The Tribute to Dead Celebrities
Somebody famous died a few days ago, but it was a celebrity I had never heard of before. The television news ran a two-minute segment on this celebrity’s achievements and lamented how this celebrity had died too young. A bunch of bloggers wrote tributes. This celebrity’s name trended on Twitter for a few hours. People who (probably) never had met the celebrity seemed sad.
I don’t know. I have never felt an emotional connection with celebrities. I’ve emotionally bonded with stuffed animals, sock puppets, and even members of my family. But I’ve never felt connected with a celebrity, not so much that it affected me when that celebrity died. When a celebrity dies, I say (or think) “That sucks.” And then I go on with my day. I’ve never felt like writing a tribute to that celebrity on my blog, tweeting about the celebrity, or going to that celebrity’s funeral.
I have nothing against the tribute to dead celebrities. I read other blogger’s tributes if I’m interested in the dead celebrity. Sometimes I’ll watch the tribute to a dead celebrity on the television news. Maybe I’d write a tribute if the right celebrity died (“right” isn’t the correct word, but you know what I mean, I hope), but it takes me too long to gather my thoughts. By the time I’d finish writing the tribute, the period of social media mourning would be over and nobody would read my tribute.
That might be a bad reason to not write a tribute, but I hate writing stuff that nobody reads. My first year of blogging (maybe more) was filled with writing stuff that nobody read. That was a lousy feeling. I’d spend hours writing long posts that nobody would read and then I’d think, “Why did I spend so much time on that?”
I’ve never written a tribute to a dead celebrity, but I’ve never written a tribute to my deceased relatives either. Several of my deceased relatives deserve a tribute. Maybe all of them do. Maybe instead of writing a tribute to a dead celebrity whom I’ve never met, I should write a tribute to relatives who have had an impact on my life. Fewer people would read a tribute to a relative than a tribute to a celebrity. Page views matter, but my blog numbers aren’t big enough that the difference would be all that much.
There have only been a few times when I’ve felt anything when a celebrity died. I was in ninth grade when John Lennon got shot. That was a big deal, and we talked about it at school, but I was too young to be passionate enough about John Lennon to cry. The most common reaction was: “Now The Beatles will never reunite!” Then we blamed Yoko Ono some more for breaking up The Beatles. That seems kind of shallow, but what else would you expect from ninth-graders?
A few years ago, two celebrities died on the same day, and one of them received far more attention than the other. It was weird, hearing fans of the lesser-known celebrity complaining about the lack of media attention because she had passed on the same day somebody more famous died. I’m pretty sure the semi-ignored dead celebrity didn’t care.
If you don’t like the recently deceased celebrity, the next few days after the celebrity’s death can be brutal. If you hate the dead musician’s songs, the tunes will be stuck in your head. If you didn’t like the celebrity’s movies, friends/co-workers will be reciting quotes. If you despised the deceased politician, newscasters will proclaim how wonderful the politician was, despite doing horrible things that would get normal people like us arrested. We can’t say that we dislike the recently deceased celebrity; that would be rude. We must restrain ourselves for a while, at least one week or until the next celebrity dies, whichever happens second.
I can see why some people connect with celebrities. Celebrities (while they are alive) often say that they love us (at concerts, award ceremonies, or even book signings), but I doubt their sincerity. Celebrities usually leave a few minutes after they tell us they love us. If a woman ever told me that she loved me but then left me forever a few minutes later, I don’t think I’d believe she really loved me. Even during the most gullible phases of my life, I don’t think I’d have believed her. I can’t write a tribute to somebody who says he/she loves me but doesn’t.
Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like more celebrities than ever are dying. It’s probably because it’s easier to become a celebrity. Maybe that’s why I had never heard of the dead celebrity from a few days ago. There are so many celebrities that a normal person can’t keep track of them anymore.
I’ve met only two celebrities face-to-face. One of them hit on my wife, and the other one yawned in my face. I don’t think I’ll write a tribute to either of them, even if I outlive them, which I might not. If I have the opportunity to write a tribute to them, though, I hope it’s not for a long, long time.
What do you think? Have you ever written a tribute to a deceased celebrity? Which celebrity have you emotionally connected with?