March 24, 2011

Grieving for the Famous Dead

To elaborate on the above, I find it a bit mystifying that we seem to have so much of reserves of ... sympathy perhaps ... for an Elizabeth Taylor. Was she a poor little women who suffered through her life and she deserved better? I think the fact is that she was lucky beyond compare. Perhaps she was the luckiest one in a population of one million. Which is to say, I am counting her as one of the roughly 7,000 luckiest people in the world.

Contrast this with the tragedy in Japan. And even more so, other natural disasters of the past few years. Also, the everyday disasters that permeate this world.

I consider myself one of the people who enable this situation ... having read three obituaries and seen perhaps a similar number of photo albums of Taylor.

But I'm wondering about some psychological or biological/evolutionary explanation as to why this is so.

What is it in our make-up that makes us do what we do? Is there some evolutionary advantage to doing this? Or, is it a fault?

Perhaps it's somewhat aspirational. May be, all of us wish we were a celebrity like her and wish the world would griever our end as it does hers.

Or, may be, it just shows proves the absolutely random nature of who we are. Some random assemblage of genes gives someone extraordinarily symmetrical features that we describe as 'beauty.' And then all males are hardwired to admire that female beauty ... more or less.

Of course, to digress a bit, one must remember in the context of lists of the 'most beautiful women in the world' that only a few women are in a public career. There might be or must be many other beautiful women who live out their lives privately.

Which of course leads one to wonder ... how many beauties such as Taylor are there in this world?

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