EppsNet Archive: Death

You Will Know Whether it Has All Been True

How does a life flash before one’s eyes At the end? How is there time for so much time? You pick up the book and hold it, knowing Long since the failed romance, the strained Marriage, the messenger, the mistake, Knowing it all at once, as if looking through A lighted dormer on the dark crest of a barn. You know who is inside, and who has always been At the other edge of the wood. She is waiting For no one in particular. It could be you. If you can discover which tree she has become, You will know whether it has all been true. — J.D. McClatchy, “Wolf’s Trees” Read more →

A Nest, a Haven and Calm Place

The low trolley on its cushiony rubber tyres luxuriously bore the corpse away down the middle of the ward. There was speed and secretiveness and deftness in its movement. Over the dead man’s face was a blanket, so that age, torture, ugliness and fear, all were hidden. Instead of looking on this covering, this careful manipulation as an hypocrisy and cheat, I saw it for what it really was, a desperate effort to make life bearable and sane. I admired the doctors and the nurses. I admired every human being in the world who, on top of a million, million horrors, yet built a nest, a haven and calm place. — Denton Welch, A Voice Through a Cloud Read more →

Was Nikolas Cruz Bullied?

In 2018, being accused of bullying is not on a par with being accused of murder, but it’s close. Emma Gonzalez, one of the Parkland shooting survivors, said this about Nikolas Cruz at the anti-gun march in Washington, D.C.: Since he was in middle school, it was no surprise to anyone who knew him that he was the shooter. Those talking about how we should have not ostracized him? You don’t know this kid. OK? We did! I can’t see anything unusual about that. The popular kids sneer at the geeks, the nerds and the weirdos. Because they deserve it. You don’t know this kid. We did. But when the kid in this case goes off the rails, which “was no surprise to anyone who knew him,” some self-reflection seems to be in order before blaming the usual suspects. I don’t understand the strategy of gun control proponents. Every tragedy… Read more →

Terrifying Xanax Resurgence!

You know what’s good when you’re terrified? Xanax! Read more →

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: High School Gun Experts

I’m burned out on the high school gun “experts” for a couple of reasons: They’re rude. It’s too obvious that someone or a collection of someones is scripting their talking points. I heard one of the kids raising an obscure point about record-keeping requirements at the ATF. Most gun control advocates are not even familiar with the basic mechanisms and terminology of guns, let alone with ATF policy minutiae. That’s something a gun control lobbyist would know about, but it’s not something a high school kid knows about, unless it’s scripted out for him. I don’t object to the anti-gun message, although I disagree with most of it . . . I object to being treated like the kind of rube who can’t tell when a high school student is plagiarizing someone else’s ideas. Also: these kids have a platform, not based on their own merits, but because 17 other… Read more →

See You in Hell: Rifles Have an Undeservedly Bad Reputation

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] Greetings from the Lake of Fire! I was perusing the FBI data on murder weapons in the U.S. For 2016, what do you think was the most frequently employed murder weapon? Survey SAYS — handguns! The weapon of choice in 7,105 murders. I blame the NRA! Ha ha, just messing with you there. The NRA has nothing to do with the existence of evil in the world. That’s my department. That handgun number is actually a little low, because the FBI also reports more than 3,000 gun murders where the type of firearm is not specified — and it’s almost always a handgun. Running a distant second behind guns: knives, used to end the life of 1,604 Americans in 2016. Now here’s a surprising one: 656 people killed by “personal weapons,” which essentially means beating someone… Read more →

EppsNet at the Movies: A Man Called Ove

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Ghosts

You must not think that what I have accomplished through you could have been accomplished by any other means. Each of us is to himself indelible. I had to become that which could not be, by time, from human memory, erased. I had to burn my hungry, unappeasable furious spirit so inconsolably into you you would without cease write to bring me rest. Bring us rest. Guilt is fecund. I knew nothing I made myself had enough steel in it to survive. I tried: I made beautiful paintings, beautiful poems. Fluff. Garbage. The inextricability of love and hate? If I had merely made you love me you could not have saved me. — Frank Bidart, “The Ghost”   By Robert Lowell: Read more →

When Death Is Not Death

A certain man was believed to have died, and was being prepared for burial, when he revived. He sat up, but he was so shocked by the scene surrounding him that he fainted. He was put in a coffin, and the funeral party set off for the cemetery. Just as they arrived at the grave, he regained consciousness, lifted the coffin lid, and cried out for help. “It is not possible that he has revived,” said the mourners, “because he has been certified dead by competent experts.” “But I am alive!” shouted the man. He appealed to a well-known impartial scientist and jurisprudent who was present. “Just a moment,” said the expert. He then turned to the mourners, counting them. “Now we have heard what the alleged deceased has had to say. You fifty witnesses tell me what you regard as the truth.” “He is dead,” said the witnesses. “Bury… Read more →

When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men. — Epitaph of Jalaludin Rumi

What Shall I Be?

