Rest in Peace (RIP)

I’m pretty pleased with myself for finding my voice again; I owe it to my seemingly endless free time what with the total lack of a social life and a job, not something to be proud of but if ever you need to discover your inner bitterness, no job and no parties to go to seems to really help bring it out in you. I hope I don’t fall flat on my face again after this surge but I’ve got a few ideas floating around in the works so who knows, maybe this is the second ascent of Old Man Wolfe to a state of niche internet fame. Well today ladies and gentleman, I’m here to give my regards to a particular acronym that grinds my gears to an even greater extent than the accursed “lol”, the brain-dead reply of someone who clearly isn’t paying attention any more.

The acronym RIP (Rest in Peace) is, for me, the most insincere and careless remark you could ever make about anyone’s death and to clarify, I mean the acronym and not the individual words which are slightly more excusable. You are probably more than well aware that rather recently the world lost both Nelson Mandela and Paul Walker and I didn’t want to throw this rant out there whilst those wounds were still fresh because I do try to have some taste to my blog, though you might not always think so with the profanity and what not. I will say this now, I did not find myself in tears at these deaths, though the loss of Mandela struck me more than that of Walker and I am not afraid to admit that. I know there are people grieving his loss, I’m just not one of them – never been a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise and I honestly didn’t know who he was and I don’t say this to cheapen his passing, every death is a tragic loss because even mass murderers were loved ones once upon a time. I had to look up Walker to see who he was and I agree, a nasty way to go and he will be missed but did I immediately scurry to offer some cheap tribute to his passing? No, I accepted that this had happened and continued my life as normal. I am not a sycophant, I will not cry tears I do not feel sincerely.

Of course, the death that made the world news was that of Mandela and of all the people to choose to snuff out, we are to believe God chose him and not the likes of David Cameron? If there is anything that for me says God isn’t watching over us, it’s when you see the truly good people fail and perish whilst the wicked prevail. Nelson Mandela was a paradigm of honest and true leadership and the fight for equality in a nation ravaged by greed and prejudice. I’d like to add here though, that Nelson Mandela is neither Morgan Freeman (as so many people seemed to think for a long period of time, the number of idiots muddling them up astounded me) nor should he be someone to make a song and dance about to prove you’re a good person. The passing of Margaret Thatcher a while back and now Mandela was little more than an opportunity for smarmy snotrags in big offices to pull sad faces at the camera and give sickly sweet speeches about the tragedy of this loss. I despise insincerity at moments like these, watching as those who once stood for opposite ideals to Thatcher and Mandela suddenly sang their praises. Balls to that, if they were alive, you’d hate their guts. If you’re not seriously upset at these losses to the world, don’t comment on them, don’t give me this ‘being polite’ nonsense out of some sense of obligation. I would say something here about how Mandela is a huge loss to our world and tell you of some of the things he did and how I admire him for that but honestly, I feel like I’d be joining the ranks of the two-faced fools that cover the planet giving these pretty little passages. You should already know who he is and if you don’t, I blame either ignorance or you just weren’t taught it in school.

Most recently, the world lost actor James Avery, Uncle Phil to most of us and Shredder to a few. I won’t liken his passing to that of Mandela, they are two different people and will be missed for very different reasons (Unless of course I’m unaware of Mandela having made a guest appearance on the Fresh Prince or as Mandelaman in a TMNT episode) but I will say that like Mandela, this is a death that actually made me feel rather sad. I remember the silly old TMNT cartoon (Well, TMHT to us in Britain, the word ‘ninja’ was censored to remove suggestions of violence. I know, bloody ridiculous) and I’ve enjoyed the odd episode of Fresh Prince. Avery was a good actor in his time and I found his character in Fresh Prince to be the highlight, except perhaps for the witty English butler, but you have to admit that Avery is easily one of the most recognisable actors of that cast alongside Will Smith. Of course, all of the aforementioned famous faces that have departed from us will be missed by someone, even the accursed Iron Lady. Death is a very tragic thing and really, it should be for the family and friends to come to terms with and if you want to be supportive, be sincere first of all. Platitudes are of no comfort to anyone and at first all they need is the time to cry out the tears inside but for the record, your best ways of supporting those in mourning is to just be there to give them what they need – even if that’s just space.

We all know death is inevitable and as much a part of life as the rest of it and in terms of celebrities, I’m worried by the fact I will outlive Stephen Fry and Morgan Freeman, a thought that saddens me because they’re brilliant at what they do but when you think like that, assuming I live into old age I’ll live to see numerous people I am a fan of pass away – Peter Cullen, John Cleese, Charlie Brooker, Derren Brown, Jamieson Price. For me, the most recent famous deaths that saddened me were James Avery, Nelson Mandela and Tsuyoshi Takishiita. Takishiita, by the way, was a Japanese Voice actor who worked on a series of games that defined my childhood, Dynasty Warriors, and had the best laugh ever and inspired my love of the word “imbecile”. However, let us celebrate life whilst it lasts and the legacies of these legends that have passed away or that will pass away in time and enjoy whatever work they produce for our enjoyment whilst they are here with us. RIP is not a fitting farewell to anyone, famous or not, it’s a lazy thing we say out of habit, not consideration. I mean, rest in peace? That’s half a phrase, it should have “May your soul” at the start. If a death genuinely upsets you, speak from your heart, not just a stock phrase. Please, let’s let “Rest in Peace”, rest in peace.


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