About the coverage of the then-recent death of the Pope, Rich said:
"What's unsettling is the nastier agenda that lies far less than six feet under the surface. Once the culture of death at its most virulent intersects with politicians in power, it starts to inflict damage on the living."Rich went on to reference CSI, the Passion of the Christ, and the Terri Schiavo controversy. He finished his column with:
"...the reality show we've made of death has jumped the shark, turning from a soporific television diversion into the cultural embodiment of the apocalyptic right's growing theocratic crusade"Forget the ideology for a second, this is about anthropology.
In my post I spacily argued that what Rich was calling a 'cultural embodiment" was more accurately a "breath-death wish". I then launched into a deconstruction of the birthday party ritual. But I managed to miss something important. Namely, the Western desire for non-existent existence, eg for some form of heaven.
I mean, you all aren't just mourning the early murder of your own enlightment (which you did yourself!), or just trying to be Settlers 'n Warriors at the same time. At some level you find existence to be humiliating and ugly.
Image by cutestkidever via Flickr
To summarize, I now think there are TWO collective "cultural" strategies happening:
--a wishing of a specific breath-death on others (a willing that others not breath to produce their own enlightenment)
--a desire for a heaven