Chris Mainwaring, Mortality and Perspective

On the weekend former West Coast Eagles footballer and TV presenter Chris Mainwaring died.

Its a tragedy.

But its not a tragedy because he was a ‘star’. Its a tragedy because it is a life wasted and now a family and friends must live without someone they loved. The news reports seem fairly conclusive that it was drug related and that ‘Mainy’ was going thru a tough time personally.

I actually get infuriated every time we focus on the death of a celebrity as if they were someone more special than everyone else – especially those millions of faceless black people who die every day, but who really don’t matter a fig in the scheme of things.

We really do show our true colours when a ‘star’ dies. I’m sure Chris Mainwaring was a nice bloke and I feel for those who have lost a family member or friend, but he was just a bloke. Another human being… special & unique… just like everyone else.


Lately I have been pondering why we devalue those in other countries who are poor, or who we only see in news reports as they lie starving.

Aren’t their lives of equal value to ours?

Don’t those parents love their kids as much as we love ours?

If only they could play football.

10 thoughts on “Chris Mainwaring, Mortality and Perspective

  1. looking at people like Colin McRae, Peter Brock and Steve Irwim… i think they may have come to my attention more than other every day people, because they were people I admired, and when you admire someone for their driving, or other work, you eventually get to a point where you feel you know them.

    so their passing does mean something personal to you.

    but yes i also agree that the news seems to blow it right up out of porportion a bit.

  2. Ah yes Deano, the deceptive sense of ‘knowing’ someone because of their media presence…

    again, if only we knew a few poor black people… maybe that would help shift the world a bit…

  3. I wonder if (even thou he was more famous than the average Joe) we identify with someone like Mainwaring more because he looks like us, lives in ‘our world’ and resembles people we know and care about. When someone like this passes away, it’s a fresh reminder that death is a real possibility, regardless of age. The hundreds and thousands in Africa who die daily from preventable causes are (painfully) more remote for most people, even when we can work there, live there or just visit; we go with the knowledge that we can leave at anytime should the going get too rough.

    It’s not right that one person’s death should attract more attention than another but for most people I imagine it’s a easier to imagine being in his shoes – or those of his family. And maybe it’s just too frightening to look at the greater numbers, the risk of being overwhelmed -then convicted to act- is just too great?

  4. yes i was in Africa… i delt with a boy rushed into the nursing station i was helping with IT stuff at… he’d fallen out of a tree, had bad concussion… in Australia/USA/UK/Japan… they’d have performed a simple opperation to releave the pressure on his brain.

    But where we were, even with Australia and British doctors, there was nothing we could do and the boy died…. i think that effected me more than any celebrity death.

    the key is being involved. the media gets us involved in Australia….

  5. I think Karyn is onto something, which is not to say she would agree with what I am about to say.

    Would you be more upset is your wife died, than someone you did not know in Africa? Of course you would, we let these people into our loungerooms every day, so naturally we have an emotional connection with them, and it has nothing to do with race. If Jeff Farmer died, I would be very upset.

    I dont think there is anything wrong with having an emotional connection to ‘famous’ people, having them as heroes, some of them at least, is perfectly healthy, in my view.

    I have a young lad in my church who wears a Geelong no 29 to church, and I think thats great.

    Of course, we can take it too far…stalking, worshipping etc….

    But in my view, with respect, I think you are being a little precious.

  6. Yeah, I have to say I don’t know any black people in Africa who have died. I sort of knew Mainy, you know what I mean. That said, the situation in Africa is more of a concern to me. It’s just not in my face. (That said, I don’t watch much TV, so neither has this story, particularly.)

  7. I think that post was a little harsh. i agree with mark.e. .

    mainy meant something to a lot of people (close family and friends) and I cannot even imagine what they must be going through.

    This was from Mainys wife:

    “My life without you in it will be so difficult and empty, but as you have always been my rock in life, I will go on and I promise to keep the children as happy and safe as you always did,

    I love you with all my heart and will miss you every second of every day.I will cherish and keep our beautiful memories so close to my heart.”

    Im pretty sure she isnt thinking of the 100 thounds dying at the moment and I think that is what the public is identifying with. Someone elses (public) pain – yes the media directs it to a star, but i dont think what you wrote was very fair. star or no star, EVERY death should be mourned.

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