Death vs Death

1. If you haven’t read “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, then I’m not sure what you’re doing on the internet. Go read it. Now. The ending made me kind of angry, but then not really because it was kind of brilliant. We shouldn’t always be allowed to get happy endings and/or justice from our entertainment.

2. The internet has had a really fantastic outpouring of self-righteousness as of late. First with Paul Walkers death. You know what I’m talking about. Everybody guffawed because people didn’t seem to be paying Roger Rodas’ death as much attention (not taking into account that his name wasn’t released until the next day). And then when Nelson Mandela passed, the guffaw fest continued as people got up in arms about others not knowing who Nelson Mandela was. How dare you not be as sad about the death of an icon than you were about a celebrity? Balk! Gah! This generation! Bah! Read books, harrumph.

Listen. Media has really messed us up. I admit that I was saddened to hear about Paul Walker’s passing, because I’ve been watching his films since high school. My brain tricked me into thinking I knew the guy, I don’t understand the psychology of it, I just know I was sad. But I also know who Nelson Mandela was, I’ve heard his story, I know what he’s done. His death, for me, was not as heartbreaking because he got to leave a beautiful legacy, he got to influence and help millions of people–he lived a full life despite all his hardships. Paul Walker was only 40, and he had a lot of living left to do. I’m not comparing deaths here, it’s all sad no matter what. Death is weird and no matter how many times it happens, it’s not something I think humans get used. There’s a finality to it that we can’t wrap our heads around. There are no more chances in death–no more goodbyes or hugs or forgiveness. It’s just over and we have to deal with it.

And you know what? I get why there are American children/teenagers/young adults who do not know who Nelson Mandela is. I don’t remember learning about him in school, I learned about him from my family and from other adults who spoke of him. People don’t learn important things like that anymore, and if they do it’s just so they can take a test and move on. The things that saturate their existence is texting and Justin Bieber (One Direction? Selena Gomez?) concerts.

I’d like to add–for those in a blind rage about Walker being mourned more than Mandela–that chances are Mandela is gonna be in history books (if he’s not already). He did things that changed history and will be taught in schools. It’s not likely he’ll be forgotten. But for all the good Paul Walker tried to do in his short time (he started charities, he volunteered his time and money to disaster relief, those sorts of things), he’ll probably just be remembered as “that handsome guy from the Fast & Furious movies” which, to me, is kind of sad.

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