Life lessons

Great after Death

Before I go on with this post, I would like to say I am not out to offend anyone. I do not hate nor love the people I mention in the post. However, if you can’t digest something that may not be politically correct, I suggest not reading further.

This is something I’ve thought about for a while: Why is it that when someone dies, we speak or think of them in a better way than we did when they were alive? Why do we put them on a pedestal after their death? 

Celebrity deaths are a good example. Michael Jackson. The media treated him like shit when he was alive the last decade or so. He dies. And hey presto, all of a sudden, he is loved again. He must be wishing he had died earlier! Heath Ledger. I don’t remember hearing much about him as an actor until Brokeback Mountain. Then he died. And all of a sudden everyone is talking about what a great and magnificent actor he was and how is death is a loss to industry. Elvis Presley. He was great. But became greater after his death. Kurt Cobain became an icon for many after his death. Same with Michael Hutchence. But while they were great musicians, they weren’t exactly the best role models with their drug abuse and other behaviour. Not really someone you want to idolise. I could come up with several more examples but I will cut it short to Brittany Murphy’s death today. The morning news shows were talking about it and had their oh-shock-horror faces on. About someone they don’t even talk about most of the time. And probably have in the past to put her down because of her weight and other issues. I bet though, Lindsay Lohan is probably thinking she’ll be better off with the media after her death. What do you reckon? I’m sure they’ll speak highly of her once she’s dead… [For the record, I haven’t felt anything about these celeb deaths and others…couldn’t care less. It’ll be different if it’s someone I adore]

And it’s not just celeb deaths. I’ve seen it personally as well. My grandfather died when I was 11. And I saw my grandmother wail and cry like there was no tomorrow about how she was going to live without him. Mind you, when he was alive, she treated him like shit in those last few years. And  I remember thinking as an 11 year old that she was a hypocrite. I’ve seen others do similar things. They talk really badly about someone when they are alive but once they are dead, these people become saints!

So why do we do this? Why do we fake it? Why not just say you don’t care about X’s death? Why not be honest and say Y was an arsehole during their lifetime, if they were? Why not say you’re glad that Z is dead? Seriously, it’s not like they are going to get offended. They are dead after all.

Anyway, let me know if you do have answers to any of the questions.

I’m going to leave you with this brilliant piece by the Chaser guys I saw last year or the year before. I thought it was just great even though they copped flak for it as being ‘insensitive’. I think they were being honest…but then again, they were airing my exact views! Do watch this. [Had to give you the link because I couldn’t embed the video]

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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No Comments

  • Reply
    Titaxy
    December 21, 2009 at 5:32 am

    i am with you…

    i had thought about posting something similar when MJ’s death was all over the place…i didn’t get it…even people who didn’t like him started praising him and such…i only kept myself from doing a post because i was afraid (Yea i’m a sissy, whatever) of offending people.

    anyway, i don’t get it either…

  • Reply
    Titaxy
    December 21, 2009 at 5:38 am

    why not just be plain nice to people and identify their good qualities when they are alive? when someone is around we bitch about what is wrong with them, we forget to appreciate them for the nice things they do (no matter how less), and then once they are gone we look back and forget how awful the person was and highlight only the nice qualities and make them heroes…what’s the logic there? sigh.

  • Reply
    Titaxy
    December 21, 2009 at 5:38 am

    yay me first 😀

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    December 21, 2009 at 5:44 am

    @ Titaxy: Yep you’re first! 🙂 I had thought of posting immediately after MJ’s death as well…but didn’t. Thought it might be too soon. :p You’re so right! We do bitch about people when they are alive and then do the opposite when they die. No sense at all. What did you think about the Chaser’s Eulogy Song, by the way?

