mean this isn’t how we think of our Hollywood heroes, the people who brought us Ace Ventura, The Mask, Me, Myself & Irene… the man I saw deliver one of the single most brilliant interviews that I’ve ever seen for MTV in 1998, just following the shooting of The Truman Show (which admittedly was an unwatchable film, I thought)… Jim Carrey’s sense of humor was entirely original and inimitable, just like Jamie Foxx, Tommy Davidson, the Wayans Brothers, and everyone else who was on In Living Color, the predominantly black and hilarious sketch comedy show back in the ‘90s. How am I supposed to watch In Living Color now?
I can still watch Dead Poet’s Society, no problem. I mean just look at the title: “Dead.” “They’re all fertilizing dandelions,” or whatever.
How am I supposed to watch Ace Ventura? How are we to truly laugh again? What kind of hard bark would it take on someone to continue to indulge in these “comedy” movies, when it’s plain and clear right before our very eyes: life isn’t that da**ed funny? Life drives people to want out, to points where they can take no more, and to top it off, we have this despicable rich Hollywood family suing one of America’s favorite funny men, the man who gave us all these laughs over the years. Where’s the banding together, where’s the sense of camaraderie, of spirit, of humanness?
Tennesse Williams once said of Hollywood, after having gotten a little taste of it but then being turned off, that there was a “spiritual death ray” running through everything out there. But I mean, Wow, this is like taking things to another level completely. There’s having everything be about money, which we all thought was sort of a lingering threat, once the potential for music diminished by way of its cheapening on the internet, and from like Black people just being really da**ed sick of living in this country, but this wrongful death suit on Jim Carrey is entirely just scabrousness on an unprecedented level. It’s insinuating somehow that Carrey WANTED his girlfriend’s death. Why is “wrongful death” even an available tort, in the first place? As if money can make up for the loss of a loved one? Where was this family at while this woman was alive, going through these tough times, and why didn’t they step in and support her when they had the chance?
Nobody really understands death, I guess. Maybe this is why nobody seems to care when it happens anymore: we just go on gnashing our teeth before the cluttered masses as we did before, bemoaning the fact that we don’t seem to stand out in any way.
Or maybe there’s something even darker here, that I’m not noticing. Carrey’s been incredibly quiet about this. Maybe he just REALLY DOESN’T BLAME his girlfriend for killing herself, sort of like the Cat Power song “I Don’t Blame You,” which is about Kurt Cobain. We’ve lived through, in this country, a period of being lied to, and of endangering our troops in a war built on false and brutal premises. We’ve seen a “unification” under patriotism which has nothing to do with being friends with the world at large, or doing the right thing diplomatically, but rather just falling in line like a bunch of robots, and agreeing with our dictator, whatever the fu** it is he says.
The world was supposed to end in 2012. It didn’t. Carrey and his girlfriend had made love. There was no mystery left in life. LA was still polluted, crowded and violent — the clothes were still slick and expensive, the people still skittish and defensive, and movies were worse than ever, if Brides’ Maids and SLC Punk 2 were any indication. What was there left to live for, maybe, for Carrey OR his girlfriend? Sure as heck not family, from the way it sounds.
This story of the actor and his former girlfriend had broiled to the front of my mind significantly a month or so ago, and I was all gung ho about trying to do an expose about it… but then this Trump thing happened, and all of a sudden it got beaten back down like a beaver at one of those mallet arcade games. But now, a few days have past since the election, I’ve gleaned a decent amount of perspectives about the whole thing on facebook (check’s in the mail, Zuckerberg), I’ve gone to work and back a couple times, school and back a couple times, and I remember all over again: we’re all human. We all have spirits, we all have hearts. Sh**, man, we’ll get by. Why couldn’t someone have told Jim Carrey’s girlfriend this? Maybe nobody ever thought to imagine her as going through a hard time, except Carrey himself, who happened to be, you know, maybe IN LOVE with her… is it really that unfathomable? Is it that you hurt the ones you love, or is it that he’s just such a good ACTOR that he’s good at acting aloof of her, and therefore KEEPING her by his side? Maybe he really liked her laugh, her smile. I mean sh**, stranger things have happened. In light of how evil this chick’s family is, it’s not really hard to imagine her situation as having lent her to a “better place,” as they say after funerals, etc. I just wish a little more of a fight was being put up AGAINST this idea, by the media, by the actor himself, or by sh** anybody I talk to. I can only imagine what it’s like to lose a girlfriend, and feel like it must be bad enough without the media, and the entire world, treating it like it’s so trivial.

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