As can be seen from many of my reviews I am a huge motorsport fan. It is my love of all things with wheels and engines that have led me to this article and to share my opinion with you all.
On the 16th of October 2011 the motorsport world was rocked by the death of Indy car champion Dan Wheldon, barely a week later Moto GP rider Marco Simoncelli was also killed in competirion. During the days that followed the motorsport world stood shoulder to shoulder competitors, those in the business and the fans, we had lost two great competitors and everybody was in mourning. I for one am so proud of everybody involved there were no barriers, nobody cared where you were from or what you had to offer they just cared that you cared.
I hadn't stayed up to watch the final race of the Indy car season I had been up early to watch the formula one and in a way I am glad. I awoke the next morning and checked my phone and was greeted with the news as I switched on the news channel Dan's face was plastered on the screen with footage of the accident, in shock I just slumped in the chair not saying a word just staring. As details of the horrific accident were told and footage was shown tears rolled down my face. It had been barely 3 months since we had been face to face with Dan at an event, he had taken time out of his weekend to ask us our opinion on how he should entertain the fans and chatted to us like long lost friends he made us feel a part of his weekend and he used his time to go that extra mile. My next thought was to go and wake up my friend the only words that came out were,
"There's been a big crash at Vegas.....Dans dead!"
As she watched the TV welling up, I checked my online messages from friends all over the world (tears still rolling down my face) we have all met through our mutual love of racing and everybody seemed to be in the same state as us. Dan was not well known in the UK outside of the motorsport world but suddenly people wanted to know about him people who knew nothing about racing were asking me about him and what made me more upset was that it had taken his death for his achievements to be recognised, especially by the media. Marcos death live on TV the following weekend added further upset twitter was a wash with condolence messages each one made the reader feel they were not alone, the motorsport world was united, they were the worst circumstances imaginable yet we were all still united.
My very first encounter with death had been through motorsport at the age of 8 I lost a hero of mine F1 driver Ayrton Senna. The deaths of both Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at Imola taught me that nothing is for ever and as I watched the medical helicopter take off from the track on Sunday the 1st may 1994 I hoped Ayrton would be ok but had had it explained to me it didn't look good.
Over the years drivers I have followed have passed either on track or off, Richard Burns, Colin Mcrae and Henry Surtees to name but a few all of which have upset me. I would like to point out it is only those who I admire and am interested in their careers that have such an affect on me I do not ball my eyes out at the mere sight of R.I.P.
I believe the reason I am emotionally affected by the deaths of celebrities in such a way is because each, in some way or another has been a part of my life. who would i be if I had not got in to motorsport or not discovered an artist whose songs have provided the soundtrack to my life. A celebrity can be in your life longer than some of the faces on your friends list, especially in sport you have shared highs and lows, with the victory or defeat of a sports team affecting you just as much as (sometimes more than) a friendly conversation. The mere sound of a song by your favourite artist can make you smile or cry, remembering the good or the bad.
Motorsport has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember which is a lot longer than some of my friends. The drivers are competing partly for our entertainment as well as their own love, so if the worst happens you do feel affected. Surly if emotions were not to be shown we would not posses them. I am not bothered by my reactions to celebrity deaths I believe they are completely natural if something is sad I will cry and what is sadder than the death of someone you admire whether that person is in your life everyday or a celebrity is irrelevant.
Celebrities are different in modern times than they used to be.
Look back 50 or 60 years and everything was hushed and covered up and scandal was usually covered up.
But right here in the 2000's it is a completely different story, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.
For a lot of females out there Jade Goody being ill with cervical cancer brought it home to the ordinary person and made the prospect of something like cancer seem real to them. Jade Goody being in the papers so much and talking about it helped a lot of people.
The modern celebrity is a person the general public can relate to as we see all the trial and tribulations they go through, so, when a celebrity dies it is like a member of someones extended family has passed away.
We still have some celebrities who are hero worshipped, like Michael Jackson. When a hero dies it is something else, something deeper for a lot of people, more like a God dying rather than someone we know.
