After a busy January, show business editors, arts correspondents and the poor souls buried in film archives will be looking through their fingers at an approaching February and the next tranche of celebrity demise. Even the most imaginative authors of obituaries must be struggling to construct an original sentence containing mandatory terms of deferential respect such as icon, legend, national treasure, hugely influential and never to be forgotten. There are times when “person of advancing years with a health condition dies after an illness” simply will not do.
In this information technology age, smart eulogists could simply set up a template, load in a bunch of algorithms and the piece will compose itself well before the print deadline or broadcast. Age (veteran, popular, up and coming), occupation (actor, musician, entertainer, politician,); cause of death (drugs, drink, terminal medical condition, the discharging of a firearm) and a few vintage photographic images guarantees immortality for the sadly deceased and a job well done by the busy hack. (more…)