Death of a young man

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So a person I’m friendly with on social media posted earlier today about the heartbreaking death of Freddie Pring, a 20-year-old rugby player who fell from a balcony at the beachfront Wave House hotel in the Spanish resort of Majorca. You can read more about it here.

Pring was a member of the Minehead Barbarians RFC, which means almost nothing to a rugby-ignorant American like, well, me. But as I read about his death, I kept returning to both the fragility of life, and also the silly/immature/weird way we address death in 2019.

In many ways, death has become entertainment. It’s shock value. It’s, “Holy shit, did you hear!” Then we re-tweet it, we post it on Facebook, we Snapchat it up. It becomes this thing; this “Did you know?” factoid that goes round and round for a couple of hours until we turn our attentions elsewhere. To a Kardashian. To a new Drake drop. To a spectator pushing a player in the NBA Finals.

Meanwhile, those close to the victim are left to cope with the lowest of lows. The loss of a friend, a family member, a peer.

We are all entertained. But there’s nothing entertaining about it.