EppsNet Archive: Death

Have a Coke!

Traditional religion turned the consciousness of sin into a condition for salvation, but the tortured sense of nothingness qualifies us now only for miserable extinction, for merciful release in lonely death. That said, why not enjoy an ice-cold Coca-Cola? Read more →

Answers to Persistent Questions

Is there a God? No. What is the nature of reality? What physics says it is. What is the purpose of the universe? There is none. Does prayer work? Of course not. What happens when we die? We are put a few feet in the ground to blindly rot and disappear forever. Otherwise, things go on pretty much as before. Read more →

Greatest Living American Authors

With the recent deaths of Philip Roth and Tom Wolfe, I’ve moved a couple more notches up the list of greatest living American authors. Why not celebrate by picking up a copy of my book? Read more →

Philip Roth, 1933-2018

The final question assigned to the class was “What is life?” Merry’s answer was something her father and mother chuckled over together that night. According to Merry, while the other students labored busily away with their phony deep thoughts, she — after an hour of thinking at her desk — wrote a single, unplatitudinous declarative sentence: “Life is just a short period of time in which you are alive.” “You know,” said the Swede, “it’s smarter then it sounds. She’s a kid — how has she figured out that life is short? She is somethin’, our precocious daughter. This girl is going to Harvard.” But once again the teacher didn’t agree, and she wrote beside Merry’s answer, “Is that all?” Yes, the Swede thought now, that is all. Thank God, that is all; even that is unendurable. — American Pastoral RIP Philip Roth Read more →

The Royal Wedding

One good thing about being British royalty is if your wife turns out to be a disappointment in some respect, you can have her executed. Can I get an Amen on that? Read more →

Tom Wolfe, 1930-2018

Everything that bloggers have done for journalism — and I personally think they’ve done a lot — Wolfe did it first, he did it 30 years earlier, and he did it better. And I think we’re still catching up to him. — Lev Grossman Tom Wolfe had a rare combination of ideas, insight and a virtuosity with language. A lot of writers do well with at most one out of the three. You can read Tom Wolfe quotes all over the web but I include one of my favorites (from The Bonfire of the Vanities) here: Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later . . . that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of… Read more →

Alfie Evans, 2016-2018

Thank god this could never happen here in the US . . . at least until Bernie Sanders is inaugurated. RIP Alfie Evans We're heartbroken, say the parents of 23-month-old Alfie Evans, as they announce that the toddler died overnight https://t.co/HuaJV9UFIE — BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) April 28, 2018 Read more →

See You in Hell

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] A woman was sucked out the window of a Southwest Airlines plane . . . not a black woman, fortunately, so Southwest won’t have to shut down for racial bias training. In other news, David Hogg is telling his Twitter followers to boycott the BlackRock and Vanguard investment firms. “David Hogg’s Twitter followers” . . . I’m rolling that phrase around on my tongue. “David Hogg’s Twitter followers.” Might be a good name for an improv group. When I think of all the great men — Nietzsche, Van Gogh . . . you can think of your own favorite examples — who lived as anonymous failures and died as broken-down loonies, the thought of people actively tracking the musings of David Hogg amuses me greatly. See you in Hell! Read more →

Passenger Sucked Out of Plane Window: Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home

Southwest passenger died after broken plane window nearly sucked her out — CNN You are now free to move about the country! Thanks, but I’d prefer to move about the country from inside the plane . . . Read more →

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 →

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 →

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