ROFL: Random Outbursts From Lar! LarryNocella.com

28Jan/08Off

When is it okay to cheer or laugh that someone died? Or, are The Darwin Awards funny?

So, I ask you, when is it okay to cheer or laugh that someone is dead, or has died unexpectedly? Is it ever okay?

The question occurred to me while browsing the internet. Liberal media watchers noted that Conservative opinionist John Gibson was mocking actor Heath Ledger's death. Conservative media watchers noted that Liberal opinionist Lionel was mocking nature stunt-man Steve Irwin's death.

Regardless of my political make-up, I find both comments disgusting. When I hear that someone has died, I don't think of it as an opportunity to make a joke, especially if they are some kind of entertainer and nothing more. Apparently I'm some kind of mutant.

Now that I've gotten on my high horse, let's really put it to the test: what if a nasty person died? What if a sponsor of mass murder like George W. Bush died? Would that be something worth cheering or mocking?

That's a tough question for me. Knowing that George W. Bush is a key component in keeping the occupation of Iraq and all the death, sorrow and suffering that follows going, could his moving on be viewed as a good thing?

I think yes, but even so, it's not the sort of thing I would yuk it up about. It's just too sobering. The guy was the public face of a movement that smashed an entire nation, got lots of young Americans and lots of Iraqis of all ages killed. Some are probably dying as you read this. If Bush were to die, I don't think it would be time to roll out the goofy hat.

Maybe it's time to breathe easier, maybe hope that one death might put an end to the war or speed its end, but still, I'm always struck unlaughing by the question, how did we get here? How did things get so bad that a nutcase like George W. Bush became president and caused all this destruction? How did it come to pass that I'm relieved at the fact that someone died?

It reminds me of a guy I once heard interviewed who watched the execution of his daughter's killer. Did it make him feel better? No, he said, nothing is going to bring her back. Nothing is going to make me feel better. It was real for him, hypothetical for me, but in my hypothetical-speak, I can relate.

Still, we're talking about nasty people dying. The comments addressed at the top of this post are about entertainers who never harmed anyone. Maybe they were a little stupid in some way, but they didn't actively harm people. They deserve a little respect.

Which brings me to the Darwin Awards. In case you haven't heard, they're "awards" given out to people who die (thus supposedly contributing to human evolution) because of their stupid actions. I've never been a fan of the Darwin Awards. Stupid as the award-winners may be, they probably had loved ones who are really sad over their death. Is that worth laughing at? It's not like the person did something dumb and is going to jail or is severely embarrassed. The person is DEAD. I just can't find death all that funny. Can't we draw a line somewhere?

Some may think I'm being uptight, but I'll parry and counter that. The Darwin Awards are for lame-asses who think they're superior. Every great story in your life involves you as a potential contender for a Darwin Award. If you haven't done something crazy reckless and stupid, then you haven't lived! Any "I was so drunk and/or stoned" story is only good if it involves a brush with death, if it comes terrifyingly close to making you a Darwin Award winner. Then it's something to share the next time you're drunk and/or stoned.

You don't even have to be intoxicated, that just adds to the humor. What makes a good story is cheating death. When death wins, that's just another day at the office and who wants to laugh at that?

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Larry Nocella is the award-winning author of the novel Where Did This Come From? available at Amazon and Xlibris and other fine online book stores. Where Did This Come From? is also available as an eBook. For more info, visit Larry Nocella's website at http://www.larrynocella.com/.

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