When celebrities die, it isn’t automatically a tragedy, as some people seem to think. And no, 2016 is not some unusual year for celebrity deaths, it’s just that a lot of people who are whining about it are in their 40s and the people they grew up watching are now in their 70s and above, of course they’re going to die! But no, it’s got to be some grand conspiracy! It just makes me face-palm.But then again, I don’t get all broken up that people die anyhow, especially people I have never met and don’t know. I really don’t get the kind of “ownership” that I see of fans and the properties they are fans of. It’s like they think that someone owes them, either more of that intellectual property, or even just the survival of old-school TV and movie stars.
The reality is, everyone dies. And when these celebrities that are dying are in their 80s and 90s, of course they’re going to die. It’s only a matter of time. It isn’t even really “too bad” that they die because everyone does. The average life expectancy today is 78.74 years. If you make it farther than that, you beat the odds. And if you don’t, half the people don’t, that’s how averages work. The only case where I’ll say it was too bad is if someone dies through no fault of their own and through no fault of biology. If they’re run down on the street or shot in a crime or something like that. Then, I can see getting upset. But because someone lives a long life and dies in their sleep, that’s not something to get worked up about. That’s how reality functions.
But you know who has died? Lemmy died. He lived a really hard life and died at age 70. Is that tragic? No. Angus Scrimm died, the Tall Man from Phantasm fame. He was 89. Is that a tragedy? No, that’s old age. David Bowie died. He had cancer. So did Alan Rickman. So did Dan Haggerty. Abe Vigoda was 94. He had a good run. So did Sylvia Anderson, who dropped dead at 88. Then you had people like Dave Mirra, who killed himself, and Prince, who died of a drug overdose. You might feel sorry for the last two, but they did it to themselves. In fact, I was unable to find anyone significantly famous who has died so far in 2016 that didn’t either live a very long life, or succumbed to disease, or did themselves in. I might have missed one, but it certainly isn’t something common. So far as I can tell, 2016 has been no worse for celebrity deaths than any other year has been. People die every day. We need to stop making such a huge deal about it.