EppsNet Archive: Death

How Are You Doing?

24 Sep 2016 /

I feel like I’m confronting the challenges of existence pretty effectively, with the following exceptions: the inevitability of death, freedom and its attendant responsibility, existential isolation, and meaninglessness.


For My Daughter

10 Aug 2016 /

When I die choose a star
and name it after me
that you may know
I have not abandoned
or forgotten you.
You were such a star to me,
following you through birth
and childhood, my hand
in your hand.

When I die
choose a star and name it
after me so that I may shine
down on you, until you join
me in darkness and silence
together.

— David Ignatow, “For My Daughter”

On-Again, Off-Again Respect for Grieving Parents

2 Aug 2016 /

Hey, remember when the first night of the Republican convention featured Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, one of the Americans slain in Benghazi? Remember how her speech was called a “cynical exploitation of grief”? Or the “unabashed exploitation of private people’s grief” or “the weaponization of grief”? Remember how she “ruined the evening”? How it was,  “a spectacle so offensive, it was hard to even comprehend”? How some liberal commentators said, “Mrs. Smith was really most interested in drinking blood rather than healing”? How her speech represented an “early dip into the gutter”? Remember how a GQ writer publicly expressed a desire to beat her to death?


The Tigers Have Spoken

17 Jul 2016 /

They shot the tiger on his chain
In a field behind the cages
He walked in circles ’til he was crazy
And he lived that way forever
And he lived that way beside them,
Separate from the other tigers
He did not know another tiger

They shot the tiger on his chain
In a field behind the cages
He walked in circles ’til he was crazy
And he lived that way forever
And he lived that way forever
Just as long as he could remember
If he’d wanted to remember

It was the last time he had felt alive
When he saw that brown-haired lady
She fed him with a bottle as a baby
And he recalled her face and smile
They shot that tiger on his chain


My Boyhood Sports Icons Are Dying

16 Jul 2016 /


Oops!

13 Jul 2016 /

Tom Kelly, Pat Summitt, Buddy Ryan

28 Jun 2016 /

The Grim Reaper very active in the sports world the last day or so . . .

  • Tom Kelly dies at 88; broadcast USC football and basketball games for decades — LA Times
  • Pat Summitt, legendary women’s basketball coach, dies at 64 — CNN.com
  • Former NFL coach, defensive guru Buddy Ryan dies at age 82 — ESPN

What Are the Rules on Refusing a Religious Funeral?

21 Jun 2016 /

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. —- The father of the Orlando gunman said his son was buried at a Florida cemetery this week.

Seddique Mateen would not say where his son, Oman Mateen, was buried, but said it was an Islamic burial.

A lithographic painting depicting a Muslim funeral

Is a Muslim entitled to an Islamic funeral no matter what kind of atrocity he commits, in particular, an atrocity committed in the name of Islam? What are the rules on this?

Would a Catholic, for example, who pledged allegiance to the Pope before shooting 100 people be entitled to a funeral mass in the Church?

I remember a couple of years ago in Australia when an Islamic extremist got himself and a couple of hostages killed in a siege, the funeral director with the Lebanese Muslim ­Association said this:

We don’t care about him, we don’t know him, chuck him in the bloody shithouse. Nobody’s going to do his funeral. No Muslim funeral home will accept him. They can throw him in the bloody sea.

Anyone who does harm to Australians, we don’t want him. This is not a human, this is an animal. He killed innocent people … even if you paid us $3 million we would not do his funeral.


I Pledge Allegiance to [Omitted]

20 Jun 2016 /

House Speaker Paul Ryan called on the Obama administration Monday to “release the full, unredacted transcript” of the Orlando massacre gunman’s 911 calls, slamming the Justice Department’s censoring of all references to Islam as “preposterous.”

Here’s what Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter, sounds like in the redacted transcript:

I pledge allegiance to [omitted] may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of [omitted].

No references to Islam, ISIS or Allah, who becomes “God [in Arabic].”

In other news, 911 calls from the Disney World alligator attack are being released after redacting all references to alligators.

It’s similar to 2012, when a terror attack (in Benghazi) was whitewashed in the months leading up to a presidential election, the thinking being that vulnerability to terrorism reflects poorly on the incumbent administration. This time they’re is not even bothering to lie about it (the Benghazi attack was supposedly a spontaneous response to an internet video), just “we’re taking out all references to Islam.”

Update: The DOJ has now reversed course and released a full transcript of at least one of the 911 calls. Allah is still “God [in Arabic]” but nothing else is omitted.


Jesus at Gethsemane

19 Jun 2016 /

For those not familiar with the story: Jesus knows he’s going to die. He prays to God for help in the garden of Gethsemane, at the Mount of Olives. But there is no answer.

If it is true that in the sacred Garden of the Scriptures,
The Son of Man said what we see reported;
Mute, blind and deaf to the cry of all creatures,
If Heaven abandons us like an aborted world,
The just will oppose disdain to this absence,
And will answer from now on with only cold silence
The eternal silence of the Divinity.

Jesus at Gethsemane


Is There an “Anti-Queer” Climate?

16 Jun 2016 /
Doogie Howser

Christian conservatives are responsible for the mass shooting at a gay bar in Orlando because they “created this anti-queer climate,” according to American Civil Liberties Union attorneys.

Agree that the summer climate in Orlando can be pretty oppressive but it’s just as bad for straight people.

Haha, but seriously folks, is there an “anti-queer climate” in America? I don’t see that. Can you think of 10 or 12 recent examples of “anti-queer” behavior that you’ve observed in your own life? Six? One? I can’t.

