I don’t know why everyone is so obsessed with celebrities and I’m not here to analyze that shit—maybe some other day. But we, as a people, are certainly obsessed, whether it be with actresses and actors, musicians or even, royalty. When something big happens, like an unexpected death or a band breaking up, we feel the sorts of emotions we’d have if we knew these famous people personally. It’s an odd phenomenon. This week when REM announced that they were splitting (still reverberating after Bill Berry left), both my heart and my stomach felt the punch. This is a group of musicians who have been making great music together for over thirty years; music that resonated through my heart and mind. My brain rejects the notion still, reacting as if my parents just told me they were getting divorced. But there were a couple other happenings that also affected me greatly: The shocking deaths of Michael Hutchence (INXS), John Ritter and Princess Diana. I’d been an INXS fan from the moment I heard the band and finally got to see them play live in New York City, only weeks before Hutchence died. The man was phenomenal onstage—one of the greatest performers I’ve ever seen—even inviting the entire audience up to dance with him at the end of the show. He was love personified, with the warmth and sexiness emanating from him as an almost visible aura. I shed a few private tears at his loss (and scratched my head over the method). John Ritter, I still can’t talk about him, and I have a very strange crush on his son. Finally, I must admit that I was among the kazillionty people who were truly crushed by Princess Diana’s death. While it’s almost a little embarrassing for some of us to admit that we were so taken with the whole royalty thing, it’s a testament to that lovely, young woman to have touched so many peoples’ lives in a short period of time. She truly changed the way the royal family was perceived, in ways both good and bad. Of all the celebrity events, so to speak, I’d have to say the Princess of Wales’ untimely death affected me most. I might even have to admit to having been in some odd state of mental mourning a couple weeks thereafter, but let’s not dig too deeply into that.
So now that I’ve laid my celebrity induced ridiculousness before you, feel free to mock…but not before you sweep your own doorstep. What celebrity event will you sheepishly admit having been affected by?