If you thought the celebrity death toll was a “bad” in 2016, just “wait ‘till next year.” This may sound crass, but in a very odd way the increase in celebrity deaths is a very good thing indeed. Please note this is not in any way meant to disparage or disrespect those that have passed on. I am always saddened by the lose of human life, well, maybe not for people like Fidel Castro, but I digress.
Two main reasons exist for this increase in morbitity among the (sometimes rich and) famous:
First, it is simply a matter of demographics. The baby boomer generation, of which many of the famous are a part, has for decades wreaked havoc with many of society’s institutions. For example, many schools, now abandoned, were built to accomodate their ballooning numbers in the late 1950s. It only stands to reason that as this generation reaches their average life expectancy the number of those who die will continue to increase.
Second, and more importantly in my mind, is the increase in wealth and standard of living that have occurred over the last 50 years. Simply put, many of the celebrities including sports figures are famous because we have more discretionary income to create more fame. Despite all the the-sky-is-falling rhetoric from politicians of all ilks, we (as in all of us collectively) are much much better off than we were a few generations ago.
Furthermore, the increase in “healthcare” spending is partially due precisely to this same reason — we can afford to spend more on healthcare.
But back to my main point, if it were not for this increase in the world’s wealth, a goodly number of those we know as famous would have likely died in obscurity. So in 2017 when someone famous passes on, just remember it is partially a sign of our increasing standard of living.
And in a year from now when people are talking about 2017 being the “worst year” for celebrity deaths, remember it is only likely to continue to increase until 2032 and beyond.