Pop Culture Mourning

As of the publicity of Whitney Houston’s death builds in a yearning for the who, what, when, and why of her death I have observed disagreements on mourning her or whether or not people can mourn those they don’t know. Traditionally speaking mourning has been the nature of expressing sadness via wearing black, ceremonies, moments of silence, etc. Mourning is usually an actual action reserved for showing that you are grieving someone. Throughout history women who lost their husbands wore all black for a certain number of days so that others would know that she is suffering from lost.

Mourning strangers…

People reserve the right to mourn anyone they want to mourn. Recently the death of Whitney Houston has been a trending topic in the question of mourning. People claim to be mourning her because they feel a deep sadness. I feel like there wasn’t this much talk surrounding whether or not to mourn Michael Jackson so why the big discussion around mourning Whitney. In any case of death there will be a range of emotions. Everyone should be allowed to feel the way they like whether the deceased is a stranger or not. I think my major issue with considering yourself mourning any celebrity is the question of what you’re mourning about them. If you will miss their music that’s one thing, but if you don’t have any relationship to them what can you mourn? How do you mourn? Is a simple sadness synonymous with mourning? Traditionally it hasn’t been.

Pop Culture…

The “pop” in pop culture is short for “popular.” When ones death becomes popular there is a thing that happens which I am coining “Pop Culture Mourning.” This means that there will be a few tributes on radio stations and TV shows. Every person relevant in Pop Culture at the time of their death will be considered knowledgeable enough to be asked “what do you think about the death of such and such…” Every fan of the person will spend moments posting their thoughts, videos and “R.I.P.’s” on their social media profile of choice. Bloggers everywhere will blog what TMZ reports about the death. Then BAM! in 24hours the person and their death will become a thing of the past. A minor whisper in the ear of a passerby. Deceased pop icons become no more than answers to the question “who inspires you?” I feel like this is such a dishonor to a real human being that has family, houses, fans, an actual life. Whitney’s life extended past her popularity in an ever-changing culture of inconsistency. So when I question why people consider themselves in mourning over the death of a celebrity it’s because I feel like one’s life should be cherished and one’s death should be taken more seriously. Send prayers to the family, post R.I.P.’s via social media, and take time to appreciate the tributes. However, mourning seems to be more synonymous with “actions stemming from grief over a period of time” not just a mere sad feeling.

Have you been checking for Whitney before now? Have your follows been all about the newest sighting of her misbehaving or dating Ray J or doing things that make news? Has your relationship to her only been about what’s shoved in your face by POP CULTURE? If so, I think the idea of mourning her is a bit drastic to consider yourself doing. As of today Whitney Houston is no longer a trending topic on twitter. Now the discussions are about the Grammy awards and Valentines day. Today’s report on Whitney is that she died from a mix of prescription drugs and alcohol. She did not drown in the bathtub. She was found by her aunt Mary Jones. Once this news becomes popular she will probably make the trending topic list once more before the funeral. Then probably never again, well unless her daughter does something ridiculous.

I just feel like families of celebs deserve privacy in their time of actual mourning. They don’t really need a bunch of people who know one side of a celeb acting as if they have more reason to mourn then they do. When I die, respect and honor me by saying nothing. Play my music in your ipod. Send cards to my family. Keep one of my CDs and support whatever my children decide to do with themselves. This is much more appreciated than the drama of peering into my life more than it already has been.

Thank you for reading!

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Pura Vida (Pure Life),
Shelly Bell


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