America, I am going to go on a bit of a serious rant today, and then I promise I will return to my idiocy either later today, or maybe tomorrow.
On January 26th, the great Kobe Bryant was killed, along with his daughter and others, in a horrible helicopter. As of this writing, the reason hasn’t been given, the media is trying to say it was because of fog, but early reports heard the engine sputtering. In the long run, does it really matter?
In the rush to be the first with the news, it was reported before his family had been notified. If true, I find this absolutely deplorable. I understand the first to report is the first to cash in, but a little decorum is always nice. I am old enough to remember three channels, and the news was straight forward, if a celebrity passed, you got the name, maybe how it happened, and condolences. That was it.
I remember when Elvis passed. (I am old) The man was the face of rock and roll, and he got more coverage than most celebrities. In reality, after about a week, he wasn’t mentioned on the news any more. You got a bit more of his movies played, I believe you got an “Elvis Live” concert recorded in Vegas, but the more sordid details were left for the Enquirer and Weekly World News.
Now, I do fault the news stations, because what is considered a “legitimate” news channels, now has to fill hours with content. You can only talk for so long about the actual accident, before you get into his personal life, his lawsuits, his relationships, and whatnot.
Though respected throughout the NBA, I’m not sure he was always liked, because he was an intense personality, who demanded hard work and dedication from his teammates. Not all of them shared his beliefs. I give the league, and players credit though, they were all shocked, but respectful in their social media, which is how it should be.
This rant isn’t about the media though America. It is a my general belief that the media is crows and vultures, picking the carcass of a story for any little morsel. I miss the days of straight news, no opinion, and checked out facts.
That’s not my beef (today). My beef is with the human garbage on social media. (which include some “legitimate” media) This is not Kobe specific either, but in general.
Social media, in many ways, has released monsters into our society. People can now make up a name, and say horrible things, spread asinine opinions, and spread rumors, and face no repercussions, because they are relatively anonymous.
And then someone dies.
I am fine with death. It is inevitable. I do struggle a bit when someone young dies. By young, I mean younger than me. I am closing in on 52, and in the middle ages I would be old and wise, but now, I am a little over halfway to death. It bothers me to see a man 41 years old robbed of his life. It bothers me to see younger people have a disease take them. It is a shame that people are taken in their job (police, rescue, military). Sadly though, it is a part of life.
So when it happens, and the vultures get a hold of it, they descend on it like fresh carrion. You get the people who are posting wonderful tributes, sharing the articles, or maybe leaving a little snippet, what the celebrity who passed meant to them, or what their art meant to them, and how it made them feel.
Then you get the garbage. The ones who take it to a darker place. They design memes that either speak badly about the person, or the untimely way they died.
You get the people who will bring up all the negatives in their life. They ignore the fact that legal matters were resolved, or that they were eventually proven innocent, or, in some cases, that the person was a ward of the state for a period of time, and paid their debt to society.
You get the people who use a celebrity death to push their own agenda. I don’t know about your feed, but mine was filled up by two people ranting that Kobe’s death gets all the attention, yet fallen soldiers don’t get any of the social media attention. (might I also add, neither have served)
It’s a double edges sword. If I had a family member that passed, do I really want the media to swarm my house or job, and start asking me for a reaction, or a quote, on a family members untimely death? Which will inevitably get twisted in one of two ways, pro war, or anti war (though no war is happening) And then, it gets twisted into pro (fill in the politician’s name) or anti (fill in the politician’s name). Do you really wish that on a family, who is suffering an emptiness, because a part of their life is missing? Nobody is waiting a month or so, for some healing to start, because nobody really cares at that point.
I also argue that Kobe knew the risk of flying, but the people who inevitably have lost their life defending the country, or serving the community, also know the consequences. Granted, other than Lt. Dan, nobody signs up for the military to die, especially in this day and age. It’s not like WWI thru Vietnam (though the draft was in place), where the odds were much higher.
Nobody signs up to be a police officer, thinking that they’re going to die. Nobody becomes a fireman, thinking that they will perish. It’s there though. It can happen, and it is a hazard of the job.
My whole point is, show a little respect on social media. My general rule is, if I wouldn’t say it to your face, I’m not going to type it on Twitter (it’s why my twitter is boring). There are celebrities who have passed that I despise (Michael Jackson), so I don’t bother mentioning them often. There are ones alive that I do the same for.
A comedian, who I liked, tweeted a horrible tweet, and the great Ice T took him to task about it. I liked this comedian, he’s in the Rogan universe, but it was so horrible on a human level, I will probably stop supporting him in any way.
Be kind people. You may think it’s funny, but sometimes a celebrity really means something to someone close to you, and you are going to risk losing a friendship, just so you can get a laugh from your other deplorable friends, who like to laugh at the misfortune of others.
The death never bothers me, but the impact on their families, though strangers, does. That plane was filled with son’s and daughters, husbands, wives, friends, aunts, uncles, role models, and innocents. When it crashed, in my eyes, it stopped being about the actually people, and started to be about the people in their universe.
I’m not totally sure where I was going with this. Social media is a double edged sword to myself. I want more followers so I can promote things, to reach more, and to entertain on occasion. I hate it because then I have to see some of the nonsense in their lives, and in some cases, lose respect for people I genuinely liked, or enjoyed.
Gang, be kind to one another. Tell the people in your life how you feel, cut out the ones who continually make you feel bad, and love the ones who make you feel great. It’s not always easy, you’ll miss out on some things, but in the long run, you’ll live a better life.
On that note, I want to thank the Spoiler Country gang (even Robert) for accepting me into their group, letting me write nonsense articles, allow the occasional rant, and for the support I often need from a friend. Sometimes they are the only ray of sunshine on a bleak day, and I appreciate each and every one of them, even Robert.