2009 – The Naked and the Celebrity Dead

 
Somebody somewhere is dying, right now. Not floating off in a nice druggy haze, like our friend Michael J, but coughing out their own blood in some third-world gutter after never having so much as tasted foie gras - or even biltong.

But nobody gives a crap about that poor person, because he never gave us any selfish reason to remember him. Maybe if before he'd died he'd written a catchy song and did a little dance... then we'd be talking! Or maybe if she’d been kind enough to flash her shaved sootikins while climbing into a limousine? Ah, then we’d be er... talking.

Or, maybe if he'd made some amazing art?

No, don't be crazy. That doesn't work. Just ask Winston Mankunku, one of my favourite jazz artists ever, who died earlier this week. Hardly anyone noticed. But by contrast, that cute boy from Boyzone was all over the web and Twitter. This annoyed me. I mean, what was he famous for? Being gay? Certainly not for his musical talent.

All I could think was that if you're going to die while famous for nothing more than "being famous", you should at least try to keep it entertaining. So I'd like to offer the next celebrity who's thinking of pegging it, without actually contributing anything of real value to the artistic realm, some useful advice on how to make a show of it.

Introducing: 10 ways I’d like to see the talentless minions of Tinseltown go

1. Naked
2. Drugged up on something cheap, like floor polish or glue
3. Both the above (high hopes for Amy here)
4. With a sign saying "Celebrities are People too!!!" stapled to their chest.
5. With a sign saying "Perez Hilton Made me Do it!" stapled to their chest.
6. Live at the Oscars / Grammys after failing to win (this one's for you, Kanye)
7. Live on a webcam with running commentary on Twitter.
8. With the words "Notice me! Notice me!" carved into their chest with a knife.
9. By being beaten to death with the hard-won statuette of someone who does have talent.
10.And the top most shocking way for any celebrity to die? Peacefully in their sleep. Because even when they really do, nobody will ever let them rest.

I don't know if you've ever had one of those morbid fantasies in which you die, and everyone is really sorry they undervalued you so much. Singer-songwriter Robin Auld wrote a whole song about it, called "All the Girls Cried" in which he re-imagines himself dying as a rich and mega-famous rock star, and fantasises about all his fans, family and lovers fighting over who would get his house, with its guitar-shaped swimming pool. It's hilarious.

I’ve thought of a few cool ways to off myself, in case I ever make it big and owe something memorable to my legions of fans... like drowning myself in a Halloween costume, or jumping out of a plane mid-flight to save a very tired albatross...

But I always chicken out, because I'd simply be embarrassed to end it all - right now. Not only have I forgotten to write a will – which means a random guy from two ex-boyfriends ago still gets ALL my stuff; but what’s more, he'd also have to do my laundry and tidy my sock drawers before he could donate all my mess to the Salvation Army.

So here's to staying alive, even if it is only because I'm too disorganised to die. 
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24