Monday, February 13, 2012

We Love Dead People

Whitney Houston died and that’s a bummer.  But not anymore of a bummer than the fact that other people I don’t know have died this week.  I don’t get jazzed when people die, but I also don’t get clinically depressed when a person that I have never talked to, been near, or physically affected anything that has ever affected anything that has affected her (and likewise) dies.  I don’t give a shit about Whitney Houston anymore that I give a shit about the person that lives three lots north of your mother’s childhood home.  Don’t know them (unless I do).  Don’t really care (then I do).

I understand that it sucks for everyone who knew the person that lived three lots north of your mother’s childhood home and I feel bad for that.  For the living people.  But the fact that the person I don’t know is dead fails to influence me emotionally in any major way.  This is one of the reasons I think everyone freaking out about Whitney Houston’s death is a little ridiculous.

Check this out:  Two weeks ago, nobody gave a fucking shit about Whitney Houston.  If you brought her up, people would be like, “Oh yeah.  Wasn’t she in that movie with Nic Cage before she got hooked on rock and then got beat up by Bobby Brown like thirty years ago?  Who cares?”  But now that she’s dead, she becomes Jesus’ wife.  LL Cool J read a prayer for her at the start of the Grammy’s.  She been on every single news broadcast since her death and continues to be the top story.  Twitter and Facebook nearly imploded as people posted her music videos and said shit like, “omg Whitnees ded im so f**kin sad! :*(“ 

She is now a diva and the pope and the queen of the universe.  All because she died.  Why do we do this?  Everyone is cooler after they die.  Kurt Cobain would have slid into obscurity if he hadn’t blown his head off.  Same with the dude in Full Metal Jacket.  And if Axl Rose had died about 25 years ago, people would still like him.  I don’t know if it’s the mystery of death, the fact that their story is done and they can’t accomplish anymore, or a fear of our own death in the face of another life ending.  For whatever reason, we fucking love dead people.

Look at Michael Jackson.  Five years or so before he died, he was on trial for fingering a kid or something.  Everyone thought he was a monster.  His face was all fucked up, he couldn’t dance anymore, he acted like a lunatic.  Nobody liked him except the people who liked to say they liked him.  Then he died and all of a sudden he’s a fucking god.  People are crying in the streets, wearing t-shirts with his face all over the place, TV specials dedicated to his influential career.  Everyone fucking loves him now that he’s dead.

And now it’s happening with Whitney Houston.  I could understand Jackson a little bit.  He made a ton of solid music for a little while there.  Houston had a couple songs.  That’s it.  She was good at the Super Bowl.  Otherwise, she was the star of the National Enquirer

People keep saying they’re shocked that she died.  I was more shocked to hear that she was still alive.  I figured she had died a while ago.  And if not, I probably could have guessed that she would die in LA under mysterious circumstances.  That hasn’t really seemed like too risky of a bet for a while. 

It sucks for her family and friends that she died.  No one likes that.  But the rest of us need to get our own lives and stop co-opting other people’s pain.  She sang well in the nineties.  She didn’t hand-deliver the first baby to be born since that famine.  There’s no need to treat her like she meant a lot to everybody.  In fact, she didn’t mean a lot to anybody.  Yes, I’m going to go ahead and say that Whitney Houston didn’t mean anything to anybody.  Dispute that.  

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