Saturday, September 09, 2006

Merely a meme

This may all seem familiar to some people or possibly not. I nicked the meme from herehere.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

The fifth sentence reads: This gave way in the nineteenth century to graveyards at the town limits, largely municipally owned and operated.
And the next four go on with: Whether owned by church or municipality, the burial ground was considered a community facility; charges for graves were nominal, and the burial ground was generally not expected to show a profit.
Prevailing sentiment that there was something special and sacred about cemetery land, that it deserved special consideration and should not be subjected to such temporal regulation as taxation, was reflected in court decisions and state laws.

Yes, the book that I’m hurriedly reburying under a detritus of unpaid bills and take away leaflets is The American Way of Death. Oh come on, who doesn’t love a Mitford?
This seems rather fitting for this week as we bury my grandmother at the end of it. That’s a week from now – think outside the coffin and keep up. Half of me feels like dribbling on about the nature of life and the irritation that is death but really who can be bothered? Funerals though, have got to be the weirdest things ever. We’ve got people travelling north, people travelling south, people by air, people by car, and I imagine one or two who shall be astral travelling to see someone, who they couldn’t be arsed seeing in life, buried. And also, of course, to see each other. I wonder if it would be impolite to stand back, clutching a bottle of bubbly, and watch the fireworks. Possibly slightly more insensitive than impolite. Oh well.

6 comments:

TimT said...

Sounds like a cremation; my folks will be going out that way when they finally, um, go out.

I wasn't aware there was an American way of death. Personally, I'd like to be born like a German, grow up like a Frenchman, live like a Roman, and die like a Latvian, just for varieties sake.

Sneak in the bubbly under your coat so you can take some furtive swigs while people are fiddling with their hymn sheets.

Is this a milieu where I must
(How Graham Greenish! How infra dig!)
Snatch from my bottle in my bag
An analeptic swig?


I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me there ...

Mark said...

Boring: They come to have a taste of an old traditional culture. They come to France as painters went to Italy in the seventeenth century, to see a dying civilisation. Anyway, you see, we very often have the experience of much more freedom in foreign countries than our own. As foreigners we can ignore all those implicit obligations which are not in the law but in the general way of behaving.

nailpolishblues said...

Tim, think 'The Loved One' only with facts, figures, and a call to arms all wrapped up in the literary stylings of Jessica Mitford.
I'm not sure how the bubbly will fit with all the recording equipment I'm sneaking along. I don't know if grandma will be cremated but I'm pretty sure there'll be some kind of fire/explosion going on. Possibly several. It's dreadful, I'd really like to blog about my family but the best aspects are just so specific that I'd be hunted down and killed if any of them discovered it. Bloody stupid family.

It's no fun if you don't tell us what you're reading, Mark.

Mark said...

It's an interview with a French intellectual called Michel Foucault, talking about his career in psychiatry.

nailpolishblues said...

It would be fucking Foucault. I understand that the really interesting bits are all in his personal life, particularly his sex life.

Mark said...

Seems like he enjoyed the spankings, didn't he? But honestly I'm not on the edge of my seat about it.