Arts » Arts Stories & Interviews

Study: Talent of young, dead celebrities rapidly declining

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BOSTON, Mass. – Researchers at the Institute of Pop Culture  released a study this week showing that  the quality of celebrities dying young have diminished year after year since a peak of such deaths 40 years ago. “We’ve been studying this phenomenon for a long time, charting the quality of the dead, young and famous,” says lead researcher Dr. Tim Barkley. “Right now we are seeing severe deficits across the artistic board. If we don’t act now, young people dying before their prime will become meaningless in the eyes of the general public.” Other studies echo similar sentiments, showing young celebrity death at a peak between 1969 and 1971 and then entering a period of gradual decline. “1970 was a Golden Age in celebrity death.” says Barkley. “Never before have so many young and talented people died en masse.” The study goes on to explain that the value of some of our most profiled recent celebrity deaths have been grossly overblown due to the weakness of the overall talent pool. Starting with Kurt Cobain and continuing with the recent death of Amy Winehouse, more and more celebrities are being given undeserved artistic credibility. “What makes an artist’s death tragic is not how he or she died, but what future albums or films society was deprived from enjoying,” says fellow researcher Kim Williams. “Jimi Hendrix dying was tragic in that he was still exploring the potential of his own unique talent. Amy Winehouse, on the other hand, had one decent album based on imitating the sounds and voice of 1960’s pop star Dusty Springfield. Where’s the loss?” “We need to get more proactive and start killing talented people in their prime,” continued Barkley. “If we killed Thom Yorke pre-‘In Rainbows,’ just think how great Radiohead would be today!” Dr. Barkley would go on to say that he’d enjoy seeing Ke$ha dead, but more for the sake of good taste than preserving any real talent.

Swiss Army Robot is a satirical column written by Jay Whitecotton and is intended to be taken as seriously as possible. You can find him on facebook and twitter.com/whitecotton. Write him at swissarmyrobot@sacurrent.com

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