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Weird Reactions to Famous People Passing

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Rasputin, Jan 20, 2022.

  1. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    Can someone please explain the “over” memorialization of Betty White following her passing a few weeks ago? I mean I am sure she was a delightful person and had a long productive life. For a nanosecond I might have felt some emotion upon hearing of her passing. However, the internet news media have just saturated the headlines with memorials about Betty White’s passing. More bizarrely, some news stories are celebrating her 100th birthday, when she did not make it to 100.

    The more puzzling behavior is with regard to some neurotypical people I know, feeling the loss of a famous elderly person they do not know. I don’t usually feel any loss when someone passes, particularly someone 99 years old who had a good productive life. If anything Betty White’s passing is barely noteworthy.

    Does this make any sense?
     
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  2. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It certainly makes sense. Certainly there have been entertainers who I enjoy for their work, but ultimately they are all fungible. The people I value are those that provide insight into new paradigms, new ways of understanding the cosmos and who we are. Alas that people value them far less than the Betty Whites of the world who ultimately offer us nothing new.
     
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  3. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    When people watch movies, television, etc. over a long period of time with the same person involved, you can begin to have the feeling that you personally know the person. The longer the period of time, the more frequency of occurrences, and the more you enjoy their appearances all influence how much you're affected by their passing.
     
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  4. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    With me, I tend to feel sad if someone was oppressed or if someone fought a long battle following an illness. Certainly if someone made some contribution to science or the betterment on society, I might feel some loss. Just because someone was old and feeble, I don’t get the sentimental feeling of loss.
     
  5. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    I guess I didn’t enjoy her acting or comedic performances. She did not strike me as being particularly talented, or exceptional in any way. Her comic performances seemed silly or worse to me.

    I don’t disagree with you. I just don’t understand the emotional response.
     
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  6. Binary_Bark

    Binary_Bark Active Member

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    Can't really explain it. When my grandparents passed, there was not a tear shed, nor for any major celebrities.
    But Sir Terry Pratchett's passing had me crying and in a depressive slump, for me Terry Pratchett and his work saved me from many a thing, including the time I swallowed a bottle of ant poison.
    Think many of the reactions to the death of celebrities, writers etc. is that unknowingly, or knowingly they have had a profound influence in someone's life. Be it inspiring them to become something greater or as in my case, saved my life
     
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  7. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    @Fino, I think I understand. The behavior that makes no sense to me is “normal”. The fact that I have no appreciation for Betty White or her work is “abnormal”. I am the one who is “abnormal”.

    Maybe this is the result of Aspergers or Alexithymia? I would not even know how to mask to approximate a “normal” response.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
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  8. Skittlebisquit

    Skittlebisquit Just keep trying, victory brings glory V.I.P Member

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    I didnt know about pratchett he is one of my favorites
     
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  9. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I always feel a momentary pang about the death celebrities that moved me in some way. David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Dizzie Gilespie to name a few. But mostly I am happy that they produced work I enjoyed.
    I don't get caught up in memoralizing.

    I don't see this as a difficiency. There have been very few people I have felt truly close to. It doesn't make any rational sense to grieve over people I really didn't know or maybe just didn't like.

    In fact, I don't think "grief" is something I have really ever felt. I miss my dog who died this fall, but I was so lucky to have him in my life, grieving almost seems disfespectful of his memory. Grieving feels like paying more attention to feeling sorry for yourself than in acknowledging how awesome the deceased was.
     
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  10. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    @Binary_Bark, I understand your response to your grandfather passing. I did not shed a tear when either of my parents passed; or when any other family members passed. I understood they were no longer alive, but I did not feel a loss. Never have.

    The exceptions are when my wife’s mother and father passed. Both fought to live, but succumbed to Cancer. My best friend died following a stroke caused by a brain aneurism. My dog died from cancer. In each case these people or the dog were important to me and in my mind deserved a better ending to their life.

    I guess to me, if someone lived a “good” life and passes from normal aging in my opinion I do not feel a loss.
     
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  11. Binary_Bark

    Binary_Bark Active Member

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    March 2015

    GNU-STP
     
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  12. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I do think it easy to feel a connection with a favorite someone or other you don't know, as others have mentioned. I've felt that way about a few entertainers.

    But I think sometimes it is partly just media hype and story manufacturing/stretching. And it becomes a bandwagon thing. I really doubt that multitudes would have felt much, unless induced or even feeling obligated to do so.

    I knew the name but never really watched any Betty White films/TV, so had no feeling one way or another.
     
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  13. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    @Suzette, I am a lot like you in the way I feel about someone passing. I don’t usually attend funerals, and I had my mother cremated. I did not attend my father’s funeral, or any other relative’s funeral. In fact, I have a reputation for not attending funerals.
     
  14. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Grief is an odd thing, and when it comes to negative feelings over loss, it ain’t the only possibility, even for those on the spectrum.

    In my case, instead of grief, I usually fall into full-on despair.

    It can leave me absolutely dreading and becoming paranoid about the potential of such loss, if I was close enough to someone for that to trigger. For instance, one of my two dogs was having some health issues recently, she caught glardia (by drinking from our frog pond when we weren’t looking) and even though I was told that there was no reason to worry (she’s been getting excellent treatment and is almost back to normal) I still fell into constant paranoia and fear. If anything happened to her, I would just… break. Absolute despair.

    That’s the result of such loss for me. Obviously not just for dogs.

    And then funerals don’t help… I don’t go to those, I can’t deal with it. My own dark feelings + the godawful sadness from everyone else filling the room? Nope. Nope nope nope. That’s too much.

    But, of course, that’s with someone I’m close to. When it comes to celebrities? Not so much, though I can certainly become saddened (as I was when Pratchett died).

    So yeah that’s my own sort of reactions to loss.
     
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  15. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Me too!
     
  16. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    @Misery, your emotional response is stronger, but not that different from mine. I was very emotional when my dog passed, and also when my best friend passed. I think I empathize when there was a horrible illness, and I feel sad. Otherwise, I am as cool as a cucumber.

    I think from the responses to my post, we are all somewhat similar.
     
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  17. Shamar

    Shamar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Betty White I actually am familiar with. 95% of the time, when I hear about the death of a famous celebrity, much loved singer, or iconic actor, my reaction is "Who? I never heard of this person."
     
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  18. Forest Cat

    Forest Cat Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I`m a big Betty White fan, I have seen her many times over a long peroid of time and she always made me laugh. So when she`s suddenly gone it`s a little sad. It is also a reminder that nothing great lasts forever. I`m not crying or behaving as if I lost a family member, it was just sad to see her go. She was so funny and sweet. Betty said the craziest things with a straight face.

     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2022
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  19. Flown

    Flown Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I quite enjoyed Betty White's work, but I have not mourned her death. In all actuality, I have not mourned any celebrity's death (no matter their age). I have never understood how people mourn for complete strangers.

    In terms of mourning for loved ones, I feel that I am different than the majority of people. I am definitely capable of immense grief, but it requires a great deal of attachment to the individual (which isn't a common thing for me). The greatest grief I have ever experienced was for my dog and ESA, Charlie, who died in Feb 2020--and I feel no shame in that.
     
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  20. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    That describes me also. I am definitely different from the majority of people. Thanks for responding.