I have again and again grown like grass; I have experienced seven hundred and seventy moulds. I died from minerality and became vegetable; And from vegetativeness I died and became animal. I died from animality and became man. Then why fear disappearance through death? Next time I shall die Bringing forth wings and feathers like angels: After that soaring higher than angels — What you cannot imagine. I shall be that. — Jalaladin Rumi Read more →

Why Not Enjoy a Snickers?

Our being is a being-towards-death, ending, not on the summit of actualization, but over the cliff in the abyss of annihilation . . . Read more →

Soda Sticker Shock in Seattle

Seattle is trying to discourage its citizens from drinking sugary beverages by imposing a 1.75-cent per ounce tax on all sugary drinks sold in the Emerald City. A $15.99 case of Gatorade at the Seattle Costco now has an added tax of more than $10. A case of Coke is now $7.35 more expensive than the Diet Coke or Coke Zero. Sticker shock! What will people drink instead of sugary beverages? Coffee. Seattle drinks a lot of coffee. Is coffee good for you? What if you put sugar in it? Beer. At these prices, it’s cheaper than soda. Diet soda. Are artificial sweeteners better for you than sugar? Fruit juice. Not taxed but contains a lot of sugar. Should there be a tax on all-you-can-eat buffets? How about a tax credit for eating a vegetable? Or maybe — just maybe — the tax code was not designed for and shouldn’t… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: Death on the Installment Plan by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

Death on the Installment Plan is a fictionalized coming-of-age story based on Céline’s youth in pre-World War I France. Absent are heroism, transcendence, love and the possibility of love. Instead, there is a lot of human action that comes to nothing. Death is not ennobling. That said, hopelessness has never been described with more wit, energy and imagination or more droll, breathtaking language. Here’s a sample of the black comedy, as the narrator remembers a local physician (all ellipses in the original): “The most exquisite deaths, remember that, Ferdinand, are those that attack us in our most sensitive tissues . . .” He had a precious, elaborate, subtle way of talking, like the men of Charcot’s day. His prospecting of the Rolandic, the third ventricle, and the gray nucleus didn’t do him much good . . . in the end he died of a heart attack, under circumstances that were… Read more →

My Worries Are Few

I have the ability to face up to the disturbing facts of life, except pain, sickness, death, poverty, rejection, loneliness, guilt, shame, confusion, doubt, imperfection, meaninglessness, futility and evil. Also fear of being laughed at and cruelty to animals. Read more →

Christmas In New Orleans

French Quarter French Quarter – Cafe du Monde French Quarter – Preservation Hall French Quarter – Bourbon Street Lafayette Cemetery #1 VooDoo BBQ Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (Biloxi, MS) Read more →

See You in Hell: Cardinal Law

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] Arrivederci Roma! This is a tough one . . . hypocrites go in the Eighth Circle with frauds, but rapists go into the Seventh Circle for the violent. Anyway, Cardinal Law says hi. How appropriate that he was able to die before the end of 2017, when the Dictionary.com Word of the Year was “complicit.” See you in Hell! Read more →

The script of life is so unspeakably beautiful to read because death looks over our shoulder. — Martin Buber

Is Healthcare a Right or an Entitlement?

That’s the title of a lengthy article on LinkedIn in which the author makes the following argument: I had to spend more than $30,000 on cancer treatment. Therefore, healthcare is a right, not an entitlement. Because having a “right” to something implies that you have the right to force another person to work and pay for that thing. You can add a level of abstraction, i.e., “the government should pay for my healthcare” sounds more appealing than “another person should pay for my healthcare” but where do you think government gets the money to pay for things? The article also offers this: Prisoners get free healthcare and shouldn’t we get the same rights as prisoners? Of course, prisoners give up a lot of rights in exchange for free healthcare but if you think it’s a good tradeoff, commit a crime and go to prison. If we, as a country, did… Read more →

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