I’ll be honest, I don’t give a damn when celebrities die. As I write this, Peter O’Toole and Nelson Mandela are still being whined about, as well as the tons of atheists who are remembering the death of Christopher Hitchens two years ago, but you know something? None of these things bother me in the least. Why? Because people die. Everyone dies. Death is a natural part of life. It’s as natural as going to the bathroom, yet you don’t see many people wailing and gnashing their teeth because someone takes a shit. Maybe if you only did it once in your life, they might, I don’t know.
The reality is, about 6100 people die every single hour worldwide. You don’t see the Internet community falling down about the overwhelming majority of those deaths, do you? Why? Because virtually all of them are nameless unknowns. They weren’t on TV. They weren’t in movies. They didn’t run with a football or do anything else notable. But honestly, what makes the people who did any of those things inherently better than the factory worker who died or the doctor who died or the teacher who died? Absolutely nothing. The world doesn’t remember 99.99% of the people who drop dead, why should they remember the .01% that might have been relatively well known?
As far as I’m concerned, when you’re dead, you’re dead. We enjoyed what you did when you were here, but after you’re gone, you’re really of no more use to the world. You’re just a lump of flesh. You are not an ongoing concern. The people that I know personally who die, I grieve for, but for the rest, no matter how much I might have liked their on-screen work, I have no personal connection and so there is no grief. I didn’t feel horrible when George Carlin died, even though he was my favorite comedian. I didn’t tear my hair out when Christopher Hitchens died, even though I enjoyed at least some of his work. I accept that people die. I don’t wallow in it.
People need to learn to deal with reality. Everyone dies. Everyone you know is going to die. That’s life. I’m going to die. You’re going to die. Most people don’t know me and won’t grieve for me because there’s no point to it. I probably don’t know you and won’t grieve for you. I don’t view death of a single human being to be a tragedy, it’s simple reality. This is especially true when most of these celebrities are in their 80s and 90s and are dropping dead of natural causes and people are acting like this is some sort of horrible happenstance. Why? That’s how most death occurs!
So why are so many atheists so caught up in death? Is this a recent thing? Is it because of the Internet? Is it a result of hero worship? Please, someone explain it to me because I don’t get it. How can someone that you’ve never even met mean so much to you? Of course, it’s not just the famous, random people who die get nearly as much attention. Some kid blows their brains out? Holy shit! Rally the troops! Some school gets shot up? What the hell? It’ll be the top topic for weeks! Every single one of the dead will be a victim or a martyr, just you wait and see. It’ll spread like wildfire across Twitter and the blogosphere. There will be Facebook memorials set up. Why? Because nobody ever ought to die and certainly, they shouldn’t die violently, yet that’s exactly what’s happened since man came down from the trees and I just don’t get the attraction to mourning the loss of every single human being that makes the news. They’re dead. It’s a shame. I feel bad for their families. I don’t feel the need to go beyond that.
Why do you?