It’s no secret that people die. It’s natural. It’s what makes everyone human and that no matter how much time we spend in the world, we’re all going to be worm chow sooner or later. When we eventually die, we’re remembered and forgotten by the people we love. This is the same for celebrities. They get remembered fondly for their public work but we will never fully know about their lives behind the camera.
The thing I would like to talk about here is how people react to celebrity deaths.
Celebrities die because, you know, they’re people. They’re people like you, me, the old man across the street, the tattooed drug addict who never pays bus fare, and the one girl you like in college but never really get a chance to talk to because they were busy with friends (I still like you, Michelle McTavish from 2nd year algebra class! Please notice me!).
Anyway, repressed college crushes aside; we know that people are affected when a person dies. We may not exactly have known the person who died but they have affected someone in some way. Whether they’re a friend, a classmate or a family member, someone who dies will affect someone else greatly in one way or another. (Michelle McTavish, I’m so sorry about your sister but I didn’t see her cross the street, okay? She still owes me a new bumper which her shins somehow dented!)
This goes beyond a new level when it’s someone who’s known by hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
Okay, let’s go for an example. I don’t want to use a real celebrity because I don’t wanna get sued or threatened by fans for fake killing their idol so let’s make up a celebrity here. Excuse me for a sec, I gotta think of a name.
And by “think”, I meant “generate randomly”. Alright, there we go. Now generate!
Okay, Hippocrates Gernot is our celebrity for now. Hopefully, I don’t insult any real people named Hippocrates Gernot out there. If I do, I’m sorry, blame BehindTheName.com, and hey, you got a cool name! Also, please don’t die because this will really be harsher in hindsight.
Anyway, we have Mr. Hippocrates Gernot who’s a big time Hollywood celebrity. He starred in movies such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2: Even More Spotlessalongside Jim Carrey. He was in Broadway musicals like Ben Franklin in Paris, Bombay Dreams, and Cats, because as we all know, Cats will never, ever die. Mr. Gernot even released songs that featured singers like Michael Bublé, Tegan and Sara, and Paul McCartney. He has also made TV appearances in shows like WWE Monday Night Raw,Hannibal, and Sherlock. What’s even better about him is that he refused to appear in Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.
Tragically, Hippocrates Gernot died after he was hit with a blimp. It kills over oneAmericans every year (Thanks for the statistics, Chandler Bing!). What’s even more tragic is that Hippocrates Gernot is bloody fictional because I was really starting to like him. When the news broke out that Hippocrates Gernot had died tragically, social media has been buzzing with sadness.
The hashtags “#ThankYouGernot” and “#WeLoveYouMrGernot” have been trending worldwide on Twitter for three days. People have been posting pictures of Hippocrates Gernot on Facebook with “Rest In Peace” written on them (along with the usual “1 Like = 1 Respect”). People have been putting flowers at the disaster site and blimp sales have gone downhill faster than your teacher making a couple of jokes in class.
You would think I’m exaggerating with the reaction for a fake celebrity death but if you’ve been on the internet long enough, you’d know that this is the exact same reaction you’ll see whenever a celebrity dies. You’ve seen it with Paul Walker. You’ve seen it with Michael Jackson. Cory Monteith, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Robin Williams, Harold Ramis, and Philip Seymour Hoffman - When they passed on, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of tributes for them on social media and you can’t blame their fans for feeling sadness about losing people who they have considered dearly for entertaining them throughout the years. As you’ve seen earlier, the tributes for Hippocrates Gernot’s death were massive.
However, it’s absolute bullshit to say “I don’t care about Hippocrates Gernot. I care more about the 25,000 people who die every day” in public. Oh really now, Mr. Empathetic? Do you even know all those 25,000 people? What have you done lately for those 25,000 people that just died yesterday? What about the next 25,000 that will die tomorrow then? Have you given them some sort of sympathetic gesture lately? Do they have some sort of emotional impact on you as each day passes by? No, of course not! Where’s your tribute for each of them if you do care? And this happens every time there’s an outpour of tributes for a recent celebrity death.
Mostly, people who say they care about the 25,000 people dead people every day are just ticked off that their newsfeeds are filled with people saying “RIP (Insert Famous Person Here)” because they don’t care. As horrible as it sounds, it’s alright to not care! Indifference isn’t evil! It’s not genuinely good but it certainly isn’t evil. If you say “I don’t care about the 25,000 people who die every day but I care about this celebrity”, it’s a horrible sentence to say out loud. You’ll most likely get harsh responses that range from “Wow, you’re an asshole” to “HOW DARE YOU!!! I HOPE YOU GET KILLED BY MUTANT GENITAL HERPES!!!” However, if you just shut up, move on, and just talk about TV Tropes or something, you’re fine.
So what I’m saying here is that everyone has a right to express their sympathies and condolences in social media. However, there’s nothing wrong with silently being apathetic.
Do it the easy way: If people are mourning the death of a celebrity on social media, you shut the fuck up and ignore them because it doesn’t affect you. If a celebrity dies, who’s affected? The fans! Are you a fan? No? Then you shut the fuck up! If you want to care about the 25,000 people who die every day, then you post something about them every day instead of just saying that you care more about those people that you don’t know. Or better yet, just do something nice for 25,000 people every day and don’t brag about it on social media.
I’m Ralph Corleone and that’s my opinion.