Detroit's Cheap Dates
Plus--O'Reilly was right about Bourne.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Alert reader R.M. emails to resolve the Dead Elvis mystery--i.e.,why People magazine only gave him two paragraphs when he died:
You're half right about Elvis and people. Richard Stolley gave a (fascinating) talk describing his career at Columbia in 2000 in which he described how, when told that Elvis died, didn't think anyone cared about him anymore and decided to note it breifly rather than tear up the magazine. However, the response to the death over the next few days convinced him he'd made a terrible, terrible mistake. He vowed not to repeat the mistake and, thus, those Dead People issues were born.
Elvis was no longer a big deal in some circles, but he was in other, well-populated sectors. This scenario--the media elites not caring about Elvis, but then why are all those people going to Memphis?--reinforces the point that the culture of celebrity is an organic, populist (and pre-Diana) phenomenon and not a recent, top-down corporate trick. That makes it harder to denounce. ... P.S.: But it apparently wasn't only the media elites that didn't care about Elvis. Dan Riehl remembers:
I've never forgotten the night Elvis died, not because I'm an Elviphile, but because I was in a dance club in Seaside, NJ when the DJ stopped the music long enough to announce it and the assorted John Travolta wannabes, Barry Gibb poseurs and their babes all started to boo and hiss. Within seconds Donna Summer, or maybe the Star Wars theme re-mix, or perhaps it was the Latin Hustle was again incessantly and inanely pounding its way out of the sound system.
I suspect the Elvis divide was more of a North/South, 60's generation vs. 50s generation thing. But even mystical 60s god Bob Dylan fell into semi-obscurity at one point-- if I remember, he was reduced to playing Washington-area amusement parks. (Not a bad gig now, I guess.) .... 6:42 P.M.
Kate O'Beirnecracks the Giuliani code on immigration. ... 6:14 P.M.
Educating Mr. Wright: Man, it is a tough job, but somebody's got to bring these eggheads up to speed. ... 6:09 P.M.
Photograph of Ann Coulter on Slate's home page by Brad Barket/Getty. Photograph of a wedding cake with two grooms on Slate's home page by Hector Mata/AFP Photo. Photograph of Princess Diana on Slate's home page by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images.