Sorry I didn’t say RIP on Social Media to Sir Christopher Lee…
This week I read the sad news that Sir Christopher Lee had passed away. I was saddened by this as I loved the Hammer Films growing up, and for me Christopher Lee is Dracula. I don’t even know how many of those movies I’ve seen or how many times I’ve seen them again and again. We’d stay up late when we were kids with my Mother for Friday Night’s Late Late Movie. We popped Jiffy Pop popcorn because the microwave hadn’t been invented and if it had we didn’t have one. We’d turn the television on and wait to be scared! I was a late teenager before I knew that Sir Christopher Lee’s Dracula, and all the other parts he played for those Hammer films were in color. We had a black and white television and occasionally had to stand next to the antennae to get better reception. My sister and I would take turns on this job as necessary. I think it was creepier too in black and white by the way, and Christopher Lee way back then was a part of my childhood.
When his passing was announced this week, I didn’t feel the right to post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Periscope, etc. the obligatory:
“RIP Sir Christopher Lee… you will be missed.”
It was obviously the public thing to do, and what everyone was doing, and the expected thing to do, but at this point I just didn’t. It didn’t seem right, but it is what I thought was expected and then I wondered, “Will people think I’m not compassionate because I didn’t post the RIP message?”
We post so many things today and some I get, but really I didn’t know Christopher Lee personally. I wish I had known him in the way that phrase communicates.
I imagine our conversations would have been over tea, although I’d have preferred coffee, but an English actor I expect would want tea.
Now Christopher Lee was fifty plus years older than me, so I don’t know what the heck we would have talked about. I know over tea that I’d have brought up his movie career, and probably come across as a movie reviewer or worse a fanatic fan, but the truth is that is all I’d know to talk about. He’s older than my father, so would we talk about his kids? I don’t care to talk about his kids, not that I mean spirited, but I want to talk about Hammer Films, Star Wars, and better yet Lord of The Rings. Seriously! What a career!
At this point, Sir Christopher Lee would spit tea and biscuits all over the place and begin throwing his cup and saucers at me. I believe they would of course be a very high grade of china so the possibility of severe cup cuts is high. He is Dracula to me, so the thought of my blood dripping all over the English Castle we are having tea in, is even more creepier than the burnt Jiffy Pop when I was eight and my sister isn’t standing by the television for better reception. I’m all alone with the Prince of Darkness and I’ve turned this nice man into Dracula.
At this point, I know I’d begin to recite the Lord’s Prayer and make cross symbols out of my fingers. Light would break through the window and peace would be restored to Dracula’s Castle, and I along with Sir Christopher Lee’s servant would clean up the broken china while Sir Chris, that’s what he’d want me to call him I believe but I’m not sure. He would leave and go off to his meditation chamber for quiet reflection to ask the eternal question that is boring a hole in his head: what the heck is this guy doing here? Is he a hobbit? A priest? Who is he?
This would all happen because the truth is this: I don’t know Sir Christopher Lee.
I’d like to, but I don’t. I wish I could walk into his castle and hear in that distinctive voice, “Welcome Chris… welcome to my home.” It never happened, and now it never will. I know that.
I do know however all the people that know me, and I hope they don’t think I’m callous or insensitive because when the knowledge of his passing became public, I didn’t write on all my social networks “rest in peace” or “I’ll miss him”. The last phrase causes me pain when people write that about celebrities. It’s as if they were having that tea with Sir Chris, or worked on cars with Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk who passed away in 2014.
Oh and Tom and Ray did work with me on many cars only because I listened to them while I worked on my car, and to be honest when Tom passed away last year I think I posted, “I will miss you Tom.”
I’m now going to go into my meditation chamber, and reflect upon these things and try to remember if I picked up all the broken china with Sir Chris, and be thankful that Tom is still in my garage as I play repeats of their podcast to my working on cars.
The truth is that they will never leave me and I will never miss them. To the level that I did know them, I can always know them like so many of all of us. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, John Wayne, Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and the list goes on and on. Thankfully I can always find them and enjoy them.
They are a part of my consciousness, and I know that when I go to my meditation chamber, which is really my garage; I can always find them on the mediums they so controlled and owned. I didn’t share with Sir Chris that my meditation chamber is my garage, I didn’t have the heart to tell that to Sir Chris over tea.
One thing I did take away from that tea is this; Sir Chris, nor Tom, nor anyone else on the Late Late Show really thought much about the thoughts of those people on social. They lived great lives, touched people’s thoughts and imagination, and stayed true to themselves.
That part of us all, that is concerned with the thoughts of others on social, to that I’ll say RIP!