Celebrities are exiting the stage right and left lately, it seems. I feel like I should, but just can’t share in the outpouring of second-hand grief. Part of me thinks it’s all too self-regarding. Our celebrity worship seems such an empty thing. This one reminds us of our childhood’s passing. And that one. And that other one was singing when I got laid for the first time. As though in the age of the selfie our personal mundane saga should somehow seem unique among the billions on earth. I don’t quite get it. But I don’t quite get a lot of things…. And the list seems to be getting longer.

But today’s the anniversary of another celebrity’s death. 400 years ago. I wonder if they’ll still be quoting Prince in four centuries? Somehow, I doubt it.

“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

— Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)

4 Replies to “400”

  1. This preoccupation with celebrities, alive or dead, is bewildering at best and down right ridiculous/annoying at worst.

    I had to leave Facebook recently partly because of this….whatever you want to call it. I lost patience with everyone.

    Most of those posting status updates and changing their avatars to these dead celebrities hadn’t mentioned them in all the time I’d been on FB, but all of a sudden they can’t stop crying and wallowing in self pity about someone they’ve never met or known?!

    I’m truly not a cold person but I do think there’s something wrong with a society that values one life more worthy than another, to this degree.

    To be shocked about a 60-70 year old millionaire, who’s had a full and privileged existence but show total apathy or out and out cold hearted bigotry to the plight of millions of people, many of them children, who are living in war torn countries, their little bodies being blown to pieces, traumatised or dying of starvation etc and not want to help them find some semblance of safety, is beyond me.

    I was putting up links and status updates on FB about these poor people and asking for help/donations and barely got a single like. Stick up a cat pic or a status update about a dead celebrity and the thing goes mental.

    I just don’t get it.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t, either. I read an essay by Andrew Sullivan yesterday in the New York magazine about our societies in the context of the current bizarre election we’re having here. I hope we’re all going to get sick of the superficiality and banality soon. I do know that my sons have a fairly grim outlook about the future, and have said that they know it’s going to be up to their generation to fix things.

      Link to Sullivan article. He’s a great writer, but is also both conservative and gay. Interesting perspectives all.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s so true isn’t it. How we relate another’s death (especially celebrities) to who or where we were when we knew OF them. Always comes back to the selfie. I’m guilty. Plus I always want to know “How did they die?” as if knowing this somehow changes how I feel about their death.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think celebrities are mostly our replacements for heroes. We need heroes, but we don’t permit them anymore. In the vacuum, we find a way around, but only to a flawed substitute. Music and entertainment celebrities play-act at being heroes, but my definition of a hero is someone who has a choice to do something that has the potential to change things. But he or she fundamentally doesn’t want to do that thing. The heroes are the ones who, reluctantly, sacrifice everything to do the thing that could destroy them.

      Liked by 2 people

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