Thursday 23 November 2017

Farewell to 2016, the year of faux-grief!

The year 2016 has drawn to a close and already, we are in the first flush of a new phase.

A clean slate, a full new year ahead and with it, the unknown.

There are lots of events that many would rather had not happened, or simply that they could forget, the atrocities carried out in Syria, terrorist attacks, the election of Trump... the list goes on.

However, these are important historical milestones that need to be documented and debated and while they were, to some extent the unfathomable over-riding theme of 2016 was celebrity deaths.

The death of a popular culture icon, actor, musician, comedian - whatever, is always going to be of interest but the reaction of the world over the last 12 months has just been bizarre.

Many of these 'stars' had well-documented addiction issues so in truth it was rather surprising that they made it past the age of 30.

The manner in which social media has been awash with meaningless tributes and over the top faux-grief is sickening.

The loss of any human being is of course tragic for their loved ones and family and while it is sad to see any 'icon' pass away, I just can't understand how fans think they have the same right to grieve in such a vulgar way.

There is a certain delusion about celebrity culture that fools people into thinking they know the person and it is unhealthy for them to treat the death of a famous person like a personal tragedy.

If I see one more '2016, how could you?' tweet I may just faint. It's just ridiculous.

While I recognise that any of these celebrities who brought joy to their fans, are going to be missed, it's as if social media has created some sort of parallel universe where such delusion is encouraged and supported. It's like a support group for the deluded.

The year 2016 didn't kill a bunch of famous people, it was simply coincidence, yet the grief stricken super-fans keep jumping on that bandwagon.

As we close the door on what has been a very tumultuous year internationally, I really hope the important things that happened in 2016 are acknowledged more than strange social media trends and that those who are plunged into grief by the death of a celebrity they never even knew wake up and realise what is truly important.

Wexford People

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