How many people were actually shocked when they heard that Lost Boys actor, Corey Haim, had died of at 38? All I remember reading or hearing about him for Gods know how long was how he'd struggled with drugs or booze... or the fact he wasn't a teen heartthrob any more; as though that would be something you'd want to be known for into your thirties. So I've come to the conclusion that his death is a publicity stunt to try and get him up there in the dead-but-not-forgotten ranks with Heath Ledger and Britney Murphy.
Which isn't going to work.
I do find it interesting when someone who really didn't seem to make much of an impact on anyone or anything other than swoonsome teenage girls (and presumably some boys) and cult celebrity passes away and is suddenly relaunched into the stratosphere of international newsworthiness, and it seems almost always exclusively because of the (at least) possible connotations of their drugs use. The focus always seems to be immediately on this, as though it's no longer possible to die any other way and attract media attention.
I commented at the time of Michael Jackson's drug-fuelled death that the truest measure of celebrity in the world today is the number of jokes their death inspires. Jacko himself must have minted the mobile phone companies, considering the number I sent and received. If the cellular network had been as expansive when Princess Diana popped her clogs, I think it's safe to say the networks would have exploded and Vodaphone, T-Mobile et al would now have offices made of gold. On the moon.
Yet poor Corey seems to have no jokes. I know, because I've been looking for them for two days having been able to come up with any of my own. Because that's what I do when someone "famous" dies. Celebrity attracts worship and derision in generally equal doses, but I stand by the belief that if you've not got at least one quality joke about your death then you never really made it.
Of course, if someone we loved or cared about close to us became the focus of a joke like that we'd largely not like it at all. It's different when it's close to home, and I've already seen a few posts while browsing Google that suggest there are people out there who thought of the late Mr. Haim as being someone they "knew". Personally I'd love it if someone came up with a joke about me, but then that's maybe because I'm the sort of person who starts thinking about the joke potential when someone gets a gig at Harp Central.
I'm just waiting for the Cyrus family to die in a plane crash. I'll have a field day.