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Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Globe's Celebrity Death Clock


I tried to resist my morbid curiosity in The Globe's cover this week. Under the banner headline: "Paris death crash medics finally tell all: 'We Saw Diana's Unborn Baby," the tabloid licked its lips to ask: "After Robin and Joan... WHO'LL DIE NEXT?"

Plastered on the front of this issue are plenty of celeb pics and blurbs about what's wrong health-wise with each. Jane Fonda, looking like Annie Lennox impersonating a leper -- wears a cap, badly designed sunglasses and a leper skin-print scarf (oops, I meant leopard skin-print)  -- is in a "Breast Cancer Battle." Cher has a "New Mystery Illness" we're informed (or perhaps misinformed) while Liza Minnelli, who appears to be suffering sinusitis and make-up deprivation as pictured, is dying of a broken back.

Glen Campbell? Alzheimer's Horror! Leonard Nimoy? Lung Disease! Mary Tyler Moore, we're told, is suffering her Sad Last Days as Regis Philbin is dying of Heart Problems!

"Who'll Die Next?" is not merely posed as a rhetorical question. The Globe is happy to inform you who it will be. Inside, you can discover that, while Motley Crue's Tommy Lee is "Wasting Away," Chevy Chase is eating himself to an early grave as is Paula Dean. David Cassidy is drinking himself to death. The rag is happy to remind you of Linda Ronstadt's Parkinson's Disease and inform you of Paul McCartney's bad heart as well as Loretta Lynn's struggle with cancer. Plus there's more as the Death Wish List prattles on.

The problem is "Who'll Die Next?" has become a tacky perennial for the paper that has predicted imminent death for Liza and Mary Tyler Moore previously and yet they're both still ticking. Bill Clinton, Queen Elizabeth, Kenny Rogers, Nick Nolte, Tina Louise, Heather Locklear and Demi Moore have been declared half-dead already. Look, we're none of us getting out of here alive, but what's the point of this exercise?

Another supermarket tabloid says Enquiring minds want to know. But "Who'll Die Next?" is just an exercise in  pure (or perhaps impure), unadulterated sleaze. And that's why I love it.

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