Elvis refuses to leave the building


ELVIS Presley, who died in August 1977 aged 42, is one of the top earning dead celebrities, bringing in $63 million in 2013 according to Forbes magazine.
Most of the money comes from branded good and visits to the singer’s Graceland grave.
On anniversaries of his birth and death, fans hold elaborate candlelight vigils while Elvis songs are played over giant speakers. Some of the pilgrims leave gifts at the grave. Others “pray” to him.
A US survey found that about 10 per cent of Americans believe Elvis is alive.
Elvis has been “sighted” swimming down the Mississippi River, driving a Cadillac along a Californian freeway and tapping away in a London internet cafe.
Why hasn’t Elvis been allowed to die in peace?
Because much of the world is obsessed with celebrity and Elvis is a near-perfect object for secular worship.
So is the former celebrity Princess Diana, whose grave and the memorial built by her brother, as well as the traffic tunnel in Paris where she died, will be visited by pilgrims on the anniversary of her death.
The pilgrims are expected to leave offerings at the sacred sites.
The life stories of Elvis and Di have been heavily revised by devotees. She was a “healing angel” rather than a cheating, spoiled princess; he was a saintly gospel-singing hero rather than a fat pill-popping has-been.
There is a danger in all this misplaced celebrity adoration.
Think of it — in many parts of the world, people know who Beyoncé is, but have never heard of Plato. Probably more people are familiar with Mickey Mouse than Plato.
Mickey’s creator Walt Disney thought celebrity was a useless invention.
“As far as I can remember, being a celebrity has never helped me make a good picture . . . or command the obedience of my daughter, or impress my wife,” he said. “It doesn’t even seem to help keep fleas off our dog and if being a celebrity won’t give one an advantage over a couple (of) fleas, then I guess there can’t be that much in being a celebrity after all.”
At least Elvis could hold a tune and Diana hugged AIDS sufferers. A lot of celebrities are famous for merely being famous. The biggest contemporary joke is the celebrity nobody.


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