Famous people die

So, Corey Haim died today. certainly one of the less shocking deaths in recent memory.
As usual, when anyone of any sort of fame dies, facebook was littered with “RIP COREY” sentiments to go along with the media’s pretend sadness over his passing. I think, with all the deaths that have happened over the last few years, this one is particularly hard to spin into anything more than ” yeah, saw that one coming…” but , i’ll be damned if people don’t try.

Remember when Bea Arthur died? When I first got word my first reaction was an earnest; “That’s too bad.” I would say that is my typical reaction to hearing about the death of most famous people. It sucks but it’s also what happens, famous people die just like millions of other non-famous people every single day.

So, what I’m asking is this:

“Do you REALLY give a shit?”

I don’t mean:

“Are you saddened by this news?”

I mean:

“Does this kind of thing actually effect you on any level outside of a passing melancholy?”

I’ll never understand people being deeply devastated over the death of someone they’ve never met. That famous person’s death had no relation to you or your life at all. It effects your life about as much as a rain storm in another country. I understand being a huge fan of someone, some fans are called fans for a reason; They can be fanatical. The worship runs deep, and until proven otherwise, many celebrities are flawless in the eyes of the people who adore them.

Biggie is a great example of this, I got lots of love for Biggie. He was dope but he was just a rapper I never met. When he was killed, it bugged me out. I was disappointed that I would never hear another Biggie verse again (little did I know Puffy would rape his corpse for a good decade after his passing and keep those “new” verses coming). But when it was all said and done, my life, as well as millions of other Biggie fans’ lives, went on the same after he died.

Do I wish he hadn’t been killed? Of course. Do I miss him? Not really… cause I didn’t know him. The idea of missing something or someone you don’t know is pretty ludicrous to me. But it goes beyond missing him, people were weeping like they just lost a parent or a child. He’s just some guy, just like you and me. His death was no more tragic then any other person’s.

I’ve always felt that to cry over the death of someone famous is insane. Possibly the most bummed I have ever been over a famous person’s death was when Phil Hartman died. He was the shit but after the, “Damn, that sucks. he was the man…why couldn’t it have been Jimmy Fallon?” Thought passed…that was about it. Beyond seeing him on TV every now and then and thinking to myself, “It’s a shame,” the grieving ended there.

I remember when Kurt Cobain died and everyone lost their shit. Personally, I was never a Nirvana fan so it was more of a pop culture footnote to me then anything. But Nirvana was huge and people REALLY lost their shit. Vigils like a motherfucker. I heard people refer to that day as a day that they’ll never forget. Are you serious? A rock star died. So, the day Kurt Cobain died and 9/11 are are pretty much in the same spectrum then? get the fuck outta here.

Sure, he was idolized and his music very likely changed peoples lives but the fact remains a complete stranger died and people were freaking out like he was their best friend. I understand how people can get overly involved in the music they love and the actors they watch but at some point reality has to set in. THIS PERSON WAS A STRANGER. Whether it be George Burns or Aaliyah…get some perspective cause, like I said earlier, all death is tragic.

That leads me to another point, what do these people do when someone they actually care about AND KNOW passes on? Do their heads explode like in Scanners? Anyone who has lost someone close to them, or even a good acquaintance, knows that that shit is no joke. It hurts and when you lose an actual friend/family member, it’s as final as it gets. That person is gone forever.

To get all weepy over the passing of a person who is no more intimate with you then an imaginary figure somewhat belittles the death of people you are actually close to. Sure, that famous person is just as gone as your dead family member or friend. The difference, however, is that you won’t come out in the morning to eat some breakfast and get sad because Steve ‘The Croc Hunter’ Irwin isn’t sitting in his normal seat. Or you won’t get bummed cause you can’t casually shoot the shit with Dan Fogelberg on the phone like you used to.

