Friday, January 30, 2009

Stop Your Sobbing

It's always sad when one of your heroes or favourites dies. But as much as I admire an singer or an actor, it's unlikely I'd ever shed a tear over them, write poetry or publicly thank them for their good work on a personal level. You know, 'thanks Paul, for helping me through, etc'. I find all that especially cringeworthy. I didn't actually know them.

I remember my brother crying when Elvis Presley died, but I think he got caught up in the moment. He was only nine. When Kurt Cobain died, a colleague had to go home because they needed to play his records 'and say a private goodbye'. Frankly, I thought that was preposterous. I'd never even heard of him.

The whole of Britain sobbed uncontrollably when Diana died. Except me and Mrs F-C, who really couldn't see what all the fuss was about. She was right. Britain embarrassed itself and hasn't been able to look itself in the eye since.

I've never cried over anyone famous. I'm saddened of course, as I think it's a shame when someone talented whom you liked is taken. For example, Kirsty MacColl was a true tragedy, she had so many years left. I was shocked. But I didn't cry.

I wonder what sort of person you have to be to cry over the death of a famous person.

A normal one? A sensitive soul? You?

Am I being hard here, or am I just as I should be?


Matthew Rudd said...

I doubt I would ever cry over the death of someone famous. The most shocked I ever was over a celebrity death was when Freddie Mercury succumbed, although I think that was as much about the timing as anything, as he'd only released his statement confirming his illness 24 hours earlier.

Given the unspeakable hounding he'd been getting from the tabloids, the admission of his condition was hardly news, but I suppose it did give the impression that he had at least a few months ahead of him.

office pest said...

Yes I agree with Matthew, Freddie was the most upset I've been and that was without all the indulgent paraphanalia of the state funeral etc a la Diana.
I suppose to cry or not depends on your normal reactions to things, and there's nothing wrong with it if you do. So long as the emotion comes from within (how poncy that sounds but you know what I mean).

Five-Centres said...

I do know what you mean, OP. I'm not the most emotional person. Animals move me more than people, it must be said. I just wonder if one day all that emotion I never knew I had is going to come pouring out in some sort of awful meltdown.

I do hope not.

Planet Mondo said...

I think it depends on your connection with the person..My mum was in floods about Freddy Mercury - it's the only time she's ever been like it, but was completely under his spell. John Martyn was a real shaker for me , not that I blubbed, but because

A - I connected with him, his playing and his music.

B - It's associated with so many special moments for me/us..

If I do ever 'go', it will probably be over Macca for all the stick he gets (Frog Chorus, Ebony and Ivory, ) - he's got a catalogue of pure geniusness songwriting,bass playing, and boundary breaking - and you know overnight he'll be taken seriously by which time, it's all too late

Ishouldbeworking said...

I was genuinely very sad when John Peel died - I didn't cry, but unusually I did phone a couple of friends specifically to tell them and to 'share the trouble'. But generally speaking unless I have an actual, two-way relationship with someone, I don't think I can claim to feel genuinely bereaved when they die.

We deliberately went to France for the day to escape Diana's bloody funeral. Even then they stopped the damn ferry half way across the Channel and imposed a three minute silence. Insane.

Cocktails said...

I was genuinely shaken when Grant McLennan from the Go-Betweens died. I didn't burst into tears, but I felt a distinct sense of loss. It's selfishness in a way I suppose, just me cursing that I would never get to go to any of their gigs again. I love the Go-Betweens. They are one of the few things that can make me feel homesick.

Roman Empress said...

I don't feel emotional at all, even if I've met the dead celeb in person, as in my more pushy, out there, youth. Indeed, I perversely enjoy a celebrity shock death, a la Paula Yates (although not McColl).

Nick Tann said...

I completely agree with you...or did until I read that John Martyn died. Watching an old vid of his on youtube, I started welling up!!!

One of the greatest influences on my writing..