Thursday, April 24, 2014
Pre-Internet Internet Hoaxes
Bobby McFerrin, the artist behind the one-hit wonder "Don't Worry Be Happy" is alive. He's on VH1 once in a while. He taught a class at my university. But before he did that I thought he was dead. It was one of those pre-Internet rumors, like the one about Mikey from the Life cereal box dying after he ate a pound of Pop Rocks and crushed a six-pack of Coke. Now it's easy to find out these people are still alive, but we don't have any reason to look it up. Their fake deaths are part of the collective pop culture history. So I wonder what it's like for them to meet people surprised to find them alive. If I were in charge at Twitter or Facebook, I'd dedicate one day to clearing up all these old stories that people got wrong before they could look it up.