For some reason, some of the world's most iconic figures have died prematurely (ie. Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Heath Ledger, JFK, Albert Camus, Princess Diana, Michael Jackson). International phenomenons occur when these already famous people die and their stardom rockets from mediocrity into the stuff of legends. We imagine all the additional great things these people could have done if they had lived longer. We allow our minds to place these people on a pedestal because of their potential. Often, when celebrities fade out of their prime and grow old we forget about them. Yet, when their latent health problems emerge from the closet and kill them or when their car crashes suddenly, society sanctifies them.
I am not sure why this interests me so much, but talking about Albert Camus' premature death today in English made me think about all the other cult figures of modern history who also died in their prime. I wonder if it's some kind of cult itself, these young deaths. Just imagine the world's most famous people sitting at a table with one another planning out their deaths to ensure their iconic status. (P.S. John and Kate, Octomom, and Balloon Boy you would definitely not be invited to these meetings. To be an icon you must make an actual contribution to society.) It's an absurd idea, I know, but isn't the entire notion of celebrity absurd as well?