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Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

Oprah Winfrey, talk show host and leader of housewives everywhere, picked a new book for Oprah’s Book Club. The book is a collection of short stories by Nigerian author Uwem Akpan entitled, “Say You’re One Of Them.” The book is a collection of stories written from the point of view of an African child.

MJBook

The selection was a surprise to one person in particular, Michael Jordan. Jordan, who has been lobbying hard for Winfrey to choose his 1998 book “For the Love of the Game: My Story”, took the opportunity to address his dismay during his Hall of Fame induction speech. During the speech, Jordan pulled out a copy of his book and proceeded to read the first 78 pages. After he had finished reading he closed the book and said to Oprah, “I just wanted to make sure you understood: you made a mistake, dude.”

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As far as celebrity deaths go, 2009 has been flush with headline-grabbers. If some higher being is trying to shake us up to lessen our obsession with celebrity, it’s backfiring. But not for the deceased. We’ve all heard plenty about celebrities seeing resurgence in popularity through the only inevitability in life (the basis for some conspiracies surrounding Tupac, for example). Similarly, the theory of public figures becoming canonized by dying prematurely is well-known and oft-discussed. But what about public figures that had fallen out of our favor prior to their death? We overlook their faults and flaws and focus on the positive. Death is the whitewash that clears the dirt and grime from their legacies. Vindication is the buzz word for these fallen stars. Catholics have long promoted penitence as the method for redemption, but the simple, inevitable act of meeting one’s end has proven to be the best way to win back our hearts. Our collective opinion becomes softened by pity, and that pity becomes the conduit for the resurrection of our long lost appreciation of the deceased’s talent. Let’s coin this as “The Redemption Through Demise Theory”.

Here are the top four (looking for suggestions for a fifth) examples through history, as well as some potential future candidates:

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