Death and Fame


It might be a sickness that when everyone zigs I feel the need to zag, so last week when everyone was distraught that Robin Williams died I felt a little incredulous. The same Robin Williams being described as a national treasure a few years ago was mocked for turning every movie he acted in into a schlocky display of sentimentality. The Robin Williams who was now touted as irreplaceable was on a television show a few months ago that so few people watched, it was cancelled after one year.

It is obvious and never more so than now that the best career move for a celebrity is death.

Would Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix be any more beloved than Eddie Vedder or Carlos Santana if they lived to a ripe old age?

Would people confuse John F Kennedy for Jimmy Carter if an assassin’s bullet hadn’t ended his tenure?

Did anyone even know Lauren Bacall was still alive two weeks ago?

Celebrities are our Gods and Goddesses. We talk about them the way ancient Greeks spoke of Hercules and Athena, but the death cult that surrounds the star who has burned out takes our worship to a new level. Already they are seen as beyond human, when they leave this mortal coil they become legends.



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