2016 is being described as the year that keeps taking due to the high volume of celebrity deaths that we’ve seen. It really has been a year of it, with the sad demise of some big household names that just seems to keep coming. Whilst it’s very sad I’m not so sure that it’s been exceptional even though it seems like it. I’ll explain my thoughts, bare with me as it’s a bit rambling.
I remember growing up only having 3 channels to choose from and viewing was limited, no 24 hour broadcasting then, every night there was a closedown. I remember the excitement when Channel 4 was launched, it broadcast later than the other 3 but didn’t start broadcasting until the afternoon if memory serves me right. Showing my age now I remember being super excited about the family renting a VHS video recorder from Rumbellows, to go with the colour TV, we were blessed as a family! It was rare to own a colour TV, renting them was the norm. Likewise with radio it was very limited. Music was harder to obtain, I remember using a tape recorder placed next to the radio to attempt to record music, having to react quickly to cut out the presenters as much as possible. Then integrated stereos with built in tape recorders made life easier for the wannabe music pirate. It was still hard, music wasn’t as affordable as it is today.
Radio, TV and movies are extremely accessible now with hundreds, if not thousands of channels to chose from via cable or satellite, the internet providing even more access via streaming for both video and music, not forgetting DAB radio too. There is a plethora of choice available. Gone are the days of having to pop down to Blockbuster (other video shops were available) to choose a film to rent for the evening, the high availability of entertainment it’s death knell, same goes for the music mega stores, they are all but a thing of the past as time and technology moves ever forward.
So what’s the point I’m making here, well quite simply this, in this day and age of easily accessible media and social media we have, as a society, created more and more celebrity’s. We’ve grown up with these people all over our screens and airwaves. Whilst it may seem like this year has been exceptional I don’t think it is. I just think that we’re reaching that point now where mainstream celebrity culture has been around long enough for the attrition of life to become more noticeable. With social media platforms there for all to broadcast on, and people do seem to obsesss about broadcasting celebrity death, my timeline is forever full of RIP messsges, there is more fanfare over someone’s passing away. Yes, there have been some young deaths in there as well, people taken too soon, but that’s life, you never know when you’re going to go, you just know that it’s inevitable.
I don’t mean to come across cold hearted, I just think that this is how 2017 is going to go too, 2016 was the first big year but it won’t be the last.