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Genuinely perplexed. More vent than AIBU.

(45 Posts)
HollyBerryBush Mon 27-May-13 08:42:40

Maybe not the best thread title in the world. And yes it's a FB thing! And yes I know I can block/delete/hide feed, but this is just symptomatic of a thousand things that are genuinely irritating quite bizarre in my little world.

Right. I do realise I am not the worlds most empathetic person. I don't invest emotionally in things that do not involve me nor particularly affect me. That doesn't mean I don't understand or acknowledge, I just refuse to go along with mob rule.

I live quite near Woolwich. On Saturday night, I was toying with popping down very early in the morning to pay my respects (by early I do mean at 5am when the area would be desolate) and my friend said "come with me at 10". I knew there was a march planned, so I declined, having absolutely no desire to be caught up with the masses on a rally that may or may not turn nasty. I have strong memories of any rally in the name of Stephen Lawrence being hijacked by the NF and turning into a bloodbath, again all to local for comfort.

So my friend went by herself. And proceeded to plaster pictures of the flowers, teddies, boots, t-shirts, flags and so forth all over face book. A little while later, when she'd had a couple drinks there were posts "raising a glass to Lee Rigby, forever in my heart, I'll never forget you" and the posts were progressively more garbled as the night went on.

Point being, she doesnt know the man, never met the man, doesnt know anyone who ever has, has no interest in politics, the forces. It's like a collective social morbidity. A need to latch onto someone elses grief and make it your own. It's so Diana-esque.

I will visit war graves, but in my little world, it would be thoroughly undignified to take photos like holiday snaps. It's a place for quiet contemplation, giving silent thanks and above all acting in a dignified manner.

I do feel the same about public floral tributes with car crashes. Graveyards are the place for this sort of thing, not heaped on the verge, causing a back log of rubberneckers wondering who was wrapped round that particular lamppost recently.

AIBU to wonder what ever happened to the back bone, stoic outlook and stiff upper lip that Britain was founded on?

It's called "Collective Mourning Sickness" and I think this sums it up: Carol Sarler, writing as a guest columnist for The Times, noted that "this new and peculiar pornography of grief" is sometimes called a 'tribute', "the cruder truth is that ersatz grief is now the new pornography; like the worst of hard-core, it is stimulus by proxy, voyeuristically piggy-backing upon that which might otherwise be deemed personal and private, for no better reason than frisson and the quickening of an otherwise jaded pulse

EhricLovesTeamQhuay Mon 27-May-13 08:45:12

It's public grief wanking. It started with Diana. It's crass and disgusting.

pictish Mon 27-May-13 08:47:08

Yanbu...I'm not a fan of mawkish amulance chasing either.
I'm with you on the 'quietly acknowledging' team.
However, people do sometimes get caught up in the emotion of the moment....and that's ok too....even I personally find it a bit tasteless.

pictish Mon 27-May-13 08:48:20

I don't think it's crass or disgusting as the previous poster said, I must say. That's a bit harsh.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Mon 27-May-13 08:49:20

I totally agree with everything you said.

However, I have a colleague who's sibling died in a road accident and they place flowers at the scene each year. Now I can kind of understand it for the first anniversary but then surely it would be nicer to celebrate the deceased relative's life by getting the family together somewhere the sibling liked to go.

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 27-May-13 08:50:56

I don't like it either. It creeps me out to think how invaded families must feel when people do this.

I do think it's crass.

LeoTheLateBloomer Mon 27-May-13 08:51:05

YANBU. I find it incredibly unsettling when outpourings such as you describe are splashed all over the media and fb.

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 27-May-13 08:51:54

Cross post - I've got to say, I think that's totally different though hoho.

I reckon if you know someone, you grieve however works for you and it's no-one else's business.

But this woman didn't know Rigby at all.

LegoAcupuncture Mon 27-May-13 08:51:58

YANBU. I dislike this public outpouring of grief. Unless you personally knew he person, there is no need to post several pictures of there's on and liking all the in memorial pages.

hiddenhome Mon 27-May-13 08:53:54


People don't do dignified anymore.

IHeartKingThistle Mon 27-May-13 08:55:06

I remember that article. I thought it was so good I cut it out for my media studies class. Yanbu op.

MissAnnersley Mon 27-May-13 08:55:14


woopsidaisy Mon 27-May-13 08:55:23

YANBU-the families and relatives being snapped as they go to the scene is particularly invasive, IMO. Is privacy just never considered?

CartwrightMiss Mon 27-May-13 08:59:57

However, I have a colleague who's sibling died in a road accident and they place flowers at the scene each year. Now I can kind of understand it for the first anniversary but then surely it would be nicer to celebrate the deceased relative's life by getting the family together somewhere the sibling liked to go

But that's personal grief. They are not grieving someone in the media who they didn't know.
And who are you to question how people should grieve? Let people do it however they want because it's really none of your business.

Purple2012 Mon 27-May-13 09:00:52

I found this horrific murder a lot more upsetting than I normally do about tradegy. I don't know why. I haven't put any comments on Facebook or anything. I don't like the public grief where people make a big deal of raising a glass/we will never forget you type stuff.

I have in private shed a few tears when seeing the newsreports. Seeing the family was particularly upsetting to me. I don't make a big song and dance about it though.

I am the same on remembrance day. I can't believe watch the silence without sheding a tear.

CombineBananaFister Mon 27-May-13 09:01:51

We call it 'grief sponging' where I come from it does get on my wick a bit. When it's not genuine and more narcissitic more - 'look at ME, I'M soo upset'

Happens on facebook a lot when someone who you went to school with/vaguely know passes away and suddenly everyone was their best friend. I find it odd at best, egotistical at worse - it's like they want to be part of the 'action' for want of a better word

Think it's ok to be sincerely upset when something as barbaric as the woolwich incident happens as it is one of those things that shocks and upsets most human beings to the core. Nothing wrong with showing your respect and support however you feel

I am quiet and dignified oldschool though.

HollyBerryBush Mon 27-May-13 09:04:37

There is a railing up on the estate with tinsel all year round. Now if my DH was drug dealer, who had unfortunately been fatally stabbed at Christmas, I wouldn't be laminating his picture and forever reminding people he was a nair'do'well.

No dignity whatsoever.

MeiMeiMeiMei Mon 27-May-13 09:05:07

YANBU. Though I think you were being equally mawkish by planning on going to pay your respects at 5am. Why? You didn't know him?

CartwrightMiss Mon 27-May-13 09:05:10

I do understand what you mean OP but also at the same time that for example with Lee Rigby no-one had laid down flowers, it wasn't reported in the media, public didn't express their horror or sadness at such a tradegy.

It could come across that people don't care, that they accept what happened is now just a part of how the world is becoming.

I do think it can become OTT, but I don't see the problem with showing respect, support and laying flowers.

fishybits Mon 27-May-13 09:07:36


It's distasteful.

HollyBerryBush Mon 27-May-13 09:10:01

mei - I have military background and an association with the Barracks.

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 27-May-13 09:12:00

Paying respects is different from acting as if you knew the person who died and are personally bereaved, IMO.

squalorvictoria Mon 27-May-13 09:13:07


I mean, "forever in my heart" FFS? It's so insincere it's actually offensive.

pictish Mon 27-May-13 09:15:28

Ugh "forever in my heart" ugh ugh ugh. Lies of course. It's just total waffle.

MeiMeiMeiMei Mon 27-May-13 09:18:05

Holly - how were you planning on "paying your respects" that required a 5am trip?

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