Jewish World Review Sept. 9, 2003 / 12 Elul, 5763
I have been informed by CNN online that Frank Sinatra will be
performing in October at New York's Radio City Music Hall. 85,000
tickets will be available, ranging from 40 to 95 bucks.
Ol'Blue Eyes in
the flesh will not be there, of course, being deceased, but thanks to
modern technology, in the form of 3-D rotoscoping, his shade will croon
This odd trend has been around for awhile, first for comic effect with
Steve Martin's movie, DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID and Woody Allen's ZELIG,
in which "real" actors interacted with historical figures and actors
from the archives. Then we had John Wayne in the beer commercial, Fred
Astaire dancing with a vacuum cleaner, and FORREST GUMP doing something
or other with pretty much everybody.
Why are we bringing the dead back to life? Well, a dead celebrity is a
celebrity on its best behavior. No tantrums. No dropped lines. No
flubbed notes. No showing up late. No arguments.
And the fame is already there. You don't have to spend all your time and
money hyping the next Elvis, or the next Marilyn. Elvis and Marilyn are
the next Elvis and Marilyn.
It's creepy. It's practical. It's so American.
But once this process gets perfected, and costs come down, why waste it
on the dead? I for one would love to have a three-d facsimile of myself
at my most handsome, charming, and well-dressed. My double would work
long hours without ever complaining. Everybody would love him, and I
could just stay home and reap the rewards.
I mean who reaps the rewards from these computer generated clones of
dead celebrities? Not the dead celebrities, I'll tell you that. No, it's
those hollow-eyed ghouls over in marketing.
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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.
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© 2003, Ian Shoales