Lee Powers is back, and here to tell you how to be sad again!
Grief has become click-bait.
We have always had a weird fascination with mourning celebrities. President Lincolns funeral Train toured the states for two weeks displaying his body. Tens of thousands watched his body depart DC, and millions viewed the train along the way. When John Lennon died the crowd in front of the Dakota was so demonstrative in their grief that their chanting kept Yoko awake. At her request over 200,000 people gathered in Central Park and all the radio stations in New York shared 10 minutes of silence. Roughly a third of the world watched or read about the funeral services of Princess Di. So it is nothing new that, as a society, we publicly mourn our celebrities. But the internet, and the unending stream of information it has plugged us into has changed how we grieve.
The first major difference is in the amount of information we have available. Death is rarely a dignified process, and now, thanks to the internet, you can know all the grisly detailsof any celebrities death. Want to see pictures of the bloated corpse of one of the most beloved entertainers on the last century? Just search rotten.com for pictures of Chris Farley’s corpse. They’re there, take my word for it. Want to learn about how David carradine died mid-vinegar strokes while wearing women’s underwear and choking himself? Bing the police report, all the details are there (yes, bing it, Fuck google). Want to come to the West Village and see the swanky penthouse where Phillip Seymour Hoffman died? Shoot me a text, I’ll show you around. You wouldn’t be the first person to ask me about it. Our endless curiousity about celebrities personal lives we’ve crossed into the most perverse areas, and websites desperate for page views have no problem providing all the macabre details.
The other thing the internet has given us is our own personal soapbox from which to scream our grief at the World. “look at ME!” We post “I enjoyed Mrs. Doubtfire as a child! Now I am sad.” It’s a perverse and narcissistic trend and it needs to stop. Not every death needs your commentary. I’m sorry Paul Walker died too. Now I want you to name one movie he was in that doesn’t have the words “fast” and/or “furious” in the title without consulting the internet.
Stop posting about celebrity deaths people. You didn’t know them, and just because “Jack” sent you spiralling into your first existential ennui doesn’t mean you get to claim his death for like or retweets or reblogs or whatever the shit you kids care about these days