Thursday, January 24, 2008

Since Every Death Diminishes Us A Little, We Grieve-

not so much for the death as for ourselves.
-Lynn Caine

The cult of celebrity has turned actor Heath Ledger's death into a media feeding frenzy. When I did a Google name search under News I found 8,849 news articles listed. Part of this frenzy is because he was so young (28), but a major part is because he was an actor. This phenomenon is not without precedent. When silent screen star Rudolph Valentino died in 1926 at age 31 an estimated 100,000 members of the public showed up at his funeral and there were reports of at least one fan committing suicide.

I find the voruristic, looky-loo*, aspects in all of this news coverage very disturbing.

*A Looky-loo is a person who slows down to look at a car accident in the hope of seeing something gory.

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