Quite the opposite: If a bakery doesn’t want to put two men on a wedding cake, it’s a national outrage. If a state doesn’t want penises in women’s bathrooms or locker rooms, it’s a national outrage.

America loves gays. Who in America is more beloved than Ellen and that Doogie Howser kid?

Now if you ask me “Is there an anti-Christian conservative climate in America?” I would say — and I’m neither a Christian nor a conservative — definitely yes.


How Is “Gun Control” Supposed to Work?

14 Jun 2016 /

In Wake of Orlando Shooting, Obama, Others Call for Stricter Gun LawsWSJ

Maybe we should have stricter laws against killing people. Oh we have strict laws against killing people?

Having laws against things doesn’t stop them from happening. How are stricter gun laws going to stop mass shootings? How is that supposed to work? I was planning to shoot 100 people but I didn’t want to do it with an illegally obtained gun. Because I might get in trouble with the law. It doesn’t make any sense.

Making guns harder to buy or illegal or making certain kinds of guns illegal doesn’t stop anyone from getting them. We have an “assault weapons” ban here in California. The rifles used by the San Bernardino shooters to kill or seriously injure 36 people are illegal in our state. If you’re going to shoot 36 people, why do you care about gun laws?

The Orlando shooter had been the subject of two FBI investigations. How much stricter can you be with people? Purchasing a gun requires three FBI investigations?

I’d like to see fewer mass shootings but I don’t understand how “gun control” is supposed to work. What am I missing?


Peter Shaffer, 1926-2016

12 Jun 2016 /
Cover of "Amadeus - Director's Cut

Now I go to become a ghost myself. I will stand in the shadows when you come here to this earth in your turns. And when you feel the dreadful bite of your failures — and hear the taunting of unachievable, uncaring God — I will whisper my name to you: “Antonio Salieri: Patron Saint of Mediocrities” and in the depth of your downcastness you can pray to me. And I will forgive you. Vi saluto.

Peter Shaffer, Amadeus

Could Falling Into a Gorilla Exhibit Happen to Anyone?

2 Jun 2016 /
Harambe, 1999-2016

I hope our boy appreciates that his mom and I never let him fall into a gorilla enclosure. He’s 22 now. Anything he falls into going forward is on him.

I’m not in the “could have happened to anyone” camp on this. The Cincinnati Zoo has more than 1.2 million visitors per year. Out of tens of millions of visitors, only one has fallen into the gorilla exhibit.

A 1 in 10 million occurrence doesn’t fall under the “could have happened to anyone” umbrella in my opinion.


Has Anything Changed?

23 May 2016 /

The administrator at the dentist office asks me, “Has anything changed since your last visit?”

“Well . . . we’re all 6 months closer to death.”

“I meant your contact info and insurance,” she says.

“No, those remain unchanged with the passage of time.”

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I really hope what isn’t killing me is making me stronger . . .

Posted by on 23 May 2016

Apple Employee Found Dead at Company Headquarters

30 Apr 2016 /

Apple employee found dead at company headquartersCNN Money

I have never known anyone who died at work, although I’ve seen a couple of close calls.

My dad died of a heart attack at home on a Monday morning when he normally would have gone to work. If he’d been able to hang in there a few more hours, he could have died at the office.

I also worked with a fellow quite a few years ago who was in the office on Friday and died over the weekend. We heard about it on Monday. It wasn’t super shocking because he was an older man and not in the peak of health. He looked like John Huston with one day to live.

That was a terrible company. I remember thinking, “Well, at least he doesn’t have to come to work today.”

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One Day Closer to Doom

27 Apr 2016 /

One day closer to doom

Sad to say but every day is one day closer to doom for all of us . . .


Pain is Nothing

25 Apr 2016 /
Ernest Hemingway's 1923 passport photo

Pain means nothing to a man, as Hemingway used to say. Before he shot himself . . .


Parents Use “Naturopathic” Remedies to Treat Toddler, Who Dies

11 Mar 2016 /

A southern Alberta couple accused of allowing their meningitis-infected toddler to die four years ago tried home remedies such as olive leaf extract and whey protein rather than take him to a doctor, a Lethbridge jury heard Monday.

David Stephan, 32, and his wife Collet Stephan, 35, have pleaded not guilty to failing to provide the necessaries of life for 19-month-old Ezekiel, who died in March 2012.

CBC News
Ezekiel

First point: If the name “Ezekiel” shows up on a birth certificate, alert the local authorities to be on the lookout for additional crazy behavior in the future.

In a bid to boost his immune system, the couple gave the boy — who was lethargic and becoming stiff — various home remedies, such as water with maple syrup, juice with frozen berries and finally a mixture of apple cider vinegar, horse radish root, hot peppers, mashed onion, garlic and ginger root as his condition deteriorated.

The Stephans run a nutritional supplements company called Truehope Nutritional Support Inc., which distributes a product called Empowerplus. They also tried treating Ezekiel with Empowerplus.

The Stephans have said that they prefer “naturopathic” remedies because of their family’s “negative experiences” with the medical system. Now that they’ve also had a “negative experience” with naturopathic remedies, I’m thinking it’s a good opportunity to reassess their position.

The family has posted on social media that they feel they are being unfairly persecuted and that their approach to health should be respected.

If your son dies because you refused to take him to a doctor even though you knew he was sick, then I’d say that any persecution of you is both fair and appropriate.

As for respecting your “approach to health,” that would require ignoring the fact that your approach to health resulted in the probably unnecessary death of a 19-month-old child. That’s a pretty strong argument against your approach to health.

Remember folks, there’s not such thing as “alternative” medicine. There’s “medicine” and there’s “things that have not been proven to work,” like curing meningitis with maple syrup.


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