17 July 2010

Respect the dead

WARNING: This post is about Death and entirely inappropriate. But you must be used to that by now.

Death Index chart

The Chart of the Day death index from Business Insider. It shows the best spot for your final meeting with the Grim Reaper.

Why must we respect the dead?

In most cultures, it is bad luck to speak ill of the dead. When someone dies, everyone has to pretend to be upset, whether you are or not. Even if the person was a complete dud of a human being like Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, who caused the suffering and death of many, we must pay respect and pretend that it's a sad event that this person passed away.

The only notable exception to this rule seems to be the Adolf Hitler biography. In that case, it was perfectly acceptable not to be upset but to call the spade a fucking shovel. His biography didn't change when he shoved off.

The dead cannot do anything to you

Unlike in films like the Poltergeist and Drag Me to Hell, the dead cannot do anything to you. They are not going to do unsolicited interior decorating while you are trying to sleep. They are not going to take your place in the queue at the supermarket. You're clear on this one.

It's too late for them to change

If he died an asshole, he's a dead asshole. He's not suddenly a dead saint. You can find any number of Kurt Cobain creeps out there who also know 4 chords and who also sound like they're chewing on their own gallbladder. Yet Kurt Cobain had the common courtesy to remove himself from the gene pool, so his songs are genius while the others who sound exactly the same are commercial or uninspired, regardless of when they started writing their camp fire classics with distortion songbook.

It's too late to bury the hatchett

If you had a grudge against them and they died, it's too late. It's pointless to be concerned over how they felt about your feud when they died, because they're dead. Maybe you want to pay respect now to ease your conscience. That's all good and well, but it doesn't change anything.

You can't do x because someone died

The most bizarre aspect of this sudden sainthood that death brings is that we, the living, are not allowed to be happy or to partake in any debauchery for an unspecified amount of time. Why? Out of respect for a bag of bones. Out of respect for slowly decaying flesh that's only different from the same you find in a butchery by virtue of the fact that it did more than respond to its name by sometimes using yours back at you.

When someone close to me dies, that's exactly when I need debauchery to cheer me up the most.

If that's how you feel, people won't respect you when you're dead

I don't need respect when I'm dead. I'm dead. In fact, let it be known that I would not want any kind of religious boredom or default metaphysical posthumous vibes towards me at my funeral whatsoever. I'd like my funeral to be a bring en braai with headbanging strippers and an open bar. The first person to get arrested would inherit my estate, but only if they do not respect me all of a sudden because I'm pushing daisies.

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