Let’s talk about death, baby. Let’s talk about you and me.
I’ve been screaming about how we’re all going to die since forever. It’s kinda my shtick. Now that it’s caught on with the masses, I’ve felt the need to tell everyone else to shut the fuck up. The secret to being on the cutting edge of grief is that I’m always angry (that’s Stage Two, by the way, which is the best stage).
By an amazing combination of pop culture memes and Internet saturation, we’ve reached the pinnacle of pants-shitting horror when it comes to celebrity lifespans. It is anathema to Americans that the privileges of fame and wealth haven’t been extended to mortality yet. Sure, they can buy better health care, or houses in twelve states to get on transplant lists (love ya, Steve), but when the Reaper comes a knockin’, they still have to let him in, and can’t Congress¹ do something about this? Will anyone survive 2016? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SEVERUS SNAPE² IS DEAD³.
I don’t hold issue with sadness. I can’t be angry at ideas. Cultural memes just might be the next step in human evolution. Too bad so many of them turn out to be the common cold, or full blown fucking AIDS in this situation.
No, I hate people, and you are one, so now I have something to wrestle with.
Let’s hit it with some science. The mortality rate in the US is actually declining. Of course, we’re all looking at 100% in the long run, but this isn’t the year everyone started dropping like flies. It’s the year everyone online started paying attention to the march of time. Basically, the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon got hit by a truck of radioactive ooze on the Information Superhighway and Confirmation Bias fell in (I am putting this in terms you can understand), fusing them into a solipsistic superhero with the powers of insincerity and bandwagoning. Code name: RAPTURE. (The costume is reaperesque with cool shades and a 2016 calendar on the chest.)
I know some of you guys have witnessed death this year. I am so, so sorry. As someone who has been there, I feel you, but that’s not even what this is about.
It’s about the fact that some of you guys cannot be telling the truth when you heavily imply that you were wracked with grief exactly 47 times this year when all your favorite actors/musicians/rich people/royalty/authors/artists/news anchors/professional wrestlers/Internet cewebrities/reality show “stars”/horse trainers/iguanas/Tamagotchis died. You just can’t. Some of you aren’t even taking the time to pretend you care and turn in a solid essay on the matter. It’s gotten pared down to:
Step One: Post obituary.
Step Two: Variations on “Oh no 2016!”
Step Three: Rinse and repeat.
You cannot possibly be that sad. If you are, please go to a doctor. Otherwise, you are lying about being sad, which is what sociopaths do. If you aren’t ever sad, you’re probably also a sociopath. My god you’re all sociopaths.
Look, I was sad over famous people a couple of times this year. David Bowie’s death hit me in the gut for real. I felt physical pain, and I still think about him often. It’s a miniature, almost microscopic version of the way I feel when I think about my father, who died in 2011. Every day, folks. Every fucking day.
Carrie Fisher’s passing has obviously thrust me into some sort of fugue state here so, again, Stage Two is how I deal. I am not so detached that I don’t realize I’m being a massive dickhead. Thing is, between Bowie and her, I can’t remember anyone else that I marked with more than passing interest this year. It didn’t hurt and I won’t pretend it did. Yeah, we can talk about it, but to say, “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY SOMEONE STOP 2016!” and then go on with your day displays your vast ignorance of statistics, and it’s just plain disingenuous as fuck. If you were really that afraid of 2016 you’d be taking a day off work to dig a goddamned bunker.
Maybe you’re just Having Fun Online. Who are you to tell me how to post, Internet’s Bob Talbot? Why must you rule over us with your iron fist? Well, here comes the guy with the answers.
My new invention, the Griefalyzer™, connects to any device via USB and Micro USB. By implementing patented grief-detecting technology into a user-friendly interface, the Griefalyzer™ will revolutionize the way we grieve online. Just blow into the Mouthpiece of Misery, which leads to the hormonal processing matrix and our GriefTech™ will do the rest.
When your actual, penetrating, gut-twisting sadness is confirmed by the headset, a signal is sent to your device which will present a series of options based on your level of distress, ranging from a winding autobiographical piece about how the deceased celebrity in question came to your boarding school and changed your life forever, to a crying sad face emoticon.
The Griefalyzer™ prevents meme drift and dysthymic feinting by activating a browser lock when the subject is not verifiably grieving. If the user attempts to circumvent the program, the MaxOffense AI™ will search its database and post a crude joke cribbed from Comedy Central Roasts to all of their social media accounts. No trigger warning here, folks!
The Griefalyzer™, in stores now at the low price of $99,999.99!
I’m so glad this fucking year is about to end, but guess what? It’s only going to get worse, fam. We still haven’t cured death and sweet little Donny will be at the helm. Prepare to flip that calendar on Rapture’s chest to 2017. There’s plenty of sick old people, but don’t forget that death comes for us all. Maybe a car wreck or two. Drug overdoses. Donny’s itchy finger on the red button. Surprise! Your heart exploded.
Strap on your Griefalyzer™, kids. We’ve got notables to notch!⁴
¹ House Bill 666
² We will accept foreign celebrities into the Celebrity Immortality Program as long as they tickle our collective pickles.
³ SPOILERS, SWEETIE.
⁴ This is Rapture’s battle cry as he puts a notch in his Grief Belt™.