When I retired as a humanist celebrant I thought I'd stop writing this blog, but my fascination with all things death-related prompted more posts. They're just written from a slightly different perspective, that's all. Oh, and I still do the odd one, by special request.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

In case you hadn't noticed, someone important has died

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with a lot of pleasure." -- Clarence Darrow (1857 - 1938)
I may be wrong, but I think I read somewhere that Mrs Thatcher liked Anthony Trollope's novels. In Dr Thorne, Trollope wrote, "In these days a man is nobody unless his biography is kept so far posted up that it is ready for the national breakfast-table on the morning after his demise." The obituary writers will have been updating their Thatcher files for some years, in anticipation of her demise, just as they do with other public figures. The difference between those written in Trollope's time and those published and broadcast this week is that it was far easier to avoid them 130 years ago. You just didn't bother to read them in a newspaper, or you never read a paper anyway. Now, it's almost impossible to avoid the interminable eulogising on the TV news, especially the BBC, when anyone of any importance snuffs it. The day someone invents a news channel filter, I'll scrape together my pennies to buy one ASAP.

The current hoo-ha will go on until after the funeral on April 17th, over a week away. Meanwhile, I'll be recording the news bulletins and fast forwarding through anything Thatcher related.


Zeno said...

Then there'll be the newspaper supplements (they've already started, apparently), the Sunday supplements, the special memorial issues, the pull-out and keep sections, the books of her life rushed out in this next week, the more measured biographies (official and unofficial) that tell us no more, Mark and Carol's memories of her, the memorial tea cups with her picture staring up at us when we finish the tea, and, of course the souvenir hand bags. God save us.

Margaret Nelson said...

God's not interested, as you well know.