Yeah I’m all broken up about it. At least as broken up as the average guy who has his own problems is, over the death of a major multi-millionaire celebrity who got famous doing dangerous things to animals for the amusement of the public.
Celebrities are a disease. I don’t mean literally. Well I do.
Once upon a time we had kings. Then we had outlaws. Both were legendary, famed and people envied and made up songs up and told stories of. Both also killed people. Celebrities rarely kill people but when they do, like kings and outlaws, they usually get away with it.
Celebrities are like Christmas or MothersFathersGrandparentsCreepy Uncle’s Days. They have no relevance or connection to anything in our society or our lives, yet they’re thrust on us as part of a massive marketing industry. Like Halloween and Christmas, they exist to sell things. Not greeting cards or toys but magazines, TV shows, movies and all that rot.
Celebrities like greeting card holidays oppress us by their very existence. At least the seemingly endless passage of Christmas songs end after two months or so, celebrities never go away. They’re on the news, they’re in headlines everywhere, they’re in sitcom jokes, in conversation. You can refuse to see a single one of their movies or listen to one of their CD’s or read a single celebrity magazine and still you wind up having you head filled with the idiotic details of their romances and lives.
They never go away except when they die and even then their deaths usually last longer than Christmas. When a celebrity goes you can count on at least a month of news stories, prep time for the funeral, endless broadcasts of all the people he touched and was found not guilty of touching.
And even in the death on it goes. The media builds up a celebrity. Then they tear him down. Then he dies and they eulogize him. Then the backlash begins. The media profits and anyone with an IQ over 2o begins caulking their ears shut.
Steve Irwin was an annoying TV character, who was possibly a human being, whom people found entertaining because he fit the stereotypes of Australians derived entirely from cartoons, breakfast cereals and Crocodile Dundee. For the American version imagine a guy in a cowboy hat firing six guns into the air, yelling Yee Ha constantly and trying to sell you everything under the sun. For the British a guy in a bowler hat with a black umbrella and a monocle whose sentences slide out lubricated by an upper class accent.
The media kept him around because he entertainingly did stupid things with animals. Apparently he was also an environmentalist. Then the media found him doing something stupid with animals that involved a small child and within moments a salivating press which is always eager for any outrage involving small children or nubile blond co-eds, tore him apart. Then he died and the press declared an extended season of mourning as if someone important had actually died. Then the backlash came and the media wavered between acting outraged and secretly encouraging it because in the end controversy sells paper and toilet paper commercials too.
Months have passed. Irwin is still dead. South Park seized on it with an unfunny joke, which didn’t need to be funny, because publicity was the real point of it. Bill Maher, who is to comedy what gangrene is to a salad bar, dressed up as a dead Irwin. Both were lame but ironically appropriate since what they were doing amounted to dragging Irwin’s corpse around in the hopes of getting noticed.
Is it still considered necrophilia when celebrities try to use other celebrities to get publicity? Does it count that they’re screwing the public, instead of the actual corpse? Does it matter?