Hey girl, you can stop sobbing uncontrollably, because Ryan Gosling is alive and well. As if The Notebook isn’t enough of a tear-jerker already, on Tuesday the disreputable Global Associated News reported that the Canadian heartthrob fell 50 feet to his death while filming a movie in the Kitzbühel Alps.
Gosling is just the latest victim of the Internet’s most boring trend: The celebrity death hoax. It seems we’re now hearing about celebrities’ unexpected and totally bogus deaths at a rate of about two per week, and in the past few months death rumors have circulated about Justin Bieber, Bon Jovi, Snooki, Usher, Chris Brown, Reba McEntire, Patrick Dempsey, Paul McCartney, Ja Rule, and even Boo, the “world’s cutest dog.”
As fans of April Fool’s Day pranks and every online meme from LOLCats to Rickrolling, we find this prank totally puzzling. The reports themselves are never amusing. It’s not like we’re told that Bieber was trampled by a pack of lovesick fans, or that Snooki OD’ed on a chemical in self-tanner. All the hoaxes prove is that information spreads fast on Facebook and Twitter, which we already knew, and the prank is over as soon as a celebrity says, “Hey, I’m not dead.”
People of the Internet, we hate to say this, but we’re truly disappointed in you. Celebrity death hoaxes are pointless and unfunny, and frankly we expect more of you. Remember when you convinced everyone that Paul from the Wonder Years was Marilyn Manson and that Lady Gaga was a dude? That was some good stuff. If you’re going to spread lies about celebrities, at least be creative. The folks at Snopes.com need something juicy to debunk, and we’re long overdue for a good urban legend about gerbil-related sexual activities.