Thursday, June 25, 2009

Celebrity deaths, nostalgia, fallacious reasoning

The old folk saying about “it happens in threes” often gets applied to celebrity deaths. Well, today it’s true. After Ed McMahon’s death earlier this week, then Farah Fawcett’s expected passing
and Michael Jackson’s surprise death is the third.

All three mean something.

First, with Farrah, I’m the right age that she was pin-up material when I was in junior high school. And Charlie’s Angels was definitely watchable.

Michael Jackson? Thriller broke out when I was in college; that part of Jackson, before he plunged into the drained shallow end of the pool of weirdness, means nostalgia.

So, too, does Ed. Nostalgia for the “simpler time” of America, the time of my parents more than myself.

At the same time, per my own self and people like Bob Carroll at Skeptic’s Dictionary, the “this happens in threes” is nothing more than an illustration of the bulls-eye fallacy.

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