Monday, August 03, 2009

Public grief

I've been thinking long and hard over the weekend about what to write here. Nor especially on the topic of Bobby Robson, but more the way we choose to mark the passing of someone in the public eye these days.

I can't claim to be much of a football fan. Working right next door to the ground (hey, out fire assembly point is on the practice pitch) and listening to local radio a lot means I have picked up a fair bit of interest over the years though. OK, so the only times I have been inside Portman Road are for meetings and to see Bryan Adams back in 1992, but I certainly understand the esteem Sir Bobby was held in by the fans. In fact, when we were clearing out my father-in-law's house I was touched by one old boy I met in a charity shop who, on hearing we were up from Suffolk, took great pains to tell me he had been Robson's first games master and had taught him the basics of football.

What I don't understand is the compulsion to leave flowers or shirts (some purchased especially to do so) or other mementoes in a car park. OK, yes it is by his statue at the ground, but still. Why?

Surely the money could just be given to his charity and an entry be written in the book of condolences without the need to show others what you've done. Because I'm sure half of this is just so people can say they "were there" and gave something up in memory. I just don't understand that at all.

Likewise, why is Michael Jackson still all over the charts just because he has died? Did these people going out in their droves to the record shops not want to own that music when he was alive? Not much of a fan to only support a dead artist.

Maybe I'm just private with my emotions, but I recall people crying in the supermarket on the morning of Diana's death and getting in the way when I was after some cornflakes. Yes it is always sad when someone passes on, but it seems that these days everything has to be out in the open.

And it isn't as if nobody I really admire has met an untimely end either.

Just one of those things where we all have differences that keep the world interesting I guess. A few more shots if you click through to Flickr.

No comments: