Jewish World Review Sept. 9, 2003 / 12 Elul, 5763

Ian Shoales

Ian Shoales
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Dead, Live!


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | 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 once more.

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.

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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.

Up

08/27/03: That Wacky Deutschland
08/12/03: Puffery
08/08/03: Love that (other) Bob!
08/04/03: Is the free market doomed?
07/08/03: Hill Williams at Bay
06/30/03: The Amazing Red Faced J-Lo
06/25/03: TCB, KFC
06/16/03: Because it's there
06/11/03: The Matrix regurgitated
06/05/03: Here, Spike
05/07/03: When Hippies Retire
04/09/03: Your mommy could have told you that silence is the stoic's path to personal salvation --- hey, but who would have listened?
04/01/03: Hedging the war
03/28/03: Space: The Penultimate Frontier
03/18/03: Hour of the Narc
03/07/03: Home entertainment tips for pinkos --- no joke!
02/28/03: When Anorexia is a good thing
02/21/03: Aussie invasion!
02/11/03: This museum of my dreams would be no accident
02/03/03: Hasn't 'reality TV' always been with us?
01/30/03: Get tougher?
01/21/03: Spinning through the 'newscycle'
01/16/03: "G" for verbal violence?
01/03/03: Farewell to novelty
12/23/02: Neo-frontiers
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12/11/02: Cursed
11/08/02: Good news for skateboarders looking to keep up with world events
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10/24/02: Snipers are people, too!
10/16/02: Hockey Therapy
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10/03/02: How to have fun in Africa
09/30/02: If you are employed, you're part of the problem
09/25/02: "Up and comers," go away!
09/18/02: Collectibilitized
09/10/02: Monotone felons
08/20/02: Will we soon need a passport to get caviar, duc a la orange, or Polish sausage?
08/14/02: Law and Disorder --- and Starbucks
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07/24/02: Voicemail heaven?
07/18/02: At the movies with your friendly neighborhood curmudgeon
07/12/02: King of Kitsch
07/09/02: Musicians' brains
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06/24/02: Modern record stores can be a scary proposition
06/21/02: Life IS a movie?
06/19/02: Spreading fertilizer on a dictionary to try to raise a novel
06/17/02: Happy cows are really miserable?
06/12/02: Very similar to a rock
06/05/02: Of Humice and Men
05/30/02: Pooches in sharkskin suits and the end of dog tags
05/22/02: We baby boomers used to rule the roost
05/20/02: The Files now Ex
05/14/02: Entangled in Spider-Man's web!?
05/02/02: April Showers May Come Our Yadda Yadda
04/24/02: From child murderer to milk hawker
04/10/02: New realities
03/21/02: You did it your way? I have to kill you now!
03/14/02: IN THIS CORNER SUSAN LUCCI AND STEPHANIE ZYMALIST!
03/12/02: Life in the warehouse
01/28/02: Shoes and food
01/24/02: Suspension of disbelief has nothing to do with whether we accept something as real or not
01/22/02: Save the Grand Ole Opry?
12/15/01: If you truly want to appeal to the lowest common denominator
12/11/01: KNITTING!
12/07/01: Conspiracy by the 'fat suit' lobby?
12/04/01: The future of comic books
11/15/01: Literary tips in a jar
11/12/01: The ectoplasm of a ghost economy
11/05/01: Sumner Redstone's passions
10/31/01: My irony
10/29/01: Even in wartime, America can still bring it home
10/25/01: Ad memories
10/17/01: Pathetic me
10/08/01: War time lite
10/01/01: Confessions of a sarcastic scribe
09/11/01: The end of Mom
09/07/01: Boy Loses Girl, Boy Bites Girl, Boy Gets Girl
09/05/01: Virtual elegance?
08/31/01: I COPY, THEREFORE I AM
08/28/01: Buzz!
08/23/01: Radio workout
08/20/01: I robot, you Jane
08/15/01: A wild and crazy world!
08/10/01: When the future was "as real as a dime"
08/08/01: Garage Dearth!
08/06/01: That Big Clock
08/02/01: Stop the pop!
07/31/01: Catchphrase history of the world
07/26/01: The Bride of Science
07/23/01: That java jive
07/17/01: Homogenized hegemony
07/13/01: Applying Newton's First Law of Physics to textbooks
07/10/01: The dumb and the dead

© 2003, Ian Shoales