Dead People

Dead People
: Russ Smith in today’s Wall Street Journal suggests, with quite a straight face, that the world needs a magazine called Obituary, all about the freshly dead.

It’s not insane. It’s perhaps sick, but it’s not insane.

I was at People magazine when they discovered the value of death. Once was, they would never put a dead person on the cover. But then John Lennon died and the issue sold through the roof of heaven. Pretty soon, there were so many corpses on the cover of people — with the likes of Karen Carpenter and Rock Hudson finding their comebacks only when they couldn’t come back — that I said we should change the logo and start calling it Dead People.

Death sells.

  • Ed

    Great idea. And if they needed to produce each issue a few months in advance, they could just hire the advance obit team from CNN.

  • There is an obscure Peter Greenaway movie (aren’t they all?) called “Prospero’s Books”, which has John Gielgud as the lead. Revolves around the books that so immersed Prospero (the mage in Shakespeare’s “Tempest”) that he forgot about the world.
    One of those books is a list of the names of every person that had ever lived and died, from Adam and Eve up to his wife.

  • Diana

    Forbes mag has a list of dead celebs that make the most money.

  • Rodney

    The suggestion for Obituary Magazine sounds more People-ish but when in high school a friend and I discovered Morbidity and Mortality Monthly Report (apparently since changed to Weekly) in the school library and read it often, fascinated by the statistics on deaths and causes, etc.

  • brian

    of course death sells…it’s called “nietzsche marketing”…