On Saturday the internet exploded into chaos and confusion after a rumor came online that claimed that actor Paul Walker had died in a car crash…oh the irony! If you don’t know who Paul Walker is, he is the guy from the Fast and Furious film series that isn’t Vin Diesel. They have made like ten of those movies which is probably 9 and a half more than they should have. There was a lot of confusion on the internet when the report came out because apparently the internet had killed him a few days earlier as part of the never-ending and hideously unfunny “Let’s pretend a random celebrity has died when they actually haven’t on twitter” trend. This is when some lunatic on twitter creates an “R.I.P (Random Celebrity)” hashtag which eventually catches on and then we all sit back and watch people get emotional or make awful jokes about them until we find out that it’s a hoax and go back to hating our lives. This apparently happen this past week to Paul Walker and it was immediately refuted by several sources. Then on Saturday night when he actually died, a lot of people thought it was a hoax but once TMZ (The authority on celebrities!!!!) revealed it to be true then every meathead in America immediately did a neutral drop in memory of their fallen comrade.
With every celebrity death there is a predictable internet cycle. Stage 1) Celebrity dies. Stage 2) Most people find a way to make a joke about the celebrity/death. Stage 3) A handful people take offense to the jokes and lash out and/or get on top of an internet soap box (Usually Facebook) and rant about people making jokes about the deceased. Stage 4) Fights break out. Stage 5) A few days pass and everyone forgets who died. He died Saturday, it is now Monday and I think 75% of the planet has already forgotten what happened. It sucks that he died, especially the way that he died but there is no rule as to whether or not you can make a joke about a celebrities death. They’re public figures that’s what they’re there for. Especially when you’re most known for being in such a goofy film series such as the “Fast and the Furious” films. As a comedian, I’d like to think I know what’s appropriate and what’s not. But no matter what the joke is there is also the small percent chance that someone from the morality police will yell at you if they don’t like a joke. Happened to me twice during the Paul Walker situation. First on twitter someone tweeted to me “Definitely not funny.” Ok you’re not going like every joke I say, I get that. Then on Facebook I made a much sillier Paul Walker joke….
This got me a couple of “Too soon!” comments, although one had an “LOL” attached to it and someone else telling me that the joke was in poor taste and that we needed to wait a little while to show respect for the deceased or some nonsense. Uh, what? Paul Walker would have wanted it this way! Ok, maybe not but still the worst thing you can be on the planet is a member of the joke police. As much as it sucks that he died in this way, this isn’t an American tragedy unless you drive muscle cars. It’s not like I was the guy who was spitting out Boston bombing jokes minutes after the bombing happened…and yes I’m referring to an actual person who was making funny but tasteless jokes during that tragedy. This is Paul Walker for Christ sake, someone who you probably won’t remember is dead until next years death montage during the Oscar’s. Lighten up people, and stop with the false outrage!
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