Monday, 12 October 2009

Stephen Gately: Another star dies young.

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Boyzone at the O2Image by paulafunnell via Flickr

Stephen Gately was found dead on Saturday afternoon in Majorca.  Whilst I was not a fan of Boyzone by any stretch, and certainly not of Gately's music or sporadic acting, he does become a statistic.  He becomes yet another person with previous mainstream success, who having fallen on hard times (excuse the pun), is no longer alive.

Some other notable young deaths include:
  1. Michael Jackson (50)
  2. Kurt Cobain (27)
  3. Elvis Presley (42)
  4. James Dean (24)
  5. etc etc
This is not to say for one minute that Gately could be considered amongst these greats, but the fact that he had mainstream success in the 90's means we can draw some comparisons I suppose.  What I find most fascinating, is the media response to these types of deaths, the made up profound grief that we should all apparently feel.  Granted if you were a fan of the boyband, I can understand, but for this to be a sustained mainstream news story?  It raises numerous questions for me.  To all British people reading this, I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone off our miserable little island who had heard of Boyzone, let alone their names.

Without wanting to dwell on the point for too long, a couple of things always raise my eyebrow with stories like this.  Firstly is that this type of "news" gets bumped above meaningful world events.  Secondly, every man and his dog has a good word to say about the departed.  People who probably couldn't give two shits about Gateleys non-starting career when he was alive come out and say what a talent he was, what a super guy.  Well they aren't going to say that he only appealed to girls in 1996 and the rest of us couldn't really care, are they?

For example, I was subjected to watching (on ze news) the surviving members of the band emerge from their plane in Majorca dressed in perfect fashion, sunglasses and walking in sync for the cameras.  All publicity is good publicity it seems.   Furthermore, whilst doing hasty research for this post, I couldn't help but notice a huge web statistics tracker on the foot of the Stephen Gately official page, tacky and it just goes to show what the real agenda is.
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