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The Forum > Article Comments > Donít blame it on the blankie > Comments

Donít blame it on the blankie : Comments

By Katy Barnett, published 1/7/2009

While Michael Jackson was still breathing they were happy to hound and ridicule him. Now heís dead suddenly heís a saint.

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Possibly the reason some people express such outpourings of grief for Michael Jackson or Princess Di who they really did not know as a person that they were so constricted that they could not express their grief when someone close to them died.

Expressing grief as part of a crowd makes it acceptable as it is no longer an individual feeling. Just as a mob can commit an atrocity such as lynching that most individuals would not do alone so the mob howling at the passing of Michael Jackson or Princess Di are doing something they could not do alone.

It is a reflection of the fact that many can only express feelings as part of a group. Individually in some cultures emotion must be suppressed. Dionysus rules the mob.
Posted by david f, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 10:51:10 AM
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David, I'm sure you are right - there is a relaxation of inhibitions if everyone else is showing grief. Also, grieving can be infectious. I went to a friend's grandfather's funeral, and cried, even though I had never met his grandfather, just because my friend and his family were so visibly upset.
Posted by Legal Eagle, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 11:23:06 AM
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According to the media and family members of any deceased person the deceased is always a the best person who ever lived after they have died.

I wait, probably in vain, for friends, relatives and the media to admit that a dead person was a complete arsehole when they announce the death.
Posted by Leigh, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 1:25:00 PM
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Dear Leigh,

Why announce that the dead is a complete arsehole? He can rectum no more. He has been rectified.
Posted by david f, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 1:44:39 PM
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Good article. Like Legal Eagle, I am decidedly underwhelmed by so-called 'celebrities' while they're alive, and even less so when they're dead.

Leigh: << I wait, probably in vain, for friends, relatives and the media to admit that a dead person was a complete arsehole when they announce the death. >>

You're undoubtedly correct, old son - it's unlikely to happen until after your demise, which means you won't hear about it.
Posted by CJ Morgan, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 2:52:41 PM
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David and Legal I think it's a bit more than that. A friend sent me the following this morning:

I had an epiphany a few years ago where I was out at a celebrity party and it suddenly dawned on me that I had yet to meet a celebrity who is as smart and interesting as any of my friends.
Moby, quoted on CNN.com, March 2005

In order to dig out the joy of being close to those friends, you need to exert effort, exercise the pink matter of emotional intelligence and interact. The biological ties work much the same way.

People watch the nightly television because they come home to a set of characters that are predictable, non threatening and calculated to be more interesting than real people. Celebrities provide much the same fodder - think through their carefully publicised personas.

It's rather sad that we have a population whose emotions are now increasingly driven by the media machine.

And at the risk of sounding loopy, let's look at the relationships between this and obesity, the incidence of autism, declining language expertise, family crisis and a host of modern social phenomena - not all of them bad.

Is the Fourth Estate staging an emotional coup?
Posted by Baxter Sin, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 3:27:30 PM
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