cult around a dead star

Why do a cult folowing around a decesed star forms around a musican or actor following his untimely demise.

Well, who else am I going to form a cult around?

Kidding aside, let me zero in on how you stressed that it’s an untimely demise. Which means, I guess, that you’re talking about someone who dies before we ever see them past their prime: we see them after they had a smash hit or two, and not after a few flops; not when they started losing their looks, and taking a role or singing a song that involves being a grandparent, or something; we only ever see them at their peak, and only ever think about how great they were and what could have been.

From there, maybe rose-colored glasses are, like, the default.

Part of it is the way people fake-grieve for someone they never knew or met or cared about.

That’s a pretty bold statement.

Yeah, it’s really this. The artist in question usually hasn’t destroyed their career with questionable choices or otherwise worn out their welcome. So, what could have been gets deified because it doesn’t disappoint, even it if never is fulfilling.

The part that makes question marks and exclamation point dance above my head is when a generally over-the-hill artist gets deified. Elvis sightings? Really?

The idea of fake grief makes so little sense. What exactly are people supposed to get out of this grief? Usually the argument is “social standing.” But where in the world are people judged by how much grief they show about a celebrity? I rarely show any grief about them, and I’ve never felt judged for it.

Sure, I can see people capitalizing on the grief by selling stuff. And maybe they’ll pretend to also be grieving to get you to buy their stuff. But that’s not who we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the fans.

Anyways, in addition to the other ideas, there’s just that an untimely death means that the person gets a lot of news coverage in places where they wouldn’t otherwise, and there will be a lot more people appreciating their work, in a retrospective way. This can lead to more people checking out their work and that could bloom into a resurgence of popularity.

What’s more, this one would apply even more to someone who was past their prime, answering the question for why it can happen to older stars.

I’m not surprised if people reading this thread don’t participate in the fake-grief bandwagon that goes around, or that people reading this thread don’t derive any perception of social standing from it. Your lack of participation is not an indicator that it doesn’t exist - and as far as I can tell, you’re right that the people who do participate take it as a boost to their status.

Exactamundo. The phenomenon that is the FGB is so pervasive it really should have it’s own thread; maybe I’ll start one later. For anyone really not / pretending no to be familiar with it, it’s just another way people try to be part of the "in " crowd and / or to some degree make it about them via their (suddenly inflated) appreciation for the deceased.

This [‘fake grief bandwagon’] doesn’t chime with my own experience with two friends in relation to Kurt Cobain and Princess Diana, although I’d happily agree their mournings were collective efforts involving lots of communing with strangers and far more carry on than was applied to, say, Perry Como or ex-King Zog of Albania.

In both instances I thought my friends were overly affected by the deaths because they were sudden, they had embraced Kurt and Di while very much alive as exemplars or symbols of something in their own lives [in Kurt’s case not his musical success but the very public struggle with drug addiction, Di as victim of lovelss marriage]. With sudden death they saw something resonant of their own lives fall under the bus. Their grief was genuine, and they continued to mourn for a considerable time.

I’m not sure either would agree with my take on how they responded, but the idea of a ‘bandwagon’ does not seem to fit how they were caught up in their idols’ lives and struggles before death, or how the deaths affected them afterwards.

Oh, of course there are times when people genuinely grieve for people they don’t actually know. I was really referring to DavidwithanR’s comment. No offense to anyone who has been saddened by the loss of one of their favorites :o

Because, once someone like that is gone, we are free to romanticize them and view them through rose colored glasses. An example is the documentary, “Whitney”, where all blame for her addictions was put on any and everyone but her. Her “groupies”, her over expectant fans, her handlers, Bobby Brown, etc, were all blamed for driving the diva to her tragic death.

This phenomenon has existed well before our modern society. Many great artists from the past were impoverished during life, but their paintings became priceless after their deaths.

I am glad you brought this up.
I got a candlelight vigil to get ready for here in Memphis Thursday night.

I always felt that people were genuinely grieving, not necessarily for the artist, but for the work they would never do. We get attached to artists because whatever it is they’re doing makes us feel something, and when they die – especially suddenly, especially young – their fans go through that shock of realizing that there will never be another new work by that artist, ever again. No more new experiences. Even if you have no connection to the person, the loss of all those potential experiences is something to be sad about. Some people are just hit harder than others.

The same thing happens (touchier subject) in the US regarding “our troops”. Every person who has ever showed their face at a recruiting office is a “veteran” - not only that, a decorated hero too. Showing sham honour as a way of getting glory for yourself - because of course if you give a 5% discount to heroes, then you must be one too.