This thread over in the pit has raised a few eyebrows, including mine, over the concept of “celebrating” a person’s death. Mind you, this was an evil man (or allegedly was, anyway…all I know about the guy is what was posted, but I have no reason to suspect otherwise), so the fact that his evil influence is no longer directly with us should bring relief to everyone.
But the man’s death itself? Something really disturbs me about that. The thread opened with a caveat of “don’t give me that ‘all lives are precious’ crappola,” although I’m taking that to mean that the thread was intended to vent and didn’t want to open a debate on grave dancing. So I thought I’d do it here.
Me, I’m sad when somebody dies. I get upset when ambulances go by my office, which they do at least once a day. I’d like to think that we all start off the same from birth: that each one of us is capable of being either the best or worst of what humanity has to offer. Hence, when a murderer gets the chair or an aging despot finally bites it, I’m upset because of all the potential that person had went to waste. Hell, you have to admit Hitler was a great orator: imagine if he’d put his talents towards rebuilding Europe in the 30’s instead of bringing it to ruin. What a waste.
I guess this was driven home for me when I saw Star Wars: Episode I; the merits of the film aside, it was freaky to see Darth Vader portrayed as an 8 year-old kid. Or, to quote Bugs Bunny on Witch Hazel: “She may not be pretty now, but she was somebody’s baby once.”
I guess it’s human to rejoice at somebody’s death, especially where somebody’s been personally hurt by that person’s actions. I don’t think that makes it right, but I understand the inflammation. Although somebody inthis sticky made a good point that hate is hate, even when we’re talking about a dead bigot. Might account for why there’s centuries-old warfare in places like Bosnia, even when the people who caused the original problems turned to dust long ago.
This is really only going to turn into a problem where people have blatantly differing views on the person. Say if President Dubya died in the near future; it wouldn’t surprise me to see at a pit thread appear where someone decided to dance on his grave. There’d inevitably be disagreement over whether that was appropriate: a lot of people genuinely like the President; others might not care for him, but have a problem with someone showing that kind of disrespect to a dead president. Or, not quite the same thing: some people were spitting on Vietnam vets when they came home. (Me, I couldn’t spit on anybody.)
But, I’d like to hear from everyone else: is it ever OK to celebrate a person’s passing? Is it appropriate to express publically? Does it qualify as “hate speech”?