The Deceased Didn’t Work and Neither Did the Eulogy

Funeral program

The LA Times ran a eulogy for a young Occupy protester this weekend . . .

Alex Weinschenker was born 23 years ago last month.

He was his parents’ only child, and he was beautiful.

Man who found a deep sense of purpose in Occupy L.A. is mourned –

That’s a very young age to die — 23 years old. How did it happen?

. . . probably from a relapse of a drug problem he’d tried to put behind him . . .

OK, wait a minute. This seems a little disingenuous. It sounds like you’re trying to say — without actually saying it — that he was a drug addict who killed himself, perhaps accidentally, with an overdose.

Occupy L.A. had filled Alex Weinschenker with energy and optimism, which makes the timing of his death even sadder, said his father.

Hmmm . . . in my experience, people with energy, optimism and “a deep sense of purpose” don’t die of a drug overdose.

He was so smart, but different. He did not go with the flow.

He had no education and no job.

Last year, Alex became a father to his own baby boy, Rivers, now 7 months old. He was no longer romantically involved with the child’s mother, but he was committed to taking care of both of them.

Is there anything he could have done that would be too irresponsible or stupid for the Times to put a positive spin on it?

“Committed to taking care of them” — in what way? A lot of us have fathered children and committed to taking care of them but we do this via something called “work.” I guess you could say we “went with the flow.” We’re not getting rich, we’re not 1 Percenters, but we made a decision to go to school, get jobs and raise our kids.

Who’s going to eulogize us?


Here’s how you can tell a eulogy isn’t working: It’s relentlessly disingenuous when it’s not outright dishonest. You have to gloss over the cause of death, invest the deceased with “a deep sense of purpose” that he didn’t have, and ignore the collateral damage of fathering a child with no means of support and leaving him to be raised by a single mother whose idea of a good decision is to have unprotected sex with an unemployed drug addict.

I suppose the Times is trying to bring Occupy back from the dead with a positive write-up on how they became a young man’s second family, but he was a 23-year-old addict with no job, no education and a 7-month-old son. Who or what was he protesting against?

He made his choices. What did he want?

  3 comments for “The Deceased Didn’t Work and Neither Did the Eulogy

  1. Rachel
    1 Aug 2012 at 3:27 pm

    He did work asshole, but the occupy movement was a huge part of his life. He was one of my best friends. Guess how we met? Work.. Tool.

  2. Rachel
    1 Aug 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Oh and he was trying to do something so many people don’t have the backbone to do. Make the world a legitimately better place for his son. He had a drug problem and you think that equates him to being a worthless being? I guarantee his intellect far outweighed majority of the people around him. Oh and he also wrote, for commercials. For money. You speak of someone you know nothing about, and riddle me this…Whether or not you agree with the article… Do you think when you die, you will have changed so many peoples lives to surpass a simple obituary and actually get an article written about you in ANY paper? Alex was an extraordinary person, who actually helped me get clean, and had a relapse for the first time in a LONG time. How dare you judge someone you don’t know. Karma is a bitch, and I hope you and your family are given the same respect when you die as you have given us.

  3. PE
    1 Aug 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Hi Rachel –

    I just reread this post … it doesn’t say that Alex was a good person or a bad person or a “worthless” person, it says that his choices in life seem stupid to me. Probably my choices in life would have seemed stupid to him.

    I’ve made the world a better place for my son one day at a time by raising him and loving him and putting him at the top of my list of priorities, ahead of sleeping in parks and ahead of shooting up and killing myself, not to say that’s not an occasional temptation.

    I removed your repost of the entire LA Times article as a comment because I already have a link to it in the original post.

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