Have you heard? Samuel L. Jackon is going to die. It's because of some cursed photograph that has already snuffed out singer Isaac Hayes and comedian Bernie Mac. This augury is supported by the ancient celebrity Rule of Three, which demands that once one famous person's blood has been shed, so too must two others'. To satisfy the gods of wrath, I guess. Or Harvey Weinstein. Seriously, people are pretty sold on this whole theory. But why? I know that we're partly deluding ourselves because it's fun, but there's got to be some deeper meaning to it all. Last week I wrote a post about the supposed curse of The Dark Knight that detailed the various tragedies and grim incidences that have befallen that blockbuster film's cast. It was a pretty popular post (though, "popular" is relative in these post-Montauk Monster times), attracting nearly thirty-five thousand pageviews and some 95 comments. Our Californian sibling site Defamer ran a post just a few minutes ago about a Billy Bob Thornton death curse, which conclusively proves that the Sling Blade French fried potater leaves Kali-like destruction is his wake whenever he passes through a movie set. Now the Soul men photograph jinx. These theories are everywhere! People really seem to love this stuff—because, I guess it means you wield some power over unfortunate events. Look, we can predict this and see the ties between all of these people and nod our heads gravely and say "ah yes, it is a pattern." Isn't that so much better than admitting to ourselves that the world is cruel at random and that we're most likely caught in a net of terrible things at this very moment but don't know it because we're not famous and our coworkers aren't famous and our neighbors and cab drivers and grocery cashiers are just plain old regular people that no one writes about and that Mario Lopez has never heard of? Some disgruntled (and humorless) commenters have implied that the Rule of Three and curse-detecting and all that has been pushed to the point where people are actually wishing bad things to happen to our most recognizable supernovas, so their thesis can have more evidence to support it, so they can feel smug and right and knowing (and a little crazy). And I don't know, maybe there's some of that. But really it's just kind of... not fun, but engaging. In a way that's both comforting and scary. We are, yes, splashing around in the death puddles a little bit, but we're also reverent. Reverent of the people who've passed and of the bigger mysteries of existence. These are mysteries that transcend wealth and celebrity. And maybe that's part of it too. Maybe all this curse and triple death talk helps us keep our fame fascination in check. If these rich, shiny folks weren't slaves to some grand death's design—or had some Devon Sawa-like ability to cheat it—then we'd probably worship them as gods. And that would just be silly. And, superstitious.
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