They don't affect me at all....I know that possibly sounds harsh, but they don't affect me.
Lets think of the people who have died recently in the media, the main two I can think of are Jade Goody and Michael Jackson, now Jade Goody when she was alive, I couldn't stand her, I hated her, if she was on TV I would turn it off, if she was in a magazine I'd flick past the article, I didn't like her, I thought she was a thick imbosile who really should have learned to keep her mouth shut if she had something to say which might offend...!
Now when I read (which I couldn't do anything but seeing as it was everywhere...) that she had cancer, I felt very sorry for her and her family, Cancer is not something which I would wish on my worst enemy, it's a horrible illness. But, I wasn't devastated by the fact she had it, it didn't upset me, it didn't affect my everyday life as it would if someone I personally knew had gotten cancer.
Then as it got worse and worse, and she was on the front page of the newspaper every single day, I just started getting very annoyed, the fact she said "I am doing it to make money for my kids"....1...life insurance which she more than likely would ahve had on herself would keep them going for a good few years...PLUS their dad, is Jeff Brazier, someone who makes more money than she did, will keep them perfectly fine. Now if it had been someone like me, and I had two kids, they would have to get by on what was left from any life insurance, and I wouldn't get media attention daily to make money, I'd get by without all of that, like hundreds of women with cervical cancer were when Goody was dying...!!
Now I am not saying it wasn't a sad affair, I'm not saying it's not sad that she got such a horrible illness, and that she left behind 2 young boys and a husband, but she is not the first person to ever get cervical cancer, she most certainly won't be the last, and i think the whole spectacle was ridiculous, at that private time, she should have kept herself out of the limelight and spent quality time with her children and family.
It didn't make me sad, I had never liked her, she was never someone I "Looked upto", and I wasn't going to be one of the people who pretended they;d loved her the whole tiem she was alive when they hadn't!!!
Next onto Jackson, I loved his music, was amazing, but what everyone now is forgetting is the stuff that was in the papers a good few years ago about the children..........why all of a sudden are those who hated him when he was alive now mourn hiM!?!?!?!
All in all, death of celebrities doesn't affect me, I didn't know them personally, they were not my friend, not my family, and I think their families and friedns should be left to grieve without public attention.
When I saw this topic it made me stop and think. Now before I start I must confess I don't really buy into the whole celebrity circus but I AM sometimes moved by peoples individual stories.
I am "lucky" enough to know a quite few people in the public eye but then again I know lots of people that are not. The point is that there are not that many differences between them. True, some(but by no means all)of the famous ones have more money but death is a great leveler. As the saying goes there are no pockets in a shroud.
Why is the death of someone in the public eye somehow more important then? Truth is I don't believe it is. The main difference is more people know them. It is a strange fact that somehow being in the public eye means that often people feel they have the right to comment on all aspects of their life-areas entirely unconnected with the area in which they are famous for. Taking this to its logical conclusion when a cleb dies we feel as though we have lost a member of the family.
Sometimes this can be the first expierence of death, thankfully with the improvements in health care and preventive medicine people are living longer. When a famous person dies after the initial shock(believe me death is ALWAYS a shock)their is a reminder of our own mortality. We see people living in a way that many people aspire to yet they still die. Money, fame and success and still they die.
Personally although I am sad when I hear about anyone dying(famous or not) I am not overly scared of the process. No i am not a ghoul but I do have far too much expierence of death(and no, I am NOT an undertaker either!) My sister died when I was 5, my Father in the September as I had turned 7 in July.
In the last year alone I have lost 3 people I was very close to. Obviously these deaths affected me far more as I KNEW them(and was related to two of them). However I feel that grief hits people in many ways. There is no "correct way" to grieve. The death of a celebrity can act as a catylist, it can "allow" people to show their loss. Somehow it is more acceptablt to be upset about someone you don't know, have never met and (had they lived)would never meet anyway!
The huge ammount of magazines simply dedicated to the lives of clebs simply promote the idea that we "know" people such as Jordan, Cheryl Cole etall. Losing a friend is awful losing someone you may read about every week can be almost as devistating I guess.
