Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Reading the Obituaries



It's been a while since I posted a blog. So, let's talk about something cheerful. Like death, for instance.

Occasionally, I find it interesting to comb through the obituary columns to see who has died recently. Some may consider this a morbid pastime, but for me it is the modern-day equivalent of the old Buddhist practice of spending nights in a charnel house. First, it reminds me how lucky I am to be alive; and secondly, it is a reminder of those folks who have in some way influenced me during my half-century-plus on this spinning rock. (It is also much more pleasant, and less stinky than spending a night in an actual charnel house. The only contact I allow myself with deceased bones is when I'm giving one to my dog. Otherwise, things gets a bit complicated, and the police tend to get involved. Trust me on this.)

So which persons of note have shuffled off their mortal coil in 2015 thus far? By the way, this list excludes all politicians, since I can't think of a single one during my lifetime that has made a positive contribution to my existence - except insofar as they provide a behavioural model not to be followed.

Here is my list, and what the individuals concerned taught me...

Terry Pratchett (66) - author of the Discworld novels - "Sometimes fantasy is more real than reality"
Dave Mackay (80) - Scottish footballer - "You can eat pork pies and still be a professional athlete"
Alan Howard (77) - English actor - "Shakespeare can be sexy"
Louis Jourdan (93) - French actor - "Not all French people are bad, and some of them can act"
Colleen McCullough (69) - author of The Thorn Birds - "Crying at a book is OK"
Leonard Nimoy (83) - American actor - "If you live long enough, you prosper"
Anita Ekberg (83) - Swedish-Italian actress - "Busty ladies look great in fountains"
Demis Roussos (68) - Egyptian-born Greek singer - "Anybody can sing, even when they can't"
Geraldine McEwan (82) - British actress - "Style never goes out of fashion"

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