Thursday, January 12, 2006

This Is What Happens When You're Culturally Illiterate

You misread obituaries. Crooked Timber, far more cultured than I, reports that Birgit Nilsson has passed away. Being uncultured, I read it as saying that Brigitte Nielson had died. This would be a very different story. Nilsson was a top soprano in her day (no, not a Soprano, but a singer) hailing from Sweden -- I only learned that from reading her Wikipedia entry.

Birgit Nilsson on the left, and Brigitte Nielson on the right. Notice the differences (ie, Birgit seems to live in some sort of gray-scale world).

Brigitte Nielson, on the other hand, earned fame in the 1980s for her appearance in Beverly Hills Cop II, her marriage to Sylvester Stallone, and her fling with Mark Gastineau. She disappeared (as much as a 6 foot 1 inch, platinum blonde, Dane can disappear) from the limelight until she co-starred in the television opiate, VH1's The Surreal Life. It was during her time on that show that she "fell in love" with Public Enemy's Favor Flave. They then starred in a spinoff show devoted to their disturbing relationship. Apparently, they're splitsville, and Brigitte is planning to marry some guy half her age even though she still hasn't completed the divorce with her previous husband.

Birgit and Brigitte have something in common: both had careers as singers . . . Birgit far more successful and talented.


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