The death of a celebrity sparks every other celebrity to “honor them” in some way, but in reality we’re living in a time where it’s all just a pool of sharks dying for those few seconds of viral notoriety to get their names trending for a day.
Prince dies and everyone immediately runs to the nearest stage to perform a Prince cover, not because they just love Prince’s music so much, because they didn’t cover his songs before, but because they know if they are the first to cover a Prince song after Prince dies in this “touching tribute” then they were have their names in the Facebook and Twitter trending bar for a few hours, get a few million views off of it, and count that cash all the way through. Kevin Smith uploaded a clip of him talking shit about Prince from the late 90’s right after Prince died, just because he knew it would get decent traffic. When Justice Antonin Scalia died Coheed and Cambria immediately reposted that stupid parody song that they wrote about him, which really was just a plea for fascism disguised in a bad attempt at comedy. These people are happy that someone died because they’re able to make a few dollars off of it.
Which at the end of the day is a flaw in the internet’s current system. From YouTube, to Twitter and Facebook, etc, Everything is based off of when something shows up, when something is posted. My videos on my Jonjey Comms YouTube channel can get thousands of views in the first day and 5 in the following week. Not to make it about me, because at the end of the day I’m inconsequential in the sea of the internet, but there is a legitimate sense of pressure to put out a video on breaking topics the second they happen, to the point where it’s not actually about quality, just quantity and time. Push out enough nonsense, the second something happens, and eventually you’ll have a bunch of views.
But maybe it’s just human nature. Maybe the internet and the way it is formed is the manifestation of human nature. The most successful companies in the world are garbage companies with garbage products; McDonald’s, Domino’s, Subway, so forth and so on, while food companies with actual integrity rarely get beyond a local level… Music, vanilla pop songs that are literally about nothing are a million times more successful than actual sonic art these days. Musicians that I look up to, musicians that I, after 10+ years of playing guitar on a daily basis can look up to and find genuine inspiration from are stuck touring the country in vans and playing to SOLD OUT SHOWS of 700 people while Drake plays to sold out shows of 25,000+. And thus, on YouTube you’ll find the most successful people are appealing to the lowest common denominator, pushing out mindless, vapid, vanilla content day after day with absolutely no artistic integrity or even inspiration or effort being put into any particular piece of content.
So really, if there’s anything you can learn from this it’s that human beings suck, philanthropy is really just advertisement in disguise, Bruce Springsteen only cancelled the concert in NC to secure a headline, not to protest HB2, and generally speaking quality art is very rarely appreciated as widely as it deserves to be. Hell, if it were then I’d be getting paid a lot of money to write this shit.