PE Question #18 ~ The Cult of Celebrity

by Bryan Burrough

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Parlez
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Unread postby Parlez » Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:18 pm

Liz wrote:
Parlez wrote: I could also imagine that having made a name for himself as a criminal his fans were going to be of two minds about him - the 'outlaw' fan would want to ride shotgun with him; the 'law abiding' fan would jump at the chance to be the one to bring him in, dead or alive.

Kind of an impossible situation! :-/

Jesse James (according to the movie) finally just gave in/up; he allowed himself to be shot in the back by his fanboy: the Coward Robert Ford.

I have a hard time getting my head around this. It would seem that the fan was a bit psychopathic also.

Right you are, Liz! The dark side of obsession. I recall John Lennon's murderer saying he was a big fan of Lennon's too, right up to and including the moment he killed him...
The situation was probably complicated further in Jesse James' world because there was a price on his head. The lowlifes he surrounded himself with were therefore only mildly torn between loyalty and betrayal...whichever offered the biggest payoff. For Robert Ford (as portrayed very impressively by Casey Affleck) the idea of being the one to kill Jesse James was a way for he himself to achieve the level fame and notoriety as his idol. He realized he could never be Jesse James, and merely being like him wasn't enough, so he went for the next best thing: the guy who killed him.
As the movie pretty clearly points out, it was psychos all around when it came to Jesse James and his 'friends'. But they kind of reminded me of Johnnie's associates in many ways. In fact, Dillinger's life was bartered away by one of his own, albeit not from the same reasons.
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Linda Lee
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Re: PE Question #18 ~ The Cult of Celebrity

Unread postby Linda Lee » Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:12 pm

I haven't read anyone else's answers yet.

I suppose it could be because we don't want to believe their dead. They're too young to die. We take an interest in their lives and have an emotional attachment because we've grown up listening to their music or watching them on TV or in the movies, they are the background of our lives.

I think the conspiracy theories come from a lack of trust in either government or the media or both. Also, when the explanation given doesn't seem plausible, we tend to think we don‘t have the whole story. The circumstances surrounding the Kennedy assassination left so many questions and it didn't help when Lee Harvey Oswald was murdered by Jack Ruby, who then turned up dead in his jail cell shortly after. Many times the conspiacy theories seem more plausible.


I guess we purchase these things because we feel it gives us a connection to the celebrity.

Now I'm going to read what everyone else had to say.
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gemini
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Unread postby gemini » Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:24 pm

I agree with what everyone has said so far. I think I'll just add that death is so final that its hard to accept and more so if its someone we have elevated to a special catagory. Your mind just wants to think of ways to avoid it.
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Liz
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:00 am

gemini wrote:I agree with what everyone has said so far. I think I'll just add that death is so final that its hard to accept and more so if its someone we have elevated to a special catagory. Your mind just wants to think of ways to avoid it.


I would agree with both of you, Gemini and Linda Lee, in this respect.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Liz
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:03 am

Parlez wrote: He realized he could never be Jesse James, and merely being like him wasn't enough, so he went for the next best thing: the guy who killed him.

Pretty sick, if you ask me. :yikes:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Charlene » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:29 pm

This morning's Washington Post ran an article on the fastination the public has with "Murderabilia"...a good name for it. Though the article did not dig back into Dillinger time, the fastination remains the same. BTW, it mentioned that Ebay does not allow such sales. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artsandliving/style/

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:15 pm

Wasn't there a move afoot at one time to restrict sales of this type? Or was that just if the perpetrator were to prosper from it?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
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