The short version of this whole clusterfuck is this: A woman Tweeted that her young son had been in an accident and asked for prayers, then followed up that he had died. Another woman proceeded to question if the death had really occurred, and to do so publicly and in a hectoring fashion. In observing variouspseuicides and hoaxes being outed over at Fandom Wank, I’ve learned that really the best thing to do if you suspect someone is faking their pain for sympathy or cash is to shut the fuck up and wait because the truth always comes out. And if you’ve kept quiet, then you don’t look like an asshole as the questioner in this case did when it became public knowledge that the death was real, and terrible.
The need to be right in public is a powerful thing. Moreover, the need to be the defender of the innocent in every little thing from breakfast cereal on up so as to cast yourself in an important role is a powerful thing. And writing something and putting it out there in public, which is what you do on your Twitter feed and your Facebook profile and this here blogosphere thingy, automatically opens it up for criticism. That some people don’t know this is publication, because of the false sense of intimacy a tight-knit online community can give them, doesn’t make it any less published. And published means it can be carped upon by the biggest assholes on the planet.
But this isn’t about how posting personal shit means you’re asking for it, because it doesn’t. This is about how we need to QUIT BEING DICKS TO OTHER PEOPLE. Seriously. Quit telling people how to grieve or worry or fear or cope. Quit it. The only reason to lecture someone else about his or her grieving is to point out what a superior person you are for alone knowing how to do this right. Fuck you. Just shut up. You’re not doing anybody any good. There is no way to earn Valedictorian of Mourning, and so long as it’s not a contest who fucking cares if I’m winning it? The only thing that has kept me sane during the past three months of suck has been the 347 consecutive games of Word Twist a friend and I play on Facebook every day. Does that make me a shitty person? You might say so. I don’t care.
We all lose our minds a little when part of the world drops out from under us. We all do crazy, crazy shit that doesn’t make any sense to anybody but us. We cut our hair off, sleep with the TV on, have sex with people we shouldn’t, drink too much, go for cross-country bike rides, stop talking to everybody, quit our jobs, get tattoos, drive too fast. We say things that make other people look at us cross-eyed. That’s just how it works. The world’s been wrenched into a new shape and we have to figure out how to live in it, each of us alone. You can’t figure it out for me and I can’t figure it out for you, so if what I’m doing seems nuts to you, well guess what? What you’ll do in a week or a month or a year will seem just as nuts to me. Calm down. My hair will grow back.