The thing is, death is a fact of life. I know, pretty shocking revelation, and there is nothing wrong passing on a good word. I think sending your best wishes to those effected by a death is more then appropriate. Saying “RIP” never hurt anyone, it’s an earnest way to pay your respects and it’s not trying to prove who is the most broken up about it. But the second you take on that death like it happened to just you and only you, you’re a selfish asshole. I’ve see this happen so many times in real life and it’s sickening. It becomes a mourning contest and all the people involved are fucking idiots. So when you take that kind of mentality, and replace the person you love with a celebrity who is a complete stranger, you can imagine how crazy that comes off.

The bottom line is in our lifetime all sorts of celebrities are gonna die. From the most famous and respected person to the most shit-on d-list douche bag. Bill Clinton is gonna die. Ray-J is gonna die. Julia Roberts will one day die. The day will even come when Dustin “Screech” Diamond is gonna die.

It will be in the news and someone out there who never met him is gonna cry. Why? Because he was Screech.

17 thoughts on “Famous people die

  1. I feel you for the most part, and I made this same argument when David Carradine died. Still, do you think we get to know these celebrities/artists on some level because we’re exposed to their work/art? Aren’t people then justified to feel sad?

    • sure. I think that’s what i wrote. But people act like it’s something that happened directly to them. Being sad is one thing, co-opting some invisible pain is another.
      especially when it’s someone like corey Haim who, in all likelihood, would have been the butt of those same people’s jokes the day before he died.

  2. A little off subject but do you think Puff Daddy had anything to do with Biggy’s death? It’s a theory I’ve had for some time. Puff Daddy went from the guy in the video going “Yeah, I like that” and “Uh huh, Uh huh” to being a rap superstar overnight after Biggy died. Doesn’t add up to me. I loathe me some Diddy. I also think he wins for lamest name(s) ever.

      • Yeah, he’s just that much of a greedy scumbag that I wouldn’t put it past him.

        I always thought it was funny when everybody went ape shit over Kurt Cobain. He killed himself. He WANTED to die. If anything he should have been congratulated. Like Hunter S Thompson – he took himself out because he was bored of living. Good for you. I think that takes balls.

  3. the saddest part is that you get to keep reposting this and just change the recent name of the deceased because people keep offing themselves. the awesome part is that i get to laugh anew at the scanners remark.

    • HAHA..yeah. this blog in particular has been posted about 4 different times. all with a different dead person. the first one was all about the crock hunter. time flies!

  4. What cracks me up is when people feel sorry when celebrities die from drug overdoses. DJ AM is a good example and he died from a crack overdose (and if i remember correctly; they found his pipe near his corpse). Or better yet Heath Ledger, that stupid shit OD’ed by taking a cocktail of prescription pills.

    If your stupid enough to overdose from drugs you pretty much deserve it. The level of talent in whatever art you persuade and lives you changed doesn’t change the fact your an idiot.

    At least David Carradine died doing what made him happy.

  5. During my time in hs, we had 5 deaths, 3 suicides, and a couple of days after, everyone was acting like ‘o no! this is the worst thing ever! i’m never gonna be ok. this is gonna traumatize me for life. i’ll miss him/her so much’ meanwhile, the kids who offed themselves had no real friends and no one gave a fuck about them while they were alive. It was straight out of Heathers. I think a lot of this elaborate mourning has to do with ppl wanting others to think that they’re ‘deep’ or ‘sensitive,’ cuz these are social cues that they learn from tv and movies and shit.

  6. The last celebrity death that bummed me out for a minute was ODB. Like you said about Biggie, it was just because I would never hear any new verses from him.

    I can’t say Michael Jackson’s death really phased me at all, I was done with his music 20 years ago, but I spent more time thinking about it, because people every where were going crazy.

    Oh, I did cry myself to sleep every night for a week when Billy Mays died…

  7. well said Head,

    a ‘sad melancholy’ engulfed me when BERNIE MAC died, but for no longer than it took to enjoy one of his shows and not unlike the Biggie analogy, I still miss Bernies performances and productivity

    way too much feinging and fawning in todays society generally, death just brings its own personal perverted anxieties

  8. I just don’t think that, on average, most people’s instinctive minds can differentiate between media experiences and personal experiences.

    Or rather, people feel that TV is a part of their real lives since they are experiencing it.

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