As many have heard Paul Walker died this past Saturday in a fiery car crash. He was 40 years old. Now before I write this article, which is sure to piss a few of you off, I want to say how tragic this death was and how horrible it always is to hear of the loss of man who was so young and so prominent in the automotive community. I take into consideration that Paul Walker wasn’t just a movie guy, he was a car guy, hence why I’ve taken it upon myself to write this article.
Everywhere I turn I see “RIP Paul Walker” and many of my fellow gear heads talking about how this is the most they have been moved by the death of someone they never knew. He was an actor, guys. Sure, his death was unexpected and tragic, but he made movies. He didn’t cure cancer. He didn’t genetically engineer a plant that could grow perpetually without any nourishment. He stood in front of a camera and said a collection of rehearsed lines when he was scheduled to do so.
He contributed to the automotive world in a very real way, there’s no denying it, but in a world where Chris Kyle, an American war hero, dies and no one, including the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, says anything, this outpouring has me wanting to rip my hair out. The man didn’t invent the internal combustion engine or spend his entire youth risking his life defending your freedom and right to drive a car that implements one. He acted. That’s it.
As a fellow gear head, I raise my glass to him, but as a human being I am disgusted that celebrities are constantly given more credit than they deserve. Whitney Huston, a woman who killed herself with a fatal alcohol/drug mixture in her bath tub, was mentioned by President Obama who demanded the flag be flown at half mast, an honor reserved for only the most deserving recipients. Chris Kyle wasn’t given this honor until almost a month after he was killed and was not once mentioned by his Commander-in-Chief. My fellow gear heads, I want you to ask yourself what kind of world we are living in and if its a world you are proud to be apart of. Accept Paul Walker for what he is, say a prayer for him and his family, but end things there. Remember he was an actor. Remember there are people out there far more worthy of your twenty-line Facebook posts. Remember the bigger picture, and remember that some people are more worthy of your mourning than others.
Some things are simply more important, my friends. Even more important that cars.