A few months ago a friend of the Comic Community died. Her friends set up a memorial page on Facebook to inform people about the arrangements and allow people to comment. Almost the first response was a comment from a woman, “I’d love to be there but I’m in L.A.”
Now, I ask you. Why the fuck do we need to know that? The short answer is that we don’t. The only need there is for this person to use a memorial page to brag. I think it’s called a ‘Tragi-Brag’. It’s taking someone else’s tragedy and putting yourself in it, for sympathy and attention otherwise reserved for the people it’s intended. It’s horrid and extremely prolific.
I have a friend who can not tell you about a disaster on any level without ingratiating himself right smack dab in the middle. He starts off with the ‘did you hear’ and the longer the story goes and the bigger his involvement, the worse the ending will be. We actually fell out for a long time when he tried to tell me about someone who had committed suicide. I knew the person really well, he didn’t. I really liked this person, he didn’t.
It’s worse when it’s a celebrity. Let’s face it, there were a lot in a short period of time at the beginning of this year. People are still posting things about their connection to David Bowie. I’m not staying it’s not sad. I was devastated when I heard and yes, I posted a picture of an old Bowie record and a small blurb about it. It’s human nature and I’m guilty as well, wanting to be a part of a big event that affects so many. But it ceases to be about the small simple fact that someone has died and all about how people can steal a bit of the fanfare around it.
It’s worse with social media. It always amazes me how someone or other touched someone’s life and influenced all their decisions after they die. Let’s talk about it now. Call out to your favourite teacher or rock star or babysitter or comedian. The beauty of social media is that you can actually do it. Reach out.
Let’s all Rest In Peace.