A Blitz of Obits.
Over the last five days of July, the media shouted “breaking news” that Paul Sorvino (83), Tony Dow (77), Pat Carroll (95), Nichelle Nichols (89), and Bill Russell (88) had passed away. These sad news breaks came in one-a-day between July 26-31.
Andy Warhol got it right when he said, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” In a modern world full of 24/7 entertainment, we’ve been exposed to many bonafide celebs and many more quasi-celebs. Sorvino was famous for “Goodfellas” and looking like a mobster. Dow was “Leave It To Beaver”’s adorable but dumb older brother. Carroll was a comic regular on “The Danny Thomas Show” (yep, I’m dating myself!). Nichols was the classy Uhura on “Star Trek.” And Russell was an NBA and humanistic legacy. Five people. Five days. All gone.
Yes, we should give everyone their due when they’ve passed, but I wonder whether the media will create a better filter as to which quasi-celebs become breaking news. If we don’t get this figured out, this blitz of obits might just break the news, given the sheer volume of quasi-celebs in the world.
And, while I’m kvetching, how about more high-profile media attention for the passing of local heroes who made a difference in the community for decades as opposed to a child TV star from a half-century ago?
What would you propose is an alternative way for us to address this relatively new challenge of the inflation of obits? I don’t think this situation is going away!