This article, ‘red rag to a bull’!
As one who, on social media, reports/highlights/comments, often at depth, on the passing of celebs (a word I use as a catchall but which is inappropriate as it cheapens the status of those who are of real substance), I feel that this loud mouth is having a go at me personally.
Sometimes, I merely post the letters “RIP” when a ‘celeb’ passes away, just a respectful mention often getting a little social interaction going and there’s value in that, a little social media friendly chat.
However, oft times, I do pour my heart out, express my upset at a “celeb’s” passing in emotional language but I do it NOT for dramatic effect but because it is how I genuinely feel and, usually, my ‘tributes’ resonate with Facebook friends and/or Twitter ‘followers’.
Cilla Black passed away last year. Ronnie Corbett passed away a few weeks ago. I met neither Cilla nor Ronnie C (nor Ronnie B, for that matter) but I was REALLY, REALLY upset when they passed away. I grew up with Cilla and The Two Ronnies. I don’t mean that we went out for dinner together every week. I don’t mean that we went on family holidays together. I don’t mean that we spent time in each other’s homes….or maybe I do mean that, or half mean it. In no way was I ever in Cilla’s or the Ronnies’ homes but they WERE in my home. They were in my home via the medium of television. The likes of Cilla and Ronnies B and C were in our homes in a way which I don’t think any ‘celebs’ are any more. Cilla, Ronnies B and C, Eric and Ernie etc., they were part of our lives, we genuinely felt that they were in our homes, we made social arrangements based on when Cilla and co were ‘coming round’. In short, in a way, we loved them, they brought a feel good factor/element into our lives, they ‘added value’, they were unique, we’ll never see their likes again and we mourn their passing!
Musicians: I penned a blog not long ago, “My Musical Demigods”, and I think it illustrates what music means to me (and millions of like-minded people):
Music and musicians add such quality to my life that when they pass on, I am genuinely affected. I wasn’t particularly ‘into’ Frank Sinatra when he was alive so when he passed away in 1998, although I was upset when I saw the news headline (I remember where I was – opposite the Royal Courts of Justice, on The Strand, London), I wasn’t distraught. One thing is for sure, that if time shifted forward and he passed away now, I would be distraught! Tony Bennett is my second favourite (UK English spelling) singer and his future passing doesn’t even bear thinking about…I will be distraught (I know I’m repeating that adjective but it is THE right one).
I think the point is this: none of us knew Mozart but millions of us love his music. The majority – more likely, all – of the ‘art’ we love, the music, the writing, the acting, the comedy, the showmanship et al, we don’t/didn’t personally know the creators, the ‘artists’, who brought us the beautiful work but through the work, because of the effect that the work has on our lives, in and on our souls, because of that, we feel that, in a way, we do know the ‘artists’ and that, in a lot of cases, we do ‘love’ them. In light of this, when these ‘artists’, or celebs, when these people who make us happy, who add quality to our lives, pass away, our expressing ourselves as we do on social media is cathartic and natural.
Oh, and I’ll just chuck this into the mix: if Alex Proud doesn’t like the outpouring, why doesn’t he just stop ‘following’ the outpouring Tweeters and ‘block’ or ‘unfriend’ the ‘offenders’ on Facebook?