Gene Leonhardt, the father of Internet “thing” Jessi Slaughter, and the man who gave us “you dun goofed” and “I backtraced it” has died at the age of 53. That is so young! Earlier this year, Gene Leonhardt was arrested and charged on suspicion of child abuse and Jessi was removed from her home, so a story that started out kind of sad got REAL sad. Mr. Leonhardt died on August 11th, the day Jessi Slaughter posted an apology video (for everything, but in particular for the false allegations of rape, eek!), of a heart attack. The story is currently up on DailyWhat and BoingBoing, both citing KnowYourMeme, but for those of you who have been on the Internet for too many years who now have permanently heavy-lidded eyes and mistrust in your heart, prop them lids up with some toothpicks and trust that there is also a legitimate death announcement in the Charleston Gazette. (Phew?)
It is always weird, every single time, to write about someone dying on a blog. Very few forms of tribute to the passing of a human life are more meaningless than this form of tribute. In the case of Gene Leonhardt, it does seem vaguely appropriate, although I’m not even sure what that means. Also, I take it back. The most appropriate form of tribute to the passing of Gene Leonhardt would have been absolute Internet silence on the matter. Somehow, everyone would align their brain-chips or whatever and we would all silently agree that we have done enough to this family, and that now, with Mr. Leonhardt’s passing, it is time for the Internet to let them go with the hope that somehow they might put things back together. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS IDEA, LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS! Just kidding. Hush.
Of course, what I have suggested as an appropriate on-line tribute to Gene Leonhardt is also what I think would be an appropriate on-line tribute to everyone who dies, which is to say: no on-line tribute. But that seems unlikely at this point. Oh well. JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP AND ALSO FOLLOW US ON TWITTER.
R.I.P. Gene Leonhardt.