Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Andrei Mortality

OK so this vehicle belongs to Hells Pizza, who as you know, advertise by pushing the boundaries of taste. Not that using an ancient hearse for advertising purposes is particularly offensive. In any case in the modern age hearses might be designed to blend in with the other vehicles with which they share the road.

In other words to be discreet.

The one that carried my mother to her resting place was painted a light shade of grey, not black. It looked like a vehicle that might belong to a well heeled family man not a hearse in the traditional sense.

Time was when a funeral procession passed, passers by would stop and if a man had a hat on his head he'd remove it - I don't think we even have funeral processions anymore.

Death itself is treated as an anomaly - if an 84 year old man dies of lung cancer it is counted as a "premature death due to smoking". And there is a whole industry, primarily taxpayer funded, which tells us that we are killing ourselves by eating to much fat, to much salt and so forth.

In a culture that celebrates perpetual youth, where people in their thirties are still behaving as an eighteen year old student might, one where war hasn't been seen for generations and famine for longer still death has become the ultimate obscenity and something we keep out of sight as much as possible.

We don't want reminders of our own mortality imposed upon us as we go about our daily business so hearses are discreet.

And when contemplating mortality does become unavoidable - well maybe we can hand it over to politicians to lead us in our collective expressions of grief

Related: The Banality of Everything

via Crusader Rabbit

2 comment(s):

KG said...

Thank you for the link, Andrei.
We were driving through a little NSW country town a few months ago and there was a funeral procession coming down the main street. Very slowly. And walking in front of the hearse was an immaculately dressed gentleman complete with top hat.
The main street had ground to halt while the procession passed.
I don't think the deceased was anybody particularly famous, it was just that funerals were conducted with proper dignity as they always had been in little outback towns.
And it felt good to see that.

Muerk said...

I can attest to funeral processions here in Greymouth and people who see the procession stop and make a mark of respect too.

Dignity isn't dead.

Post a Comment

Please be respectful. Foul language and personal attacks may get your comment deleted without warning. Contact us if your comment doesn't appear - the spam filter may have grabbed it.