Yesterday after the news about Chris Kelly’s passing, I noticed a few people were questioning why so many were lavishing praise on this person, and why this was “news” or even important, compared to the 30+ people died in Afghanistan on the same day.
The 30+ were a mix of American and other soldiers, how are they not important? How come this isn’t all over the news? After thinking about this for a minute, I think that they’re on to something here, but also leaving out some other perspective. Fox News reported yesterday that “at least 2,077 US military deaths in Afghanistan since 2001.” [Read the Article]
One person was an 90’s rapper who had a couple of top 40 chart hits, and the others were unknown comparatively… But all of them were real people, all human beings, and they all left behind their own legacy.
Yes, I think it’s almost outrageous to think that so many people were heaping on all the extra love for this one kid who is/was a young star of music… why are we doing this? Why is this important again?
Well, compared to losing another platoon of soldiers overseas, it doesn’t compare. We should be heaping on all our extra prayers on them, as they are doing something much braver than wearing their pants and shirts backwards and making some rhymes. Why do we shower all this attention for the death of another musician or performing artist that has overdosed on drugs, died, or both?
I say popular media, sure. That’s the obvious pick. But after that…why? I wasn’t a big fan of Kriss Kross, they haven’t put out an album anytime recently. So they were going on a reunion-type tour, so what…
So well – Hearing of Chris Kelly’s death made me think about the day I heard Kriss Kross and the time in my life that represented. Those were good times, fun times, simpler times. Not to take anything away from Chris or any of his life’s struggles (fortune, fame, drugs, etc), but he doesn’t represent any big blips on my life’s radar screen, but he was a human being and he struggled like the rest of us. For that alone I’ll send my prayers to his family. But what about all the fuss in the news headlines yesterday?
We only know of him or even about him because he once shared the limelight with many other artists of his time. For a time, no matter how long or short a time period this was, …it was and we do know of him.
Do I think that it’s fair that news of his death in Atlanta created a social media avalanche, that his passing spread like wildfire in the popular news outlets? Well, it’s not really about what’s fair, it is what it is. There are many people in the entertainment biz that are saddened by his passing, there are those that worked with them and were a real part of his life, their grief is genuine.
Should we place more emphasis on American soldiers dying on foreign soil, while protecting our freedom? You bet, but that’s just not as popular as the Mac Daddy, aka Chris Kelly of Kriss Kross.
No matter how you feel, don’t shoot the messenger! I’m just here, talking about stuff like I do.
I think there’s a lot of haters out there, but there are also good people asking legitimate questions on why this is important, compared to other (seemingly more important things) that we should be talking about.
I have recently come to the opinion that the internet killed the simplicity of our lives by giving us information overload. This news is only reaching us in such proportion because all it takes is a click of a button to light the fire.
In the days long ago (before the internet, mobile devices and browsers), before Facebook, before Twitter… We had beepers back then and we used fancy codes, but we waited for a call back (sometimes hours)!
Back in that same time period we also got our news from the 3-4 major stations, and their nightly news broadcasts. If it was important enough to make the news, we didn’t learn about it until that night’s evening broadcast. The only way the world stopped for a moment when there was a “special news” bulletin and regularly-scheduled programs were paused, was if there was a war that started or someone important was assassinated. Otherwise you waited until 5pm to learn about the most important headlines of the day. Newspapers were snapped up in the mornings if there was something HUGE going on.
All of these things we hear about today would have been properly categorized and prioritized, so that maybe the more “important news” like our soldiers dying overseas would be more of the top headlines, versus another star that was found dead at home.
As news reporting changed and with the advent of the magazine-style reporting that covered more of our life topics, our view of what news is and isn’t has changed.
We now get a broader view of so many things, and as a result our overall view becomes diluted with smaller, more anecdotal information that might not be really important, but these tidbits become headlines all on their own.
Entertainment “news” is really a category, nothing more than a blathering of celebrity gossip gone wild, spreading useless facts about people that we only know because they sing or dance. Yes, that’s hardly a certification of any importance in the big picture, but it has gained popular status because of all the stupid people that fill themselves up with that kind of useless information.
These are the same people who buy all of the pointless magazines in the supermarket, because they are “inquiring minds that want to know…” these folks that need to keep themselves abreast of the latest celebrity fad diet, or who’s cheating on who, and what movie-star gets arrested this week, and why.
All of this crap which I deem meaningless, is the basis of the “popular culture” that has some meaning on some base level to some people. I guess they buy enough tabloid magazines and enough of the crap advertised in them so that we as a society cater to this by disseminating more of that same type of crap online. Go figure!
So the types of events in our history haven’t changed much, but the way we hear about it has. There have always been wars and soldiers who have died in them, there have always been movie stars with drag habits, there have always been celebrities who have wrecked their cars at 4am, and there have always been the occasional death of a recording artist that causes spikes in news coverage.
Again, the internet killed the simplicity in our lives. Events like the drug overdose and death of recording artists like Chris Kelly will almost certainly end up being plastered all over our mobile devices, coming in through social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and more.
News agencies, social media channels, and the blogosphere will spray us with thousands of useless bits and pieces of information every day, much more than we can quantitatively make any review of. It’s a faucet we just can’t turn off.
Maybe in the future things will be different, maybe we will go back to just a few information outlets somehow. After all, we don’t know what the future holds.
Just like the futuristic movie Demolition Man, where one of the characters talks about how “only one fast food chain has survived the ‘fast food wars’ – Taco Bell. Now all restaurants are Taco Bell.”
Think about that for a second, how preposterous that sounded. So I’ll say that “maybe in the future, only one news channel will survive the ‘popular media wars’, and so now there’s only CNN.”
I’m not sure I want to be alive in any post-apocalyptic future, but I would be really pissed off if there was only Taco Bell, and I don’t think I’d really want only one news source either. Guess I’ll have to live with a million channels and make my own opinion of it – with all of the superfluous information included.
What do you think?
By Louis Wing
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