Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fourth June Selection

Funerary Practices 2

People are people and most of us act as if the mere fact of being alive on a planet none of us will ever see in its entirety, that is traveling through a Multiverse that we can only speculate about, peopled with almost countless other folk we will only sense are there, whom we will never experience personally despite multimedia access; that this is not enough and that we need to inject it with high drama to feel alive.

And nothing brings out the drama queen in us like a good funeral. I know that from an anthropological POV funerary practice is one thing that separates us from other life forms; and that all of our practices, however different they might be, are a way to socially experience one of the few truly profound cosmological experiences: re-entering the void. I don’t know if our ancestors felt the need we do to inject even more drama into the event than is already inherently there; if they chose to mourn and honor their dead, and the process of living and dying, by indulging in petty skirmishes of familial in-fighting and one-upmanship; if they break-danced the eternal dance of prying, preening and prattling to a soundtrack of insincere unfelt in the heart praying and crocodile tears dropping on the chapel floor like truth bombs; if they picked the funeral event to begin the litigations concerning who gets what because after all what better time than when we’re all together anyway drinking this bad coffee and eating Auntie’s fucked up fruitcake and why should some of us who have to work for a living have to make a special trip out here to hear a Will when we already know that Uncle Richard would’ve wanted it to go to me me me… (Dude! A body can’t get no rest up in here not even in the afterlife in a sealed coffin! And, yes, I did specify a bulletproof steel sealed coffin with triple locks and Kevlar vest!)

--Richard Velez

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