Griffon Vultures carry out last wishes in the Tibetan practice of “Sky Burial”

You people are fucking vultures! 

Yeah, yeah… we’ve heard it all before. But the fact of the matter is that dead pools are nothing new. As far back as the early 20th century, people have been wagering on the likeliness of others to meet their demise… with the first edition of the Indianapolis 500 being a prime example. But with the gradual introduction of lame safety regulations to just about any dangerous sport, morbid amusement seekers eventually broadened their focus to a wider and far more visible playing field: celebrities. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, it’s one thing we’ll never run out of. “But predicting when somebody’s going to die?! That’s just wrong!” Oh grow up. Regardless of whether they drive an Indy car or a motorized wheelchair, they’ve all gotta go sometime. We accept it… can you?

Death is everywhere… and reporting on it is the lifeblood of media outlets around the world. When a celebrity croaks, especially amidst a “real news” drought, it’s like tossing an elephant carcass to a pack of ravenous hyenas. They spend days – if not weeks – dredging up every last scrap of the dearly departed’s past… from the ramshackle farmhouse they grew up in to the golden commode that caught their last deuce… and the general public can’t get enough of it… only looking away when another fresh body hits the deck. Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s all about ratings… and higher ratings means more advertisements… which translates into revenue. Yes. People out there profit when celebrities die…. every day. And that’s just the news media.

So what makes this site any different… or less culpable? Not much, but enough. We don’t sell ad space. We don’t make a dime, frankly. And regardless of how juicy the story might be, we offer only minimal details. Because we really don’t really care about the how, the where & the why… just the who & when. It’s going to happen to everyone eventually… what’s the harm in a little speculation? Everybody does it in some capacity or another. Warren Buffet gets lauded for his ability to predict what the stock market will do in the near future. That’s a skill… a skill built upon years of education, research and attention to detail. Shouldn’t those better at it than others be recognized for their foresight? Why should participation in a celebrity dead pool be deemed poor taste?

When somebody renowned for continually thumbing their nose at the reaper through their reckless lifestyle eventually gets their card punched, do you stop & say to yourself, “well… I saw that coming?” Or when a public figure, plagued with poor health, long camped out at death’s door finally crosses the threshold, do your turn to someone and say, “it was just a matter of time?” See? In a retroactive sense, you speculated there. At one point in the past, you knew where that person was headed. You may not have assigned a finite number of days to it, but you saw the writing on the wall. Why not take a stab at it? Do you think they have another 365 days? Lets say a person came up to you on at a New Years Eve party and said, “The over/under on how many days Bob Barker has before his showcase shuts down is 225. Do you want the over or the under for $10?” Now… tragically burdened with morality and an irrational fear of bad kharma, you might recoil and say, “Oh, no thank you. Wagering on people dying just isn’t right.” But in the back of your mind, you’re weighing it. You never answered the question aloud for fear that the invisible man in the sky might hear it & strike you down, but you thought about it. “Over?… or under? Under maybe?” Several months pass… and you hear on CNN that Bob finally went tits up… and the conversation from last new year’s eve comes to memory. You look at the calendar… and wonder. “How many days has it been since January 1st? Has it been 225? Let’s see 7 times 30 is… hmmm. And it’s the 14th… but how many months have 31 days… and February has 28, sooo….” If you can honestly sit there and claim that not one shred of this would even cross your mind in that situation, you’re hopelessly full of shit.

Our little game is just that: a game. We don’t wish death upon anybody. We’re not actively participating in their demise. We just watch & wait… to see who will be this year’s Warren Buffet of dead celebs… the Oracle of Obits, if you will. The language might be harsh at times and some feathers may get ruffled… but we’re not here to offend or amuse anyone but ourselves. Check your delicate sensibilities at the door because this is all about the numbers. The over/under is 365. Which ten celebrities do you think would qualify for the under? That’s a dead pool.

-Der Kommissar