The Power Of The Hoax

You ever get one of those chain letter emails that tugs at your heart?

They usually involve a dying or seriously ill child, but close with some kind of odd request, like “If you want to make this child smile, forward this to as many people as possible…”.

Next thing you know, you’re actually doing it. You feel that if you DON’T, you don’t really deserve to live.

All of these hoaxes point to the same, lonely losers who originated them.

But don’t take MY word for it. There are a number of websites devoted to debunking these kinds of emails. The two best are:

http://www.sophos.com/security/hoaxes/

http://www.snopes.com

Should you receive such an email, do yourself a favor before forwarding it on to someone else: go to those sites and type in a related search query, or copy and paste a couple of sentences from the email in question, put it in quotations, and do a Google search.

(Copy and paste different lines, though. Not only one. Sometimes the message gets slightly skewed as it travels from person to person.)

I hope this made some sense. I’m really bloody tired…

Published in: on February 10, 2008 at 3:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Sad Road To Immortality.

There was an art piece that I’d seen a couple of years back or so. It was a collection of images of dead celebrities, all youngish. Che Guevara was in one. So were Marilyn and James Dean. Of course, Elvis was tossed into the mix as well. If memory serves me correctly, the title of it was “I’m Dead, But At Least I Kept My Good Looks”.

It was meant as a commentary on the cult of celebrity and how huge a part it plays in our every day lives. Even during times of war, famine, you name it. While these folks have long left us, their celebrity lives on and will continue to throughout time. We need them, after all. They remind us of what we could become if we really put our minds to it.

Of course, we would do it all so much differently. We would ‘keep it real’, making sure that our friends would still be our friends. Yeah, we may go to the occasional party/awards show/premiere, but we’d be far more careful about who we’re seen with. And as for the paparazzi, are you kidding me? We’d NEVER let things get that crazy! Yes, we’d still be the normal, everyday people we’ve always been.

With that, we pick up the celebrity gossip rags and proceed to gawk at so-and-so’s HUGE ass, such-and-such’s AWFUL dress/haircut, and what’s-her-name’s bizarre antics following the latest child visitation ruling against her. “If I had that kind of cash, I’d have my own island to retreat to. George Cloony did it! So did Johnny Depp! Why can’t they?!”

For some reason, we choose to forget that these people were probably also “normal, everyday people” at one time. Life just happened to hit them at 300 km/second. A life they may not have been ready for. Some people have better coping skills than others.

You cried over a parking ticket you got.

They cried over not being able to step out of the house without being followed by 25 photographers. Every hour. Every day.

“They can always quit if they don’t like it! Tons of people would DIE to be in their place!” Maybe. And perhaps that’s why some choose to ‘quit’ the easy way.

Take one talented young man, for example, who don’t vie for the limelight. He didn’t make regular appearances at awards shows, nor was he tabloid fodder. From all accounts, he did his best to keep his young family life as private as possible. It looks like his death was accidental, but I still feel for his daughter, about whom he had this to say in his final interview:

“I feel good about dying because I feel alive through her.”

RIP Heath Ledger.

Published in: on January 23, 2008 at 6:09 am  Leave a Comment