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Sunday, June 28, 2009

So Many Obituaries...

With the death of Billy Mays, who was quite possibly the only person in the world who could out talk the Sham-Wow guy, I was reminded of just how many people have died recently. I mean, just off the top of my head, I can already remember seven quite famous people dying so far this year (except for the dates, which I had to Google):

  • Billy Mays - TV Infomercial Guy (June 28, 2009)
  • Michael Jackson - The King of Pop (June 25, 2009)
  • Farrah Fawcett - Actress (June 25, 2009)
  • Ed McMahon - TV Announcer (June 23, 2009)
  • David Carradine - Actor (June 3, 2009)
  • Irving Levine - Newscaster (March 26, 2009)
  • Helen Suzman - Apartheid Activist (January 1, 2009)
It really is quite sad...But it has led me to another realization, that was sort of compounded by a quote I saw outside of a gas station the other day:

No one cares who is pulling the cart until the horse dies
So bring in your car for a checkup now, for the low, low price of...etc. But the latter bit isn't really important. My point is this: people care more about others once they are dead. To illustrate my point: Michael Jackson was ostracized for much of his later life, all because he was said to have been a child molester. And though he was declared not guilty, that trial haunted him for the rest of his life. Though the quote above does not apply directly to Jackson, the integral point remains. People no longer cared about him until he died. Now that he has died, Michael Jackson jokes aren't "OK" anymore, people are listening to his music again, and people feel sorry for him, including many people who were involved in ostracizing him previously.

This is not to say that I don't think people should feel sorry for what happened to him. I just think that should have come out a little earlier. Michael Jackson might be an extreme example of this, but it seems to be an integral part of the human condition that we don't miss anything until it is gone.



Marbles said...

I was so horrified to hear that Billy Mays died, I mean come on he was so full of life, and screaming. Also what is with the people who die on my birthday, first franz ferdinand, now billy mays.

And while I agree with your general point of us caring more about people after they die I gotta say people listened to Michael during the crazy stage, his death just added to it. Also it wasn't just the molester thing, there was the whole hanging the baby over the balcony incident.

All these deaths, so sad :(

Anonymous said...

OMG. I'm so sad to hear about billy mays. He had just finished his first season with a successful new television show. it's so sad.

by the way, your link is up!

Manda said...

Celebrity deaths have a very strange way of reverberating throughout the media. Most of the time, it's good that they are remembered positively. But more often than not, the huge amount of publicity is kind of like the comeback every star hopes to have in their career... except in death :/

lyrical charlatan said...

Hehe, I know where you saw that quote.

2009 has been a strange year so far in terms of celebrity deaths. What you wrote also goes for everyday people. Obituaries are full of "he was a good person and was well loved by his entire family..." etc etc, when in reality, those people probably had issues with their families as well (who doesn't?) It seems that all the issues are forgotten once that person is dead.

I guess my point is that it takes death to remind us how precious life is, and maybe that's why we don't appreciate life as much as we should.

Marbles said...

added to this list:

sarah palin's career!!!YAY

Justin said...