When fans cry: Can you mourn someone you never met?


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When fans cry: Can you mourn someone you never met?

Like, what a goofy question.

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When fans cry: I see what you did there.

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Generation X—people born between the mid-1960s and early 1980s—would be hardest hit, said the experts, as Prince’s music formed the soundtrack to their young adult lives

Pop-wise, Prince, MJ and Madonna were probably the big 3. There are definitely a lot of bandwagon fans though acting like they were the biggest Prince fans ever. He was releasing music up until now and only the true die-hards were checking for his music. The rest probably gave up when he became the symbol.

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I don't want to belittle anyone who feels a real connection to a singer or a movie star, but I find it quite interesting that they are so strongly affected by the death of someone they have never met. I was reading about President Obama meeting the Prince and Princess of Wales and their son, and so many comments were about Diana. How proud she must be or how they miss her. Is it because now with all of the media coverage we think we know them personally, and we form this bond with them? That is the only thing I can think of. Also I disagree with this author, I think when John Lennon was killed, that was the first big outpouring of emotions by fans. Hell Monday Night Football's Howard Cosell broke the news to America.

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Cracaphat, thank you for posting that. I feel the same way, and was getting tired of all the tributes and posts for Prince. Yes, he was a talented artist, and yes for some people he made a dent in their lives, but come on people, there are far bigger things to get upset about. Or maybe that is the point, it is far easier to mourn a dead rock star or movie star than to try and help others who really need it.

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Personally speaking, when these stars and celebs die, because they are ingrained into my life, I feel that a piece of me is also lost. 2016 has been a depressing year. Bowie, Alan Rickman, Gareth Thomas, Ronnie Corbett, Terry Wogan, George Martin, Paul Daniels, Victoria Wood and Prince. Every one of them the very fabric of my being from my childhood on.

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cracaphatAPR. 24, 2016 - 08:34AM JST More indicative of people's fickleness of life.People die in earthquakes or wars."I'm alright,I'm far from the action."A celebrity dies and the world suddenly becomes so wrong.

We get exposed to celebrities every day through media. If a celebrity is particularly moving to you, your brain might react to that exposure as if you know them, even if you've never met. An earthquake or war happens somewhere to people you don't know of and you've never seen or met, your brain just isn't capable of generating the same kind of emotions. It's the nature of human emotions. We feel stronger about things that we feel are closer to us. That doesn't mean we think the deaths of people in far off villages we can't pronounce don't matter, but they don't hit the amygdala the same way.

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Mourning includes feeling sadness and displays of sadness for effect, so I think the answer is probably yes to the question. Big difference between that and grieving though, so let's not confuse the two.

Never really saw what the fuss was about with Prince. Muzak.

Now, when Neil Young dies, that will be different.

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Same here cracaphat and markx. Grieving for a star is I guess a very complex thing and i have to say I am often puzzled and slightly uncomfortable when i see such outpouring of grief. Not saying its not genuine but just a strange thing to witness.

At the same time many people are hysterical when they see oprah or some tv personality live so I guess its not that surprising artists fans feel the need to express and show their emotions when they pass away.

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It's okay to shed a few tears. I never met D Bowie nor Prince, but I was (we all were) deeply saddened by their abrupt deaths.

Btw, I found an interview w/ Prince's original guitarist. He reflects on just how iconic Prince was in our time. Please take a peek:

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Prince's death came directly after former pro-wrestler, Joanie Laurer, aka "Chyna" was reported dead at the age of 45. I had known about her rather sad state since being more or less thrown out of the business 15 years ago. Hearing of her death was a brutal full-stop to an already sad story. The next morning I was looking through the news sites to see if there was any light on her cause of death and a link to Prince's death was on the same page. I thought it was a joke at first. Unfortunately not. I'm one of those gen-Xers the story talks about and I can honestly say I was a bit deflated and saddened just before I had to go into work. Not that I'm going to break down over people I've never met before, but the double whammy in consecutive days certainly had an effect on me for a bit. But yeah, these aren't people I knew personally so I'm not going to let it ruin my day.

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Of course it's possible to mourn someone you haven't met. Some celebrities have a great influence on people and their daily lives. Now not all celebrities are going to cause the same sort of feelings, and it really just depends on your personal connection to them. For me, David Bowie's death didn't affect me because I never really paid much attention to his music. But as for Prince, my parents were huge fans of his so I grew up listening to his music.

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"it is far easier to mourn a dead rock star or movie star than to try and help others who really need it."

