Gary Coleman is dead.

Did you know that? Do you care?

After two days of lying comatose following a severe brain hemorrhage, they pulled the plug on GC. What is happening to all of our child stars? Sure, there are plenty of whippersnappers out there who’ve played the phoenix and come back from the fire of a troubled past to reinvent themselves as credible actors/citizens: Corey Feldman and Drew Barrymore, for instance. And yes, there are those who made it through their childhood of stardom relatively unscathed, becoming serious A-listers, like Leonardo DiCaprio, Scarlett Johanssen.

But let’s not focus on them. They’re still around after all. They’ve escaped whatever it is that’s plaguing the entity known as ‘the child star’, unlike these unlucky souls.

Gary Coleman, Heather O’Rourke – natural causes
Corey Haim, River Phoenix – drug overdose
Dana Plato (and recently her son), Andrew Koenig – suicide
Winona Ryder, Edward Furlong – theft
Tracy Gold, Candace Cameron, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen – anorexia/bulemia
Robert Blake – murder
Lindsay Lohan – what hasn’t she done?
and this list goes on…

What IS the reason behind all our little ones gone bad? Can’t be the upbringing. I mean it could, but it’s highly unlikely. Many different families, different lifestyles, different parts of the country even. Hell, diff’rent strokes and diff’rent folks, right?

Can’t be Hollywood. We’ve got too many examples of success storied, and reformed bad boys and girls to blame it on the industry. There’s really only one other option.

The Rain.

Yup. That’s right. Think about it: we all live under the same sky, right? The same atmosphere stretches clear around the globe. Sure, different parts of the globe might have different pollutants, which certainly could contribute to the quality of the rain. But every single drop gets its start up in the atmosphere above our heads, no matter where those heads are currently residing. Do we really know what’s in the atmosphere, way up there? Really know? There could be microscopic, intelligent life forms just flitting about up there, wreaking havoc on our sense of nostalgia and identity. Laughing their microns off as they take the icons that we – as pimpled, greasy, self-conscious teens – once revered and poison their minds with thoughts of inadequacy, emptiness and self-loathing until they have no other choice but to ruin their lives by whatever means available. Sure, this doesn’t apply directly to the stars who’s lives were lost to natural causes, but who’s to say what’s natural? We’re talking about uber-intelligent anaerobic microscopic life, here!

What are we going to do about this, people? We can’t let this continue. Do you really want your children to grow up in a world without child stars? No one wants to watch a bunch of pot-bellied, pock-faced, gravelly voiced men and women muddle their way through middle school Nickelodeonesque comedies. No one under the age of 30 anyway. I say we take back our atmosphere! Trample the troposphere! Sack the stratosphere! Manhandle the mesosphere! Throttle the thermosphere! Excommunicate the exosphere! Show those meddling molecules who’s boss!

Who’s with me?

~h

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