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,