(Note: The following quotes are ACTUAL posts from Facebook. I have omitted the names)
Yesterday I awoke to the shocking news that legendary singer Whitney Houston was found dead in L.A., she was only 48 years old. Of course I found this out via FaceBook. People had written things like, “I can’t believe another 80’s legend has been taken” or “I loved her voice“. Friends who I wouldn’t have guessed were posting videos of Whitney singing or doing commercials in Japan. I managed to put 2 and 2 together and realized what had happened.
And it WAS shocking. Whitney was so very young, and so enormously talented that it stunned the world. We all knew Etta James was sick and saw it coming. Same with Clarence Clemons. But when someone so young and so talented dies we fall into a state of collective shock. I felt this way when River Phoenix died, and again when Heath Ledger died, and now again with Whitney. Wether we cared for her music or not, there is no argument that she was a true talent. Her voice was one of the most superb instruments that the world will ever see. And that’s the truth.
But after the shock wore off people seemed to turn ugly. I started seeing posts on FB that said things like, “What did that crackhead expect?” or “This is what happens when you use drugs“, “Did someone famous die?” replied with “no“, and the asshole of the year to this douche – “you couldn’t blame people for being upset if this had happened twenty years ago. she had an amazing voice and was part of an american musical dynasty. although the “hits” she was turning out at the time were radio drivel, you can’t blame people for expecting great things to come. they were quite wrong of course. she squandered her talent. so now, we mourn the loss of someone who’s done nothing for 20 years. what loss? she wasn’t vera lynn.” followed by “No sympathy for her at all.” and “She did win an impressive 6 grammys over 14 years. Tho less impressive was her recent attempt at 6 grams over 14 minutes..“
What the fuck is wrong with people? A person, a human being died and we decided its ok to judge them and publically mock them? Yes, she did crack, and that is probably what killed her, but do you think we can take a minute to think of her family and friends and how they must be feeling right now? I think in this day and age when anyone with access to a computer and internet can say whatever they want, we need to think about rising above and being more sensitive. There are times for jokes, and there is time for respect. The truth is that there are millions of people (ordinary people, not just celebrities) use drugs and die as a result of it. Most of them don’t have to suffer the judgement of strangers who think they “deserve” it, or they “don’t care” because they “sucked“.
Well assholes, I got something to say to you. Shut the fuck up. Maybe when you die some punk will start making jokes about what a turd you were in life, or how shitty you were at your job and how irrelevant you became. Maybe some stranger that heard about your death will say you deserved it because you drank so much, or ate so much, smoked so much, and what did you really expect? Hopefully there will be a FaceBook thread that discusses all of the great things you didn’t do in your life and how you wasted it. Hopefully someone will make a list of all the awards you didn’t win and all of the ways you could have contributed to society and to the world but didn’t because you were too busy trolling dead people on FB. And maybe your family will get a chance to see it and feel even better.
If we can do one thing as adults, let’s do this. Let’s decide together to do better. Lets decide not to judge those that have died and instead just let them sincerely rest in peace. It is what you would want for someone you cared for, so give the same respect to others.