@MarkX I don't see the connection or logic here. Lots of people die everyday and lots of people suffer disaster and tragedy. I'm not seeing the connection between that and the passing of an artist. It's hard to judge what affects people and what we think is justified vis a vis feelings. However, I think great artists, comedians, entertainers, and musicians do bring something precious to our lives. I don't see anything necessarily strange or gratuitous about feeling something here. Music is especially meaningful during coming of age. It can really define togetherness, experiences, a generation, a moment, etc. Part of it is the person who really added something beautiful to life. Part of it is sentimentality: the moment or times defined and/or made special. If you don't have artists, music, laughs that lifted you up, I'd say something important is missing. It's perfectly appropriate to have deep feelings about the entertainers and what they symbolize. I'm not sure I can even do justice to what artists/musicians can mean to the way we live and think of our lives.

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Don't mind admitting I shed a few tears and genuinely felt bad when both Lou Reed and David Bowie died. I grew up listening to them and their music shaped me into who I am now.

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@clueless absolutely. Those were two great geniuses. It's hard to put into words the effect they had both personally and "culturally."

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I have always liked Princes' music and even saw him (with Sheila E) in concert back in the day; but for people to be so emotionally upset by the passing of a pop singer is a bit bizarre from my point of view. I do not comprehend the psychology/sociology that can generate a mass outpouring of grief for celebrities for which the vast majority of the aggrieved have no personal relationship. The relationship people believe they have is with his persona and not with Prince the person. Surely people must realize that. To think otherwise is to be self delusional. The mass hysteria that was brought on by Lady Di's death is by far the most extreme example of this inexplicable phenomena.

There are cases where I can understand people grieving over the death of someone they have no first hand relationship but who were in a position of influence during very difficult times. For example, Emperor Hirohito had a huge impact on the lives of older Japanese. I can readily understand the trauma that Japanese people went through while he was Emperor and the grief revisited upon those who lived through the war and early post-war years.

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Can you mourn someone you never met?

I don't know. Can you criticize the emotions of someone you've never met?

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WolfpackAPR. 24, 2016 - 11:18PM JST I do not comprehend the psychology/sociology that can generate a mass outpouring of grief for celebrities for which the vast majority of the aggrieved have no personal relationship. The relationship people believe they have is with his persona and not with Prince the person. Surely people must realize that.

They surely do realize it. But it doesn't matter. The emotional gubbins inside your brain evolved hundreds of thousands of years before the concepts of broadcast video or celebrity existed. They don't know how to differentiate between a video or an image or a voice recording. So you can consciously know you don't have any kind of interpersonal relationship with Prince, but if you spent your life surrounded by his pop culture presence, it's entirely possible the emotional part of your brain thinks he's a friend who died, even if the thinking part knows better.

To put it simply, we can train ourselves in logic to control our thinking, but that doesn't allow us to directly control our feelings. And if we can't control our feelings, then people shouldn't be blamed for how they feel. Now if they respond to their feelings in a way that harms others we can demand they control their actions, but I don't see any reason to believe the outpouring of grief for celebrities you didn't actually know harms anyone.

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Sure you can. But this is all fed by mass media and websites searching for traffic. Mourning is real. Mass media only cares money.

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I myself take a day off work every year on the day that John Candy died. I often shed some tears while watching "Uncle Buck".

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As a teen, I listened to his music alone for houra as I did several other musicians. His music and many of the songs (many that were not hits but album tracks) had lyrics that had a profound meaning to me. They helped shape my acceptance of other people different from me. They helped me percieve what it was to be vulnerable or different. he was someone i was always interested in sitting down to talk to.

I didn't know him but he affected me deeply. More than many people I knew personally. I was still into his music and had just purchased a few recent tracks in the last few months. My friends followed hime regularly on tour. I can go on and on. many of you are overwhelmed by a profound writer or painter or whatever but music is my thing more than any kind of art. In my expression and in my thoughts an in my emotional healing. Without it I would have grown up another college ball player stuck in one gear of agression. But so many of his songs in particular soothed me and helped me. Maybe Bowie for you, or the Beatles or whatever. There are other artists who helped me also. But Prince was a big part of my life soundtrack for over 30 years. Sometimes a song I didn't even register was transformed by a performance of it, sometimes it was the mood of the melody or the lyric.

His death meant that there would be no more opportunities to hear him live, or being asked certain insights to certain works. Or to write something new that brought me joy. So I was really hurt. It felt like someone kicked me in the stomach. So I would never belittle someones' connection to any kind of art or person that represents that art. There are people I know who deaths will affect me less. Some more.

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Of course you can. People cry even for characters in movies, and they are fictitious. For crying out loud.

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