Everything Happens in Threes

Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor

The 2011 awards season officially wrapped up with the 84th Annual Academy Awards. Coming out of it there were the obligatory best and worst dressed lists, accompanied by the “In Memoriam” to remember those that passed within the last year. Not all who died made the lists, but the more notable are more likely to be remembered at the shows during awards season.
The myth surrounding Hollywood’s elite is that they die in threes. It follows a common theme around the world that things occur in threes, but this myth is more likely to be perpetuated by those that believe in it. This was begun in 1962, the earliest time when people started to notice this trend with the Hollywood elite.
No official timetable exists for the limitations of this myth, but connections are bound to be made one week or one month apart in order to satisfy it.
In the 70s, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison died in quick succession of each other. In 2009, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson all died in a single week. Except for a few rare cases, public figures tend to die more spaced apart. Right before this awards season was over, Etta James, Don Cornelius and Whitney Houston died within three weeks of each other.
But why is three the magic number for everything? It is our instinct to make connections where we believe we see them. These connections allow us to create many reasons behind our automatic superstitious use of numbers. We have three phases of life: birth, life, and death. In religion, three is a revered number. Christianity has the triad of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Buddhism has two sets of three, the roots of evil (greed, hatred and delusion) as well as the three precious jewels (Buddha, Dharma- the teachings of Buddha and Sangha- the followers of Buddha).
Three is a number that resonates around the world for various meanings. It is popularized with myths concerning fascinating public figures, and by the small things in life that back up the theory that everything happens in threes.

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