Saturday, August 11, 2007

Remembered for Fifteen Minutes

I arrived late. I'm begin to pick up on things that veterans of Internet self-expression have long realized. It has dawned on me that if you read some blogs regularly, you can pick up on the underlying mental state of the author. The manic-depressives are especially easy to monitor. The working stiffs' Sunday night postings are more reflective and staid than their weekend anticipating Thursday night entries. The single folks who post at 2:00 a.m on Saturday morning usually do so drunk and on a social snide.

I assure all that I have taken all prescribed meds and I am in a steady state, tucked comfortably under the summit of the bell-shaped curve of mental wellness. That being pointed out, death is today's topic.

CNN and Fox News decide. On the day that you die, are they going to be running a story about a chihuahua that plays a harmonica, or are they going to tap in to the tragedy of your passing? Face it. A dog with musical talent is news. Your death is not. That is, unless the circumstance of your death is such that it wrestles the limelight away from el perro musicalmente telented.

Case in point: Getting trapped in a mine is a good way to get attention. People are drawn to stories like this. The Utah mine story was featured this week. A day or so later, three Indiana fellows are killed in a mining accident. Ding! Ding! Ding! Did you say mining? Mining disasters are hot right now! Breaking News on CNN! Breaking news for about an hour. Come to find out that the accident only happened at a mine. The poor fellows were not trapped and were already dead. The story was gone before nightfall.

If you want perfect strangers across the USA to grieve your passing, it's going to take something special to get noticed. Shark attacks are always good in August. Pit bull attacks have merit these days. Being a murder victim is a good start. Being a white murder victim helps. Being a white person with money is even better. If you are a rich white person who is killed by another rich white person, eureka! It helps to be snuffed on film. I suggest power boat racing if you want to push the issue. Disasters are good too, but be careful not to have too many others involved and be sure that the disaster happens on US soil. Nothing like a bizarre death to get the press you desire. What if you died while trying to catch Barry Bonds' 756th home run ball? That would work. Killed by a harmonica playing chihuahua? Now, that's a lock.

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