I hate to be the one to say it, but it’s really not.
2016 – “the year that killed so many celebrities” is going to stop. I think we can all be assured of that.
But the whole celebrity death thing? No. Of course not. It’s not like the Grim Reaper takes any note of the arbitrarily imposed boundaries that some of us humans use to measure and delineate time.
It’s been a bad year for celebrity death (or, I guess, a very good one, depending on your frame of reference) for two reasons. The first was explained in April. Namely, that as the notion of “celebrity” became popular, so more people became “celebrities” and there became a larger, now increasingly-aging pool to be knocked off by the bloke with the scythe. The second is down to our good old (but still very much alive) friend, Confirmation Bias:
the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories
That is, that once someone remarked on the extraordinarily high number of celebrities joining the choir invisible in 2016, suddenly every clog popping incident – even that of a pseudocelebrity – seemed to be added to the ever-growing list of high profile coffin inhabitors.
And the first celeb death in 2017, be it at 12:01 on New Years Day or (if we’re super lucky and get through to) quarter past three in the afternoon on the 6th or something is going to ignite the social media grief athletes once again and the process will half-continue, half-begin again.
“I thought we were past this. I thought we’d left it behind!” they will wail.
“OMG! It looks like 2017 is going to be just like another 2016” will be proclaimed.
And the Proclaimers (soon!) will be right, for exactly those reasons I gave above. And then there will be more of this sort of thing.
Death doesn’t care about the tickover from 2016 to 2017, even of the passage of one month to the next. Our pathetically needy society means that we have ever more celebrities, ever older celebrities, and – come 2017 – we’ll have ever more dead celebrities too.
I’m sorry that I had to be the one to break it to you.