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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Celebrity deaths

I have nothing against Michael Jackson. Great musician, great performer, good music (if you like that style).

On the other hand, words such as "weird" "different" "out of touch with reality" and "creepy looking" come to mind, especially in the later years of his life.

Here's what concerns me.

We as a country have become obsessed with celebrity deaths. One hypothesis is that is started when Elvis died, yet I believe it was a part of our culture long before that. Names such as Marilyn Monroe and James Dean come to mind, long before Elvis was on the scene.

Why do we have such an obsession with celebrity deaths? There is a country that is struggling with it's freedom (Iran), possible nuclear war with North Korea, terrorism in Iraq, babies being aborted in our country, and yet the news is dominated by a 50 year old man who made a lot of money, lost most of it, and has problems with his sexual preferences.

It is what some call a "black hole subject". A black hole topic is one that is essentially undiscussable, as one author puts it, "Drop the subject into the middle of a room and it sucks everybody into a useless place from which no light can escape."

Most of us can't help falling into conversational black holes. But we can help getting sucked into celebrity obsession.

It's an unhealty waste of time. And time, as one person put it, "is a measure of life." It can become like a drug - we want to know more. We want to be "shocked" more.

We all only have so much time. We can't "save" it, we can only "lose it," and choose how to spend it.

Wouldn't it be great if we became that obsessed with the death and resurrection of Jesus?

Okay, I'll give you this - if you want to follow the deaths of celebrities - go ahead - just don't put it one page one or the headline to the evening news.

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