Oh John Carroll

Tag: death

Go read this excellent piece by William Hughes at The AV Club:

I began to notice that my reactions to pop culture had changed, in some ways drastically. I picked up a nasty aversion (which has lessened over time) to ambulances or heavy breathing, both of which could send me into memory-tinged panic attacks. Podcasters making jokes about strokes or embolisms would force my hands into fists. But more than that, I became horribly conscious of death in the media I consumed, and how often it was employed as a plot device for cheap effect.

Death Etiquette →

Glenn Greenwald, for The Guardian, writes about the response to Margaret Thatcher’s death:

This demand for respectful silence in the wake of a public figure’s death is not just misguided but dangerous. That one should not speak ill of the dead is arguably appropriate when a private person dies, but it is wildly inappropriate for the death of a controversial public figure, particularly one who wielded significant influence and political power. “Respecting the grief” of Thatcher’s family members is appropriate if one is friends with them or attends a wake they organize, but the protocols are fundamentally different when it comes to public discourse about the person’s life and political acts.

In short: we’re applying the etiquette of our personal relationships to politics.  This is not uncommon, of course: people have a warped perception of how our nation operates (say, related to the debt) because they look at it through the prism of their personal finances.

You Are Going To Die →

Tim Kreider wrote an excellent op-ed about mortality for The New York Times:

Plenty of people before me have lamented the way that we in industrialized countries regard our elderly as unproductive workers or obsolete products, and lock them away in institutions instead of taking them into our own homes out of devotion and duty. Most of these critiques are directed at the indifference and cruelty thus displayed to the elderly; what I wonder about is what it’s doing to the rest of us.

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