If this "trial run" helps to get death out in the open and allows discussion of the subject then it can be only a good thing. However there is a rather mawkish almost industry springing up which I don't feel is healthy.
I honestly think that it is important to be able to "draw a line" between those we know and those we THINK we know.
I can honestly say I was sorry to hear about Jade Goody but as I have never watched Big Brother(honest) and didn't follow her career in any way. I was sorry to hear that she had died but there again I would feel the same sadness if I heard about ANYONE so young and with such a young family. Death is tragic for anyone famous or not. Fame does not take the pain away.
I've always been confused by the way in which celebrity deaths affect me. I have been very fortunate in that I have not lost anyone who I was close to, but when I get upset at someone dying who I didn't even know, it makes me abit nervous about how I would actually feel about someone I genuinely loved dying.
We put celebrities on a pedestal, whether we intend to or not, that is what happens. And it is almost as if you don't expect bad things to happen to celebrities as they are in some kind of safe bubble or something, immune from the everyday troubles that us mere mortals have to contend with. Of course this isn't true, but it's very easy to forget that bad things happen to even the most successful and beautiful celebrity.
So, I feel that when a celebrity dies, it can sort of hit you with a jolt-the idea that if it can happen to celebrities, it can happen to us.
Another big reason that celebrity deaths affect us is that, despite us not knowing them, we are exposed to them day in day out, we know about their highs and their lows, we get to form opinions on them(whether or not they're based on the truth), and we can become genuinely fond of certain celebrities, almost as if we did know them. When they die, it can sometimes feel like someone we know has died, and it can be genuinely upsetting. It can also be very sad when you see how much they contributed to society, whether it be through their influential music, fabulous acting, immense intelligence, or charity work etc. the fact that they no longer are able to offer this can be sad, particularly if, for example, their music got you through a particularly sad time, or reminded you of something amazing, or their charity work inspired you to contribute more yourself etc-it can be very sad to realise that they are no longer around.
The circumstances in which celebrities die can also be very sad. For example, Wendy Richards had beaten cancer a few times before and was a fighter, but unfortunately couldn't beat it the final time. When celebrities die suddenly and unexpectedly it can come as a shock and we automatically sympathise with their family as we can understand the pain they must be going through (eg when Heath Ledger died). Celebrities dying young, or dying in very sad ways (eg Jeff Buckley drowning) can make us feel sad because it just seems so cruel.
Similarly, when celebrities die through other ways, eg suicide, drug overdose etc it can lead to other emotions-anger, disappointment etc, because it seems like such a waste, and so unfair on their families and friends etc. For me personally, I find it sad when people die, but when I hear it was suicide or something stupid like drugs, then I tend to just be very angry by the selfishness of the act. In fact, the only time I haven't been annoyed at people dying this way was when Mark Speight commited suicide not long after his fiancee died in sinister circumstances-all I felt was sympathy and sadness at how horribly their lives ended up.
We can't help be effected by celebrity death because we are exposed to it so much. Its covered in all sorts of media and we are told so much information about the events-more so than we would probably be told about people we actually know dying, so it would probably be quite odd if we weren't affected in some way.
First of all I will surprise you with the news that Corporal Jones from Dads Army is not dead. Yes, Clive Dunn lives happily in Portugal with his family and is of sound mind. I couldn't believe it when I read it. He was 91 last week. He looked 91 in Dads Army, a show made in the mid 1970s! But as and when he departs us he will quickly be forgotten, he is just too old to matter sadly. The burst of Dads Army reruns in tribute will be buried by the fact we are still regularly running Dads Army reruns. As great a show that was and he pivotal to once you get old in the celebrity world no one remembers you, Paul Newman's parting earning a couple of showings of the Sting on terrestrial TV. Paul Newman was possible Hollywood's greatest reaming star of the glory years.
Sadly we have fewer and fewer big stars these days, the lines of celebrity beginning to be blurred as more and more talentless people become famous through tacky reality shows and cheesy Halifax ads. Howard has a 500 grand house off the back of that finger nails down the blackboard commercial. Now that Halifax is going to be broken up one hopes he will be finding pastures new.