  • Reply
    Titaxy
    December 21, 2009 at 5:50 am

    lol…nice song :D…it’s all true, yet we just chose to ignore the facts and make them all heroes once they are gone. makes me wonder what’s the point in being nice then? if everyone i know is gonna worship me when i’m gone no matter what good or bad things i do now. only personal gratification, i guess

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    December 21, 2009 at 6:42 am

    Hehe…yep…let’s just be nasty because we are going to be held up on a pedestal after death. 🙂

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    December 21, 2009 at 7:07 am

    Nice thoughts…I was never a MJ fan and was surprised by his sudden popularity after his death…People became nostalgic and began to listen to his songs and that made them even more nostalgic. In the middle of all this, they somehow forgot all the accusations of child abuse and substance abuse raised against him

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    December 21, 2009 at 7:51 am

    @ Elizabeth: Welcome! I’m so with you! I wondered about that after MJ’s death…how everyone forgot the child molestation accusations! What next? OJ Simpson dies and everyone hails him and forget the murder accusations??

  • Reply
    ani_aset
    December 21, 2009 at 8:21 am

    I liked what Titaxy said there..what we should do basically? Looking at good qualities and learning from them..Now about why people do it, death is terrible, there is nothing more terrible than that..i read some months back an article about why one should mourn death, because if we dont, we will become like the worst animals..i take it as a part of evolution..may be you can tell us more about it being hardwired now in our brains that we celebrate birth and mourn death

  • Reply
    BlueMist
    December 21, 2009 at 9:03 am

    It is like this. When you put down your papers; then only people say good things about your work; until then it is all gray and opportunity to work on. LOL

  • Reply
    miss carly
    December 21, 2009 at 9:11 am

    im with you too.

  • Reply
    Magali
    December 21, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    I agree completely with you! I have thought the exact same thing… multiple times. And after much internal debate, i think I’ve come up with an answer. It’s a question of respect, I think. You know how people say ‘Don’t talk ill of the dead?’ It’s the same thing I guess. Respect or superstition makes people talk only nice things about people when they die. Maybe they’re scared that their ghosts will come & haunt them!

  • Reply
    Matt
    December 21, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Maybe people are regretting the fact that they treated the dead like crap when the lived so they chose to glorify them after death!

    Coming to the Eulogy clip by the Chasers,
    I had seen this clip during the Apec stunt time.Hilarious!.Although I found it a bit too..y’know…but I love this recital by the surprise spruiker guy!Haha the part at the last where he speeds things up,OMG I still cant stop laughing!

    ♪Top bloke after death.. ♪ lol

  • Reply
    Shahid Mukadam
    December 21, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I agree….I too have seen a lot of ppl like that

  • Reply
    Hiyaa
    December 21, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Totally agree to this post. I too think people are such great pretenders. Probably they don’t want to appear in a bad light or maybe they realise O mi Gawsh I dont want people to talk ill of me so lemme spread the good word so even if nothing I will be remembered as someone who spoke well of the dead…or better i think it’s because they realise they are going to have to face those people when they die…or…or….lol! I could write on and on.
    Awesome post.

  • Reply
    comfortablynam
    December 21, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    I was actually quite shocked after MJ’s death. I had not seen anyone talking about his songs for a long time..he was made fun of by everyone..and then suddenly after he passed away people were doing posts on him, talking about their fav songs of his, changing their FB status with ‘a loss to the industry’ yada yada..
    And that left me wondering if I was the only one who felt like that..glad to know I am not alone..

  • Reply
    BK
    December 22, 2009 at 5:41 am

    I guess it is just ‘politically right’ to say the good things since the person is dead already and there is really no point in saying bad things about the person. Perhaps, we can say they ‘forgive’ the dead? And yet it can be a simple fact that some people take others for granted and treated them like shit … until they are gone and they start to regret and saying they should have treated the them better. Of course, it can be pure hypocrisy. I guess there are still many reasons why people are behaving that way.

  • Reply
    Chetan
    December 22, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    i can’t say about celebs death
    but for others, i think that when they are alive, we take them for granted, and often their importance is understood only after their death

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