But if the previous paragraph didn’t make it obvious, I don’t know who many of these individuals are. In fact, the only two with whom I have more than a passing familiarity are Bowie and Rickman.
When I heard that David Bowie had passed away, I was initially very surprised because he just released a new album with a music video; to hear that he had died from cancer was just shocking because by all appearances he was perfectly healthy. But I wasn’t sad, not really. I thought about it and realized I don’t really know his music. I might be able to recognize a half dozen or so of his tunes from hearing them on the radio, but I can’t sing any of them. I haven’t seen more than one or two of his movie roles. I’ve got friends who adore Labyrinth but I find the film boring. Bowie’s ability to reinvent himself is quite interesting, but at the end of the day I have no substantial attachment to him or his body of work.
Alan Rickman strikes me as more of a loss, simply because I’m more invested in his projects. I thought he was quite funny as Metatron in Dogma and hysterical in Galaxy Quest as the much-beleaguered Alexander Dane. I enjoyed both his acting and his singing in Sweeney Todd. And, of course, I thought he was the perfect choice for Severus Snape in all the Harry Potter movies. He was a fantastically talented actor and I am sad that there won’t be more of him to watch.
But I’m not really mourning any of them. It’s not as if I knew them personally. I doubt I’d still be thinking about it if the Internet wasn’t constantly feeding me new articles, tributes from friends and family and other celebrities. I feel like I ought to write something, since everybody else is, but there’s nothing to say. There were some artists and they did some cool things, but now they’re gone and may they rest in peace.