Somewhere down in South America, the masses are still mourning the death of Hugo Chavez, which is weird considering how badly he fucked up his own country, but, meh, sometimes people are just dumb when they remember the dead. Cases like Chavez, where people mourn somebody more than the person deserves to be mourned, happen a lot with celebrities. Here’s five cases where celebrities are hallowed much more in their passing than they deserved in their actual lives prior to their death.
Anna Nicole Smith
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Anna Nicole Smith became a household name by conning a 89 year old rich dude into marrying her so she could inherit his fortune. She stayed a household name by being a crazy, white-trashy, drug-addled whore. That last part pretty much sums up her ‘tragic’ and ‘untimely’ death. Tragic and untimely are in quotes because that’s what the mainstream media called it, and her dying was pretty much the opposite of those concepts.
Not tragic because, well, she didn’t sing. Or act. Or dance. Or invent an AIDS vaccine. Or spend her free time traveling to Africa to build houses. She didn’t really do anything. The world lost nothing but a grown-ass version of Honey Boo Boo. And not untimely because, well, dying after months of popping opiates and prescription pills is pretty much the definition of timely.
Low Point: Her little daughter now models as a tribute to her, thus continuing the unholy cycle.
Cause of Death: Accidental Drowning
How does somebody accidentally drown in a bathtub? Well, mixing booze, cocaine, and prescription drugs does a number on a person’s ability to stay conscious and not sink whilst in said bathtub. So technically she didn’t ‘accidentally drown’ so much as ‘coked herself up past the point of Archimedes’ law of buoyancy’.
But because it’s Whitney Houston, and everybody would rather just ignore the elephant in the room, history said she accidentally drowned while ‘still in recovery’ from ‘substance abuse’ issues, instead of ‘overdosed’ after ‘about 15 years of doing crack’, despite her insistence that it was whack.
Low Point: The governor of New Jersey ordering that all the state’s flags be flown at half-staff, because she was born there.
Cause of Death: Shot to Death
Not assassinated. Shot. Like Chris Rock once said, it’s important to know the difference. President’s get assassinated. Crusading journalists get assassinated. Martin Luther King gets assassinated. Gangsta rappers get shot. The problem with Tupac getting shot, though, is that despite being gunned down on the Las Vegas strip after a Mike Tyson fight, there’s more mystery shrouding his death than a Zodiac letter. Lots of clues. Some suspects. But no arrests.
And it’s this mystery and lack of closure that allows idiots to propagate a hundred different cockamamie theories on the how and why a gangsta rapper would ever end up shot. So his death lives on as a mixture of inane folklore and conspiracy theory. Not a simple case of a famous dude beating up on a Crip and then paying for it later, which it most likely was.
Low Point: Probably the next time he comes back from the dead to release another shitty album of unheard tracks.
Cause of Death: Shot Himself
Kurt Cobain ‘spoke’ to a generation of privileged white kids who, feeling bad about being privileged and white, decided to call themselves Generation X and pretend to act all angry and angsty and oppressed because society just didn’t ‘get’ them.
So when Cobain put a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger, the Gex X legions naturally waxed and mourned his suicide like he was some kind of counter-culture martyr, instead of just a great musician who also happened to be a total pussy. Sorry, but if you abandon your wife and young daughter and walk away from getting paid a billion dollars to do what you love, you’re a total pussy.
Low Point: Some people still aren’t convinced his death wasn’t some kind of conspiracy.
Cause of Death: Heart Failure
It’s almost hard to conceive now that there was once a time when Rick James was just a washed-up former musician who lived off the royalties of his one hit song, and because his other contribution to the world was convincing Eddie Murphy he could sing, had zero chance in hell of salvaging his legacy.
But alas, Dave Chappelle came along, threw him a lifeline, and—POOF—pretty much everybody forgot about everything I just said AND the fact that he was not once, but twice arrested and convicted on separate occasions for kidnapping and assaulting two different women. The first he pretty much kept as his sex slave and so he could burn her with a crack pipe. The second because who the hell knows except he’s RICK JAMES BITCH.
Low Point: Not only did he get his own public memorial service in Los Angeles, but more than a thousand fucking people showed up for it.