05 July 2009

Obsession with Celebrity Deaths

There was Elvis Presley, Princess Diana and now Michael Jackson who were and are being revered in death.

Do many people have an unhealthy obsession with the death of a celebrity? Approximately 17 people committed suicide after learning about the death of Michael Jackson. His passing overshadowed the death of Farrah Fawcett whose death overshadowed the passing of Ed McMahon the same week.

30 years ago, the now-defunct New Times magazine said: "There are almost no famous people anymore, only celebrities. That's because fame is too suggestive of steady achievement. Almost anyone can be a celebrity".

When Princess Diana died, she garnered more TV coverage than Mother Teresa. The question remains: who made the greater contribution?

The list of celebrities who have turned their lives into a train wreck is growing. Why do so many chose to idolize the "celebrities" who have broken, lousy relationships and use drugs especially when they see where it leads for many of them.

Since the beginning of 2009, many have died with little or no fanfare including:

Milvina Dean (last Titanic survivor)
Exodus Tyson (Michael Tyson's daughter)
Socks (the White House cat)
Andrew Wyeth (artist)
John Updike (author)
Ingemar Johansson (fighter)
Louis Belson (musician)
Paul Harvey (radio personality)