"I see dead people"

A few people thought I was being unfeeling when I mentioned Aaliyah's death in a way that made it quite clear that I didn't really give a damn about it one way or the other. Let me quote from one of the emails I got (and I want to point out that I don't think poorly of this person, I'm just quoting them because they said what they wanted to more clearly than most):

"Most of the time I am in agreement with the things that you say on BME. This time I am not. Sadness about another humans passing for me has less to do with the circumstances in which it occurred and more to do with feeling that a young persons life was over too soon. I didn't know Aaliyah, and neither did many of her fans, but as a collective, as humans and individuals, isn't it really ok to to feel sad about her death? Or should we all just suck it up and not give a fuck about anyone?...
Maybe its the constant media coverage, or the fact that you feel that death isn't worth getting worked up over... ...eight people lost their lives and they were loved and appreciated while they were here, and respected when they were gone."

Let me point something out. Death is not uncommon, and 99.999% of the time, nobody cares. Millions of people die weekly. 34,000 children under five die of hunger related causes every day. Over three million people die a year from diarrhea — these are all avoidable deaths, making them far more tragic. Almost 75,000 people have died of AIDS in California alone. Add in Hepatitis and make it a world-wide number, and we're talking about a colossal plague.

These deaths are preventable, and almost no one cares. Almost no one mourns these deaths or does anything about it.

But when a young beautiful wealthy celebrity dies because they forced their pilot to overload their plane with their precious luggage, everyone is in tears. But when millions die in part because of the greed of Western culture, who cares, right? I've got a big TV and a sports car, why should I care? I've got my top-40 dance radio, and oh woe is me, the person of the moment isn't putting out any more music to sell me bubble gum with… Except of course for a few posthumus singles which will sell best of all.

In any case, I hope you understand that it's not death that I am mocking — it's the fact that outside of their friends and family, most people only care about celebrity deaths.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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