I have seen this meme, or one bearing the same message, no less than four times today. It truly baffles me, because I’m almost 100% certain that none of the people who pass this meme along knew who Roger Rodas was before he died in the same fiery car crash that killed actor Paul Walker. If Rodas had been alone in that Porsche, you probably still wouldn’t know who he was. Nothing against Roger Rodas, but most peoples’ lives and deaths go unmarked except by the people closest to them.
And let’s be fair: Rodas has received some media coverage. The fact that you even know his name is proof of that. I could understand the indignation if the headlines had read thus: “Actor Paul Walker killed along with some guy whose life is of no consequence at all”. But they didn’t. A brief Google search turns up scads – scads – of pages with information about Rodas’ life. That’s more than most of us will get when we shuffle off this mortal coil. And yes, most of those websites mention Walker as well, but that’s the nature of celebrity.
So where is this meme coming from? Do the memers think that every car crash victim should receive as much press coverage as Paul Walker has, or do they think that Paul Walker’s death should go largely unnoticed (except by local papers and insurance adjustors), as do most other automobile-related fatalities? Either viewpoint seems remarkably naïve, but I think we’re seeing something else: I think the people who created these memes just want something to be indignant about. I believe that some people aren’t happy unless they can assume a position of moral superiority and look down their noses at the rest of society. How sad for them.
For what it’s worth, my heart goes out to the friends and families of Roger Rodas and Paul Walker. May they find some peace in their time of suffering.