Of Prince and Paupers


Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 7.18.19 PMDid you know that a real hero died this weekend?

I was just a little kid, but I remember well the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and what went on afterward.  My mother was determined that my sister and I were going to have a front row seat on history, so we were hot glued to the television.  I also remember the discussion between my parents and my grandfather Froehlich, who was visiting at the time, about what they should do because my sister was with our father, at someone’s home, and witnessed the Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald.  The following Monday, after the funeral, we drove my grandfather to the airport in Atlanta, after the funereal.  One thing I remember was my mother, talking to a friend, discussing the fact that Jackie was requiring those attending the funeral to wear full morning dress.  Funny the things you remember as a child.

I was sitting on the balcony of the apartment my sister and I shared in Atlanta on the afternoon of August 16, 1977.  Our neighbor was having a party, her first since her divorce.  She invited me over, but I was reading, something, and just enjoying the day.  The summer had been miserably hot and the Braves miserably bad.  I was watching the Braves, when the game was interrupted to announce the death of Elvis.  Shocked, I went next door to tell the neighbor.  The party became quiet as they turned on her television.  Several of the women began screaming.

There was not wall to wall coverage.  That was reserved for assassinated presidents.  The world was shocked, but it did not come to a halt, the way it has for someone who was far inferior to Elvis, and was not a President of the United States.  You would think, though that this drugged out screecher of music so inappropriate my sister would not allow her children to listen to him on the radio. He was one of the reason she controlled what her children heard.  It was entirely inappropriate then, and still is.

This universal mourning and demonstrations of group wallowing is disgusting.  The person is undeserving, or society does not mourn the deserving enough.  I think about my father, who was a good, honorable man, who served his country, giving up five years of his life, as part of the greatest generation.  It would have been nice to have more than immediate family and friends notice his contribution to society.  I suspect I’m not the only one to think this.

You think about the brave and heroic men and women who have given their all in the fight against terror and the fight for freedom in the world.  No one even notices, yet this drug-addicted freak is being given the send-off of a king.  I remember when Princess Diana died.  That was over-the-top, but nothing like this.  At least she was the mother of a future king.

Why is a rock star more important than a member of the Greatest Generation who played by the rules, fought for their country, did what was right, and suffered from Alzheimer’s due to war-related PTSD?  Why is he more important than the men and women who have fought and died in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Why is he more important than the cop who was slaughtered by a criminal or a firefighter who heroically gave his life saving others?

I don’t know about you, but the longer this drags on, the more disgusted it is.  I gather the man was talented.  I would not know his music if I heard it.  What I have heard, I thought it was worse than Michael Jackson, that lovely little pedophile who is still worshiped by a tasteless world. Enough is enough.  What this corporate mourning does is expose how worthlessly shallow our pop culture society is.

So much for celebrating the lives of people who matter – heroes who have given their all, for others.  They don’t matter.  Pop culture icons with massive drug habits do.

Go figure?