A Moment of Human Dignity for Sam Mazzola



I suppose there are jokes here, but, really, there's just a lot of sadness:

An exotic-animal owner who made headlines last summer when one of his bears mauled a woman to death has died after apparently choking on a sex toy, authorities said.
Sam Mazzola, 49, was found dead in his Columbia Station home on Sunday, face down on a water bed. He was bound to the bed with handcuffs, chains and padlocks, Lorain County Chief Deputy Coroner Dr. Frank Miller told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Mazzola had a sex toy in his throat, which apparently obstructed his breathing, Miller said. He was also wearing a leather mask with the eyes and mouth zipped shut and a two-piece metal sphere covering his head, the coroner told The Morning Journal.
Here's how this should have been handled. First of all, the people who responded to the scene where Mazzola died--they all know what happened. The family, then, also knows what happened. So, is there really any need for the coroner to release this report in the manner as reported?

No. There isn't. Because the man is dead. His death should mean something more than the embarrassing details of how he was found. The public does not have a need to know how the man died. The public has no more right to know how he died than they do how anyone else in Cleveland has died.

Do you really think Mazzola is the first person to die of autoerotic asphyxiation or from a rough sex game gone wrong? It happens all over the world and it's nothing new. But what is new is that there is this insatiable need to be able to laugh at what happens to people. The Internet now exists almost solely for:
  • boobs
  • Spam
  • LOL!
Take those three things away, and you're left with crappy blogs, self-aggradizement, and the Huffington Post

I suppose there is an argument as to whether or not Mazzola was a public figure because of the notoriety of the fact that an animal that he owned, a black bear, mauled a young woman to death. Her death should mean something as well, and she should be remembered as someone who had a terrible encounter with an animal. Do we really need to cheapen her death with jokes about the death of Sam Mazzola? Or should we look at the tragedy and say, no, I'm not going to go down that road and get my Lulz from all of this?

The answer lies somewhere in the grey area where a coroner calls in the next of kin--and this goes for the poor young lady who died at the hands of the bear and for Mazzola--and says, "yes, this is how your loved one died. Here's what's going in the report. I am sorry for your loss." And then we move on and let people have their moment of human dignity.