THE INTERNET—Last week, the death of 71-year-old Lou Reed, founder of the band The Velvet Underground, prompted social media users everywhere to take to Twitter and Facebook to publish their feelings, expressing not only their sorrow over his death but also their extensive knowledge of cool music.
Reed’s death revealed his closeted following as well as the inherent social media value in mourning his death. Fans posted solemn statuses and favorite songs by Reed in an attempt to maximize their street cred for knowing that Lou Reed was, in fact, a person.
“Yeah, I’m devastated,” said fifteen-year-old Keith Hughes, wiping the tears from his flannel shirt and perfectly-distressed combat boots, “but at least now everyone knows that I know who he is.” Hughes went on to explain that though Reed’s death was untimely, the Sonic Youth mimic account retweeted him, making him happy that “there’s still something to salvage from this tragedy.”
However, not every social media user was content to simply show off that they knew who Reed was; the musician’s passing prompted many to prove that they knew enough about him to criticize him.
“Hes no john ca1e, heck, or even a brian en0,” tweeted @musicguru23, inciting a vicious twitter fight that invoked the ancient memories of literally every single famous person’s death ever.
Social media researchers have speculated that the popularity of mourning Reed’s death will likely be rivaled upon the eventual passing of Morrissey. ♦