Celebrity deaths usually don’t move me that much. I feel bad for their loved ones and whatnot, but I’m rarely so invested in the famous that their passing messes me up too much. Besides, I don’t like talking about death because it’s so fatalistic and depressing and the world’s got enough of that already.
With that said, today, I’m going to talk about a celebrity death.
While on my lunch break yesterday, I read some disheartening news – YouTube personality John “TotalBiscuit” Bain passed away at 33 from cancer. For those don’t know who of TotalBiscuit, he’s a highly respected, if not occasionally controversial, figure in the gaming community. Many, myself included, know him as one of the biggest advocates for gamers. He often called out the shady practices, bad design choices, and lack of options that plague much of the gaming industry.
I’ve only ever loosely followed TotalBiscuit, and even then, only for a small handful of years. Even though I’ve never been a hardcore consumer of his content, I hold him in high respect because of his brutal honesty and commitment to what he believed in.
And I’m not the only one who feels that way. From all corners of the Internet, people are coming to comment on his death. So many people sharing fond memories of him, detailing their personal encounters with him, and lauding the ethos he ran all parts of his business with.
Even people who don’t necessarily like or agree with TotalBiscuit are coming out of the woodwork to mention how much they respected his honesty.
All the talk about how much character he had, how many lives he positively impacted, is what inspired this post. Seeing all the praise and reminiscing has got me thinking about what will happen when it’s my time to go. It may be a selfish thing to turn the thought to myself, but it’s a question that’s run through my head a lot since I read the news. I know life can be tragically cut short, that I’m not guaranteed tomorrow. So if I were gone tomorrow, what would I leave behind?
Honestly, I’m not satisfied with the answer. Maybe it’s thanks to my recent obsession with stories and how to live good ones, but I feel like there’s so much more I could do and be. Again, maybe I’m being selfish here, but I want to be remembered more than some dude who watched a lot of YouTube.
TotalBiscuit was a man who did not let his fear keep him from doing what he loved, stepping on some toes and bruising some egos along the way. He did what he felt called to do despite the adversity he faced from others.
The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that that’s the way to live a memorable story. Find something important that you care about and throw yourself totally into it. Fight past the nay-saying of others. Pursue your dreams while staying true to your ethics. Will it be easy? Probably not. But nothing worth doing is. If you need an example of how that works out, you can just look at the precedent TotalBiscuit set.