Tuesday, December 27, 2016

News Flash: PEOPLE DIE

According to United Nations data, approximately 6,800 Americans die each and every day, or almost 2.5 million each year. At various times all of my grandparents and parents were among them, and I fully expect that one of these years I will be among them, too. As it turns out, exhaustive research indicates that not even one single country escapes a massive turnover of roughly one generation every generation. FIFTY FIVE POINT THREE MILLION people in this world die every year. It's global.

I've decided to refuse to feign shock or disgust that death also happens to celebrities. I note their passing with respect and gratitude for their accomplishments, and do not blame the Universe or this particular year.

Sorry if I sound crotchety, and I'll explain why, but it starts with the fact that somebody just notified the world that the Heat Miser died and they were just heartbroken.

The Heat Miser.

For the record, his name was George S. Irving, and he was in many movies, some of which I've seen and most of which I haven't. He was 94 years old. Personally, I'm not going to begrudge anyone his final rest when he's 6 years shy of a century on this Earth. Nevertheless, he voiced a cartoon character once, so his death tears a hole in the millions of hearts in which he had taken up residence. So we're notified that they were devastated and officially ready for 2016 to end, presumably taking Death with it.

See this guy? He's not really a person. He's not going anywhere with 2016; and for that matter, 2016 isn't going anywhere either. It's a constant, unstoppable flow of Time. '2016' is a label we've arbitrarily assigned to one otherwise undistinguished part of it.

I'm not bitching here to be heartless and cruel, evil, mean, wicked, bad and nasty. Quite the opposite. It appears that nobody ever told the kiddies that people actually die. They need to know this lest they carry on as if it's a surprise in 2017 and beyond.

Every last one of us is going to kick the bucket, and frankly, I don't think it enhances anyone's memory to go virtue signalling over it, wailing at the Universe and the personification of Time about the unfairness of it all.

It's perfectly fair.

So yes, I'm tired of people being tired of people dying. It's pointless. We're all dying, and that's OK. Everybody gets a turn; some sooner, some later. So let's stop griping about '2016' and how torn up we are, and how we're sadder than sad. Let's look fondly on their work, and how amazingly privileged we are to have recorded it so we can continue to enjoy it for decades to come. And let's stop having grief competitions over celebrities so we can spare a moment of similar fond recollection of some of the other 55.3 million people for whom we aren't privileged to have recordings. They were moms and dads and kids. They had talents you didn't know, and stories you never heard. We can allow ourselves just one moment to consider that when we lost them, we truly lost something, forever, 55 million times over. And then realize that in spite of that we can carry on. That's a real miracle.

Carry on.

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