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?”
“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.