Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan died today at age 46 in London, where she had reportedly gone to record music with her band D.A.R.K. Fans took to Twitter to mourn the loss of the beloved Irish rocker, causing “Cranberries” and “Dolores O’Riordan” to trend instantly.
And then, because the internet is full of vile people, the jokes began. Crass Twitter users began riffing on the names of the Cranberries’ most popular hits, asking if O’Riordan would come back as a “Zombie” and saying she must not have wanted to “Linger” too long on Earth.
Look, I know the 24-hour news cycle takes a mental toll on everybody, and we’re all so desensitized that we’ve lost our most elemental coping mechanisms and instead have to resort to crass, unoriginal jokes and memes. I don’t have the power to police anyone’s tweets, but if I could make one small suggestion: Stop being jackasses and making jokes about a person who literally died today.
Maybe it’s time to log off the internet. Maybe it’s time to go take a walk around your neighborhood or pet your dog. Maybe it’s time to crank “Zombie” and “Linger” and “Dreams” on your home stereo and revel in O’Riordan’s unparalleled, wonderfully accented voice.
But it’s not a time to joke about another person’s death. That time never comes.