Bury My Memory at the Mall (Please Spare Me)

It seems like every day I pass by some new sign – I mean an actual sign – that tells me about something that happened somewhere. The memorial bridge to Bob, a t-shirt that extolls the virtue of the thug who died in a hail of bullets, someone’s name on the back of a mini truck or even the clean stretch of city street that is done in honor of what’s-her-face. Are you kidding me?

While I might be able to get behind a fallen soldier who gets their name slapped on a freeway or bridge overpass (and that’s a bit of a stretch), there has to be a point when it’s just a bit too much, right? When does it all end? I get that you want to express your grief, and I am probably the least likely to care. It’s not that I don’t care about you, it’s just that I think these things should be shared among those who knew the person the best, not necessarily shared with the world.

So getting an airbrushed image on your rear window might be a lovely homage to Alfred Hitchcock, but it’s pretty ghetto otherwise. The same goes for your t-shirt that expressed your undying love. Nice gesture, but come on. There is a time and place, people.

Even the National Football League is no longer immune. It’s bad enough that every play has to be examined in minute detail, with replays to see if someone patted the other guy’s butt too hard. But now there are giant “GU” emblems on the field (in honor of Gene Upshaw, if you didn’t know). Now I think Gene did some great things for the game, and I don’t begrudge the guy some mad props for that. But let’s get real. If he’s even paying any attention to the game, do we think he wants to see “GU” on the field? How about a big “63” instead? That would be so much better.

And while there are plenty of examples of times where people have been taken before their time, such as the Virginia Tech shootings from 2007 – do we need to mark that anniversary each and every year? I mean if we do this every year, soon enough, every day of every year will be marked with something. Just like with presidential birthdays, eventually every day will be consumed. I’m not against honoring the dead, but perhaps we should lump them all together into one day – that is, after all what the Day of the Dead is for. That way you aren’t stuck grieving all the time. Just a thought.