A colleague sent this article to me a couple of days ago, and I thought it worth sharing here. It was posted in The New Yorker by Cirocco Dunlap on April 22, in the "Shouts & Murmurs," Daily Humor section. It doesn't include much about the sacredness and beauty of death - the aspects I like to highlight as a spiritual counselor who works with death on a regular basis. However, it's an article that helps us think about death in some new, fun, and creative ways. Enjoy!
Death here. Just writing to see if we can’t do anything about my Web presence.
When I type my name (“Death”) into Google, some of the related searches that pop up are things like “death poems,” “death quotes,” “Death of a Salesman,” etc. Super depressing stuff! Not to be braggy or whatever, but I’m pretty fun. This is just a suggestion, but maybe we can change those links to things like “Surprise! Death looks good in a bathing suit!” or “Has anyone heard Death freestyle rap?” I’m not all business all the time! I mean, sure, I usher people into the land of silence and despair every few seconds, but in general I’m pretty easygoing.
My Wikipedia page states that I am called the Grim Reaper. I guess that’s accurate, but it seems so formal. It makes me sound unapproachable and gloomy, like if you asked if I wanted to watch “Scandal” I’d say no. Of course I wouldn’t say no. The entry also says that from the fifteenth century on I can be seen wearing a black cloak with a hood. Obviously, things have changed a lot since then. I really try to keep current: I wear skinny jeans now just like everybody else. I’m very adaptable. You should have seen me in the sixties. I had such long, flowing hair taped to my skull.
Speaking of fashion, have you done a Google Images search for me? It’s all scythes and cloaks, and everything is that macabre shade of onyx. I also noticed a few pics of me where I had red glowing eyes. That’s so ridiculous. I don’t have eyes! I’m not limited by the flesh of man. It’s like the world has never seen a withered skeleton inhabited by an omnipotent being before. F.Y.I., there’s not a single picture of my new boat shoes or the madras cloak I got at American Apparel. And the Blade of Doom I use now has a great handle made of reclaimed wood that I got on Etsy. I love Etsy.
Question: Can we erase things from the Internet? I’m not very happy with Wikipedia right now because I keep editing things and humans keep editing them back to what’s “correct.” I keep transporting their souls to the City of the Dead, but more and more living people keep popping up to edit and it’s just been this whole big thing. Sort of putting a damper on my month. Anyway, I want to get rid of these things:
Death is voiced by Norm Macdonald on “Family Guy.”
In the video-game series known as Castlevania, the Grim Reaper (known as Death) is Count Dracula’s right-hand “man.”
“Death is just another path.” —Gandalf
None of this is about me, and, to be honest, some of it’s a little insulting. Dracula’s right-hand “man”? I don’t care if my existence is indefinable, calling me a man in quotes is still emasculating. Also, I’m sorry, but Gandalf is a wizard who gets stoned with hobbits, and I am the Angel of Darkness and Light. I mean, the guy’s only technically a demi-god if you read Tolkien’s “The Silmarillion.” Please! The world should have a little perspective, and my search-engine optimization should reflect that. Now that I think about it, though, the Norm Macdonald one’s cool. Leave that one.
Lastly, Twitter seems fun. Can you set me up with one? I’ve thought up a number of good tweets today:
@RavenPlant81 You’re going to die today.
@MargaretWeaver196 You’re going to die today.
@DaisyWallllace You’re going to die today.
I have more drafts like those if you want me to send them—just let me know!
Anyway, I’m not an Internet guy—I know that’s sort of your thing. I want to trust you, but I really think I should be bigger than most stuff on the Internet. I’d be happy to discuss this further in person if you disagree. That’s not a threat. Seriously! I would never take someone before their time. But it’s your time tomorrow. Just kidding! Except about the not taking someone before his time, I definitely do that. Let me know if you want to meet.
Thanks in advance for all your help,
P.S. None of the YouTube clips that come up is my cover of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend.” Can we fix?
Photograph by Jan Stromme/Getty.
To our Health, Wealth, and further understanding and awareness of death, Dancing Heart~~~~