I’m witnessing the future happen before my eyes. When I was a youth the ground was thick with death rumours regarding the celebrities of the time. I seem to recall Marilyn Manson having died at least thrice of overdose, and Eddie Murphy was, I believe, in at least one fatal car crash. It was easy for this sort of thing to get started, as the internet’s connectivity and ease of verification was just beginning to filter down into high school libraries. It was, strangely, often up to radio hosts to dispel such folklore.
These days, however, I’ve begun to see a situation that’s almost the opposite: The permanency of online data has brought us a strange sort of immortality, and made our deaths evergreen content. This past week I’ve seen a resurgence of woe over the passing of Mœbius/Jean Giraud, an event that happened back in 2012. For reasons probably related to minimizing dates on headlines to maximize site visits, the io9 announcement of his death has begun to circulate as if it happened in recent days.
It’s likely something in his legendary status – not quite a household name, but certainly well known – that causes the issue. No singular media event let us know he departed – no radio jockey has dispelled his existence – so now he simply lives, and dies, in shared Facebook postings.