Friday, