It was 2001 when Joey Ramone died. The girl I was dating at the time called me, hysterical. She was an avid music fan. The problem with her calling me in hysterics was twofold. For starters, I was at work when she called me. Secondly, she didn’t know Joey personally, and wasn’t related to him in any way so her overblown breakdown over his passing was lost on me. My reply to her was “I’m at work, if this was someone close to you in real life I could understand it, but I have to get back to work.” I was immediately accused of being an unfeeling uncaring animal with no humanity. Guilty as charged, dear, but I really don’t think that is the problem here. The problem is it shouldn’t have this dramatic of an impact on a stranger’s life. I asked her why couldn’t she just remember Joey fondly, throw in a Ramones CD and have a positive memory instead of scream at me for not immediately walking out of work to mourn a man I didn’t know beyond listening to his music.
I told my friends the story, and most of them reacted the same “that bitch is crazy and you should probably dump her already. She’s no good for you. You’re not even getting any sex out of it. All she brings you is drama over stupid things that shouldn’t matter.” And at the age of 21, I really should have listened but that’s another story for another day. The point is, fifteen years ago, acting hysterical over a celebrity dying was considered “bat-shit insane,” and frowned upon by anyone with a normal-functioning brain.
Enter 2016. Some fifteen years later, somehow my ex-girlfriend’s hysterical madwoman reaction, is now considered the “social norm” and society-at-large sees me every bit the “unfeeling uncaring animal with no humanity” I was accused of then. Again, I’m probably guilty of that, but also once again I do not think that’s the problem here. The problem here is that at some point, we took a very wrong turn from being able to function as adults and go about our day to hyper-sensitive crybabies who need to be coddled every time some stranger who wrote one or two songs or starred in one or two films we liked bites the big one, despite the fact most of them are:
· Over the age of 50 (in some cases pushing 90 years of age)
· Engaged in heavy drug and alcohol use over the course of their life and other destructive lifespan-shortening behavior
· Not even still actively performing or making new art anyway.
Yes, a lot of celebrities died in 2016, but we place more importance on their deaths than many of us did to people we knew personally. Sure I loved Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory growing up as a kid, but Gene Wilder’s death doesn’t affect me because I can throw in the movie on Blu-Ray any time I want to watch it, and Gene Wilder didn’t pay my bills or do my laundry and I got shit to do every single day – too much shit to worry about Gene Wilder dying because he was old as fuck anyway, and probably wanted to die to be with Gilda Radner. The only one I feel maybe slightly bad about this year among the celebrities who passed was Star Trek star Anton Yelchin, because he died in an accident and was like 10 years old. Dude was young. "Gone too soon" actually applies to Yelchin, unlike Zsa Zsa Gabor who was walking the earth while the fucking Dinosaurs were still around. How can I feel bad for her? She lived a full life, and she did it with more money and less hardship than any of us have on the day-to-day grind. Stop acting like this is some major tragedy!
David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Prince, and the list goes on and on and these people were iconic in their respective genres, whether it was music, sports, movies, etc. On the same token, I have a life, my time on earth is limited and I’m not going to waste it on people who in no way shape or form alleviated my personal burdens getting things accomplished. I also do not have the luxury to sit here and blame the calendar year. Look below:
In 2015, guess what? CELEBRITIES ALSO DIED. There may not have been as many dead celebrities that year, but regardless, it’s not that many fewer. And newsflash, pumpkins: People are going to die in 2017. People are going to die in 2018. Your grandparents are going to die one day. Your parents are going to die one day. Your pets are going to die one day. YOU are going to die one day but there’s not a damn thing you can really do about it so sitting there crying in your soup, trying to take a week off because Carrie Fisher died and you used to jerk off to her in her Slave Leia bikini in Star Wars is pathetic. Have we gone this low as a society? Is this what we place importance on? We can’t text somebody back in real life, but we can make a Facebook post or Twitter Tweet about someone we didn’t know died and how sad it makes us hoping we get some likes and retweets and attention from people who don’t even fucking matter in the end? Shit like this is why I hate all of you. And I’m going to sit here and be totally unbothered when the first batch of celebrity deaths in 2017 hits because IT DOES NOT MATTER.
The above photo is what happens when you’re so addicted to mourning you’ll mourn anyone. You didn’t even know that guy’s name until he died. Don’t feel bad because he died, feel bad because you’re a piece of shit that will mourn ANYONE who dies that the media tells you to mourn. Maybe instead of sucking everyone’s necrotic dick we should all start not giving a fuck when people die like James Woods does.
James Woods… is cool.