My Facebook newsfeed was flooded with upset emoticons and question marks on Saturday when Paul Walker died in a car accident at the age of 40. The star of the “The Fast and the Furious” franchise was the passenger of his friend’s speeding car, which burst into flames after it hit a tree during a charity event for victims of the typhoon in the Phillipines.
There’s just something about the Facebook and Twitter reactions that always grinds my gears when this kind of thing happens. I hate going onto my favorite Facebook page and seeing that the top four comments all read some variation of “RIP Paul Walker.” Earlier in the week, it was the exact same thing about the fictional character Brian Griffin.
Start a search on Facebook for “RIP Brian Griffin” or “RIP Paul Walker” and count the amount of pages with the exact same profile picture. Its more than a little upsetting to see the desperate bids for attention. The biggest R.I.P. Paul Walker page hit 2.4 million followers in a little over a day; it consists of pictures, quotes and obscure references to other roles he played growing up. If this is the way people grieve nowadays, call me old school.
There’s nothing wrong with expressing condolences at the death of the celebrity. But do people realize it’s a quick way to make top
comment, or are they genuinely trying to convey their upset feelings on every public thread they see? I’m just terrified to look at my feed the day the writers of “The Walking Dead” decide it’s time to kill off Daryl.
I’m tired of the superficial sentiments cast about every time an actor dies. More often than not, statuses include the fact that you’ll never get to see another movie by the deceased again. It’s selfish and it’s not something you would see if a family member passed away. Anyone who has lost a family member can tell you that real loss feels like a nagging bug that doesn’t go away for days, weeks, or months. It doesn’t feel like discomfort at the fact that you won’t get to enjoy someone’s work anymore, and it most definitely wouldn’t be followed with sentiment like “it should have been Miley.”
How many people cracked jokes about Heath Ledger’s role in “Brokeback Mountain” before he passed away prior to the premiere of “The Dark Knight”? Why is he suddenly the greatest actor of this generation because he committed suicide after playing a sick and twisted character like the Joker?
I guess it’s a little unfair to peg this as a problem for this generation; Van Gogh only sold one painting before his death and now he’s one of the greatest artists of his generation.
You’re allowed to grieve over the loss of your favorite actor, but death should never be used as an attention grab. If all of the new Paul Walker pages were to start charity events to finish what Paul Walker died doing, then the ends would justify the means and it might be okay. If you really do care about these people, let their death mean something. Make something of it. Don’t just say you were the first of your friends to retweet it.