12 October 2009

The Glorifcation of Death

Is it just me or are we increasingly being inundated with RIP messages, tribute shows & advertisements that focus on the person that's passed away. We get told, of the celebrity's body of work, their nuances, scandals- and to conclude, they advise that this person was a quasi legend, and their death would mean that we've lost an integral part of the industry.

The deaths in the last couple of months, go on to prove it. Michael Jackson never seemed to shake the notion that he was Wacko Jacko and made headlines for his controversial life. When he died, we had the tribute concerts, the RIP status messages across Facebook, My space, on the Yahoo/Hotmail web pages. I seriously doubt that any person who had heard of the famous MJ, is not aware that he's passed away.

Then we had DJ Adam, once again the press wrote away to glory, and we found out what a wonder full person he was, having found the drug addiction. Pity he had an OD on prescription medicine.

Then we had Patrick Swayze, we're being fed more movies with him in it. Apart from Dirty Dancing, I can't remember any other movie of Mr Swayze. And yet we are told, he was an amazing celebrity, and his absence will be a great loss for the rest of the world. And of course, how he died: He lost his battle with cancer.

Remember when Lady Diana and Mother Theresa passed away within the span or a couple of days, there was more to cover on Lady Diana, which is why maybe in 2000 when Priyanka Chopra won the Ms World Title, she quoted Mother Theresa as her 'living' idol and went on to win the competition.

I guess the point I'm trying to make, is it seems to be that death has become the market's latest marketing tool. And while I reserve the right to know of someone's passing, I hate the fact that people spin it, and make profits out off a family's misery.


Stu said...

Nice and thought provoking. I guess I didnt pay attention to detail again :) but really there is a whole media aspect to it. How it is potrayed and really dying young does absolve your acts. You have another to add to your list, Stephen Gately Boyzone member has passed away of alcohol overdose...

C. said...

Ok, will admit, have no clue who DJ Adam is.... :)

To personalize your argument, I find it fascinating that when people we know (or kinda know) die, any overpowering negatives thoughts tend to step aside for the positives to peep through.

Is that our in-built way of paying our respects to the deceased?
Is it coz we decide that its pointless to unearth negativity at such time?

Strange how we can keep our anger / prejudices while someone is alive only to 'forgive' all once he has departed dearly.

I could go on extrapolating but will let you be !

Saro said...

Hi Stu- you're opening my eyes to something completely new. 1. I had no idea that Stephen Gately passed away!! 2) I didn't think people died of a thing called alcohol over dose- i figured it would some live disease or something like that.

Hi C,

I know the tendency to become more than biased for someone's passing, but to be very honest, I've somehow always remembered the bad when someone passes away. It helps me keep grounded, so I don't end up in that place everyone ends up.. where they mourn the loss.

But I still pay respect. By attending the funeral, wishing them well, where ever they end up and always remembering them. I think those that only think good things, just draw a painting out of a dot.