An example of that feverish need to accept Joe Six-pack as a celebrity was highlighted in my local shopping centre. I was strolling through the one in Northampton's town centre minding my own business when I happened upon a heaving throng. It was a book signing at WH Smiths. But the big queue (nearly Harry Potter levels) turned out to be for a pretty insignificant celebrity, none other than Alan Carr, the extremely camp stand-up comedian and son of the very successful ex Northampton Town manger Graham Carr. The snake of punters was surprising to say the least and I could not work out why so many people wanted to spend £17.99 on his life story, which was mostly spent in Northampton and of late, C4. This is not the star factory here guys. But these were not C4 people. These were ITV people. There were one or two camp middle-aged guys in the queue (and they are probably in the book) but just not what you would expect. What was most surprising was how young and female his fans were. I was expecting gays and menopausal mums, not admin assistants and shop girls.
But then it became clear what this was really about. When you actually saw the interaction between the people who bought the book and the star then you realized they weren't particularly fans of his but just drawn to the celebrity of the event. I mean this is Northampton after all. There was local press and TV there and the girls were more concerned about getting on the telly than talking about a book full of smutty gay innuendo and double entendre with the likewise star, and if that content was repeated by this heterosexual reader, would certainly invite accusations of homophobia by its apparent celebrity author!! Is that a star?
The kids were flashing away on their camera-phones and then darting off to Boots the Chemist to print off copies through the digital camera process machines for their mates...look I've just met someone famous type deal. I did have the last laugh though as an approaching and emaciated heroine addict with a purposeful gate stopped nearby and then started projectile vomiting all over the floor, of which I quipped to the media pack that perhaps he's read the book and you could interview him, to which Carr snarled viciously at me.
I have been snarled at by homosexuals before. The camp ones are not my cup of tea.
To me there are one too many of these bland comedians about who make their reputation by being bitchy and outrageous, their shelf life often as short as the kids dreams in the queue. The modern day celebrity seems to walk on the red carpet before they have earned the right. The question here then is would any body mourn the death of this new generation of so-called celebrities?
I fear they wouldn't for Carr.
My point here is (apart from being very vague throughout this review) is that maybe the celebrity is moving away from the star and more towards the fan, the point being that it rubs off onto the fans, so if the star dies the tears will be short as there's another Alan Carr in another Midlands hopping centre.
I think we are all looking for celebrity in some form, even the daughters of notorious Muslim fundamentalist preachers it seems. Some of you may have seen the headline in the Sun last week but just in case you haven't, one of their hacks unearthed the hilarious fact that Omar Bakri, the self-styled 'Ayatollah of Tottenham', who fled to Egypt after MI6 started taking his fanatical but rather comical ramblings rather too seriously for some reason, has been helping his daughters 'lap dancing career' in Soho by buying her false tities. Now you would think that a pole dancing daughter would be bad for his 'rep' at the annual Al-Quieda dinner and dance ,even though the 911 terrorists actually enjoyed such perks before their big mission in America, but to actually see it in print you had to chuckle. Not only that but he fiddled the dole to pay for her new plastic boobs! When MI5 are trying to decipher those alleged Al Quida plans they now know that 36dd isn't a home made military explosive!!
To me most of these Muslim fanatics are just benefit scroungers and into all this fanaticism to avoid working for a living, their terrorist involvement and actions their particular need for their particular variety of celebrity. We all want to be loved by our God or someone special and that's really what wanting to be famous is all about. If nobody's going to love me then I will make them remember me. I think we all agree this type of extreme celebrity is better off dead. The 911 bombers were the David Beckhams of South East Asia. 60% off Pakistani nationals surveyed still feel empathy to those terrorists.
911 may have changed the world but for those gays guys (again) and menopausal women the death of Princess Diana was their September 11. Coming from Northampton the event was the biggest thing to happen in my town since the 60s when George Best scored 6 goals at the Cobblers. I personally wasn't affected by her death and don't recall wailing in my living room or being remotely drawn to London to see the funeral. But others were. The men who went to the public weeping were basically dragged down the M1 as designated drivers for those silly middle aged women that had lost their patron saint. To me Diana was just another vacuous woman that thought her looks would always have the answers. But for the more fragile she was some sort of spiritual leader they couldn't live without. I suspect Alan Carr was one of those that went to London to wail.
Diana's death was a huge shock, of course, and the most exciting news story of the decade until the McCann's. Rather ironically more people are now visiting the apartment in Pria De Luz in Portugal to take pictures than there are at the Diana Museum at Althorp. I have been to both places.
To most, Diana seemed invincible and her later problems made her human. But ten years on even the most gullible could see her marriage was a sham, her genes more important than her sanity. But she wanted to be a princess and so she had to marry a prince to archive that. People say her downfall was a freak accident, but the truth is that for women that unfortunately die under the age of 40, a car crash is the number one method of dismissal. As she spent too much time swanking around in limos without a seatbelt on it would be that feckless luxury would claim her. But when someone so protected and so seemingly invincible dies then we are reminded of our fragile mortality. The vainest people may not want to die young but they want to take their beauty to the grave.
28 is apparently the optimum age for A-list celebrities to exercise their suicidal tendencies before the first wrinkle arrives. Monroe and James Dean were lights out in that year and so were many others, Heath Ledger quite recently. Britney has very close call. Britney would be aware of that number 28 significance. And its here, of course, when celebrity deaths have the most impact. If you can die young and beautiful you are immortalized in that graven image. Paul Newman's recent death was expected and so there was no great hullabaloo. He was a greatly respected actor and he will mostly be remembered for those iconic blue eyes, his sex appeal. But because he was 80 odd when he died he is normal and unattractive, and so no wailing, just that patronizing five second d moment of silence on the 9 o'clock news.
I personally have never felt remorse for the death of a celebrity, or not one that I recall. I did get very upset over Hillsborough in the 80s because I had been to big those big game crowds and was one of the well behaved fans that got there early and at the front, the same people that were crushed by the drunken Liverpool fans arriving late. I think I also would have been affected if I was around during the Munich air crash as I could identify with that loss as a Manchester United fan. But I do generally distance myself from feeling an affinity with a celebrity. I don't celebrate people for being famous, only if they have an extreme ability or talent. The retiring Michael Parkinson was just the same. He said very few people had that real presence of greatness on his show. Mohammed Ali was one of them. In life you are either a person who collects autographs or someone who should be writing them.
Well this is quite an odd topic to review, but as I was thinking about it, I thought that maybe the heading is true.
When a celebrity does die, yes it does effect us in some way. I think you would have to be lying if you didn't say "No, oh my god" when it first flashes up in the newspapers or the news channel.
Because let's face it when a celebrity does pass away, the whole world has to know. The news papers are all over it, because let's face it fills their papers, and for some strange reason we buy them.
But most of the time after the " No, Oh my god" line, comes the "How" we are all guilty of this, we want to know all the ins and outs , I know it is very sad but we are all very guilty of this.
Once details are given we then pass judgment, for example how they died, I feel that the celebrities that died due to drug overdoses deserve what they get, because they are in the lime light and they are role models for children and young impressionable adults. If they do drugs they should not flaunt the fact.
So in this case, if feel have had the gossip and details, and that is it I could not care less.
I think if we actually like the celebrity, then yes we are sympathetic towards their death, and genuinely care.
For example when I heard of Heath Leger's death this did effect me as I have been a fan of his since he stared in home and away, he then went on to do films like, 10 things I hate about you, knight's tale, monster ball and many others. He in my book way a legend, so yes me genuinely felt for him and his family and young daughter, he was only 28 years old. I found this quite upsetting as the press quickly printed the DRUG user stuff without getting all the facts, and yes if this upset me then I am sure it did the same for others, let alone his poor family.
So yes in some cases a celebrities death can effect us, usually the ones with circumstances that were beyond the celebrities control.