I read a Facebook posting recently, shared by a ‘friend’ [all I mean is this was an indirect receipt], where the original writer was chiding another who had tweeted about the tragedy of so many ‘stars’ dying in 2016, with – though I can’t recall exactly – a quite familiar emotive exhortation to the effect that the year should fuck right off. The critical riposte to this was a reminder that the woes of 2016 do not really compare with any of the Second World War years. Of course, this corrective was/is absolutely and importantly true.
But I still thought it rather sniping. Rude, in fact. I understand the frustration after hearing so much sentimental brow-beating about the death of celebrities this year, mainly musicians but also others. Like millions, I have felt that pain on both sides of the expressing.
We don’t need to go to any historical wars for the counter to this focus on 2016 and its celebrity passings. Aleppo today will suffice and there are many other contemporary touchstones of colossal despair. I tried to capture my thinking on these realities in this poem posted yesterday.
My reason for writing now is to post a link to The Guardian editorial on this same ‘debate’, a sensible observation that doesn’t seek to excuse but instead explain the tendencies. Read here.