What is it about the month of August that finds so many celebrities dying?
Just this month we've seen the passing of
August is also awash in images and remembrances of Diana, Princess of
On the 10th anniversary of her death, I wrote a column about Diana and the cult of beauty. Those who worship her image still remind me of those who once worshipped false goddesses. Very little has changed.
"Diana is our goddess of beauty. Her image on the cover of
"Beauty covers a multitude of sins, and Diana, like all of us, had plenty of them. We forgive her multiple affairs and her manipulative tactics because we love her looks. She makes us feel good still. We desire her even in death.
"A decade ago, the feminist writer
"Greer says that in adulthood Diana became 'more, rather than less, devious.' It is a character assessment her adoring disciples are prepared to overlook. And then Greer writes this explosive line: 'The story of how she emerged from her dowdy chrysalis to become the people's princess is often told, but what is seldom assessed is just how much of a performance this was.'
"We are prepared to believe lies if they affirm our deepest desire to feel good, if not about ourselves, then about a goddess statue that can be as devoid of spiritual power as the false gods created by pagan peoples.
"Suppose Diana had been the mistress of
"No one celebrates or elevates plainness; less so, goodness. Consider the power of the beauty cult. ... Cable networks employ Barbie-doll wannabes who are blondes with short skirts and apparently little self-respect. They are all interchangeable parts, virtually indistinguishable from one another. Most speak in cliches and have trouble ad-libbing anything that isn't written for them in the teleprompter, but the lip gloss and hair look great. They are the fantasies of aging male management and middle-school boys, or am I being redundant?
"The Diana cult will continue until someone younger with a better story replaces her. The public always wants a better and younger story. Consider the musical "