Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Jackie Chan Dies on the Internet Every Five Minutes

Yes, it's true folks.  The interwebs doesn't lie.  It's very sad; believe me, I know.  But Jackie Chan, the action star whose movies I grew up watching, is dying at a rate of at least once every five minutes.

Image: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Jackie Chan  Uploaded by maybeMaybeMaybe) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

"How can we stop this from happening?" you might be asking yourself.  Well -- and I legitimately believe this -- the only way to stop Jackie Chan from dying on the internet every five minutes is to buy my book, Astral Imperium And Other Stories.  Otherwise, he may never recover.  You might also decide to donate vast sums of money to a charity I invented just now as I'm typing this, called Save the Whales, Children, Homeless Ostrich Farmers, Jackie Chans By Donating Your Entire Net Worth To My Fake Charity (identified by the easy-to-remember acronym: STWCHOFJCBDYENWTMFC).

I hope at least someone is sitting down after a long day at work, reading this and thinking, "Yes, that seems legit.  I will do these things to save Jackie."

My question is: Why do people want other people dead so very much?  What's going on here?

We are, as a culture, fascinated with tragedy.  Ironically fascinated.  We push death on others just as quickly (if not more quickly) than we push it away from ourselves.  We're just as likely to slow down along the highway to crane our necks at accidents, staring at crumpled cars pulled to the shoulder and spread open by the jaws of life, as we are to hope that something like that never happens to us.

Celebrities are easy targets -- they're highly visible and often idolized.  What's more gripping than a story about the fall of an idol?  Tragedy gets ratings.  But the problem with the pursuit of ratings is the culture of yellow journalism it creates.  Why rush Jackie into the grave?  I'm sure he's a little more than weirded out about it.  In my opinion, it would be much easier not to make designs on him; he's going to go at some point anyway.  We all are.  You can write about it then.  Why not enjoy the time we have, instead of obsessing over when it's going to end?