Yet Again, Kids Today are Failing Us All

A dozen kids being assholes totally means society has collapsed!

When our communities decline, it is this demographic – the ones taking funeral selfies – who suffer the most. As they struggle to cope with the loss of a loved one, the closest thing to a support network they can think of is their social media community. Funeral selfies are just one symptom of a wider problem that includes general sympathy-seeking online. (For example, when someone tweets about a funeral in the same style it falls into the same category as the funeral selfie. The evidence speaks for itself here.)

Or, the way they experience the world is just different from you, grandma. Jesus. Their community isn’t less real because it’s online. They owe the world precisely jack shit, the same way you do, and just because posting about dead great-uncle Pete on Facebook seems like a bad idea to you doesn’t mean it won’t get them from one day to the next.

This isn’t about whether it’s okay to be an unimaginative attention whore, it’s about whether it’s okay to use a bunch of unimaginative attention whores to judge the way an entire generation chooses to cope. I think it’s gauche to take pictures at a funeral, but I think it’s gauche to do a lot of stuff at a funeral. Like SCREW UP THE NAME OF THE DECEASED, which the clergy/funeral director at two services I’ve been to has done. How hard is it to ask somebody how to pronounce the name of the person whose estate and/or relatives are paying for your services? Isn’t that something that should be covered during your first week on the job?

Yet nobody is out there lamenting the decline of grown-ass adults who can’t be bothered to study up a bit before the eulogy.

I think I’ve been to three funerals in my life I didn’t consider total shitshows, that didn’t further traumatize the families involved and/or actively piss anybody off. (Mr. A is under strict instructions, should I get hit by a potato chip truck, to just invite everybody over to the house and tap a keg.) They’re minefields in GENERAL, and then the grief police show up telling everybody how to deal in the most authentic manner. Fuck right off. Find something real to be outraged at, like the preventable cancer that killed the guy in the casket in the background, not the kid in the foreground being gross.

A.

8 thoughts on “Yet Again, Kids Today are Failing Us All

  1. Harry says:

    If you want to talk about decline of society, how about bots posting crap?

  2. mothra says:

    You know, I always wondered why it is verboten to take photos at a funeral. After all, very often it’s the only time a lot of people in a family, or a lot of friends get together.
    I decree: photos at my funeral! Include a photo of me and photoshop it on someone’s body. What the hell.

  3. BlackSheep0ne says:

    It used to be that people made death masks of the departed, and cut off locks of their hair to weave into complicated mourning ornaments (or just carefully hide away in an ornate locket). So kids today are, at least, not so focused on the morbid notion of preserving the memory of the recently deceased that they must have a personal memento; that their focus is geared toward them instead of somebody else is a feature of being a kid.
    I kinda think the FB culture is aimed at kid-ifying everybody (to the detriment of our intelligence and our general civility). So I don’t play that game. And selfies? Yeah, gross anyway.

  4. Tracy says:

    you know it used to be COMMON practice to take pics a funerals. So yeah, wtf??? Selfies are kind of strange, but if nobody will take your picture, why the hell not? I think it’s still pretty common to dress UP for funerals. Some people might just want to get a pic of themselves all dressed up. My bro-in-law shot two rolls of film at my first husbands funeral. LOTS of pics of his dead brother and lots of all of us. WAAAYY before internets and FB. Was it weird, yeah.. it was weird. Did he have every right to do it? Yeah, he did. HIS brother. LAST time he ever saw him. People grieve how they greive. There is no ‘right way’ to do it.

  5. maplestreet says:

    In general, I tend to be hands off on whatever a grieving person decides will help them. As Aimai points out / hints at, there is a strong condition of not only taking pictures of the deceased in coffins, but in the early 1900s they would set up the deceased body in poses of daily living and take pictures. (admittedly, my reaction to the idea of a kid sitting next to dead-grandpa on the sofa is Ewwwwwww!)
    In the old south, there was a very reserved way of publically grieving – family members would wear a black armband for a year. (I also note that this tradition set a year’s period as a time to move through your grief and pick back up with life).
    But I also have to wonder if the ready availability of media (from MSM to informal facebook) doesn’t put too much pressure on folks to out-grieve the grief of others. Like keeping crosses on the highway where there was a fatal crash, one person did it and not you’d better do it for your loved one or it shows you don’t give a flip that they are dead.
    And dare I connect it with the need for public personalities to have to go beyond what others have done in order to establish their brand? A few years ago it was Janet Jackson in a “wardrobe malfunction”. So now Miley Cyrus had to tweak on stage and put out a video of “wrecking Ball” where she shows new uses for construction tools.

  6. Kaleberg says:

    I misunderstood for a moment. I originally thought that this was about people taking “selfies” of the deceased and posting them on the deceased’s Facebook page. That would be a little tacky, unless, of course, it was done by the executor (or administrator) as so directed and all that.
    Otherwise, I never heard about any taboos about taking photos at a funeral, except not to use a distracting flash.

  7. aimai says:

    I don’t understand what the complaint is. Funerals have always been a complicated kind of event–people used to have official portraits taken of themselves in their coffins so their loved ones would have a memorial, and open caskets are a significant social event for some communities while completely disgusting to others. The Wake is a well respected tradition during which people stand around the body (if there is one) and drink while, again, there are other communities where this would be horrifying. Funeral traditions around the world include burying and then exhuming the body, using the bones, carrying around the ashes, dividing the ashes, consuming bits of the body, offering the dead person a posthumous marriage–you fucking name it its been done.
    Taking a picture of yourself at a funeral, even a picture that seems unsolemn, isn’t any different from getting drunk at a wake and celebrating the life of your friend. I just don’t even understand what the complaint is? If lots of people are doing it by definition its culturally acceptable to people in that community.

  8. Ariel says:

    How timely. I buried my mother on Friday and my 12 year old posted a selfie on Instagram at the funeral. The priest also forgot my mom’s name during the service and mumbled his frustration over his inattentiveness loud enough for me to hear. Which one do you think annoyed me more? My daughter was my hero at the funeral. She made it her job to hold me up and to make me smile as much as she could as I dodged those emotional landmines. So she took a picture of her shoes and cracked a joke about singing Bon Jovi to me to make me smile. BIG DEAL! Unlike what the hashtag she used on her picture suggests, I do not think she is #mostcertainlygoingtohell.

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