Some guy, who was in a band that influenced a lot of other bands, passed away at 3 o’clock this morning from a disease that some other band was named after. In a mass, spontaneous outpouring of sadness, thousands of anguished metalheads today posted R.I.P. on their Facebook pages along with pictures and videos mourning the death of a moderately talented, long-haired stranger.
“I can’t believe what’s-his-name is really dead. This is the saddest day since the other guy died a while back,” said some highly emotive gloom-monger who downloaded most of the band’s material off of Limewire.
“This is a great loss for the world of music. Metal will never be the same,” said some dude who claims his band once opened for a band who opened for Metallica.
The dead guy’s band, which had recently traveled around the country and played a series of uninspiring concerts in front of people waiting for someone else to play, will try to soldier on without him. In spite of their sadness about his death they have been somewhat consoled by a 15 percent spike in Youtube traffic, not to mention the exciting marketing opportunities that only the sudden, horrific death of an artist can provide. Several tribute albums featuring obscure musicians looking to rip the remaining flesh off of his corpse should be available soon as people race to cash in on the public’s fetishization of grief.
Sure, his family will probably miss him and the two or three people who actually liked him and thought of him as more than a connection to the rockstar lifestyle are filled with sorrow. But, at the end of the day, his death was probably a good thing. After all, it provided thousands of individuals with the opportunity to share in yet another in a never-ending series of public events meant to distract people from issues that actually affect them. Plus, many will now be able to participate in the fantasy that by exhibiting sorrow on a Facebook status, they can fool people into thinking that they are creatures still capable of experiencing human emotion.
Of course, it is quite possible that his death is actually just some sick prank to gather attention to websites like this one, which traffic in confusion as some bizarre postmodern form of currency. Or, it could be part of an elaborate hoax used to allow the artist to escape from the rigors of a life of in the spotlight. Like Elvis. Or Kennedy.
One thing is certain, death is a valuable and coveted commodity. If scientists could find a way to allow humans to die multiple times, it would be a marketing bonanza. To misquote a great line from Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales, “Dying might be a heck of a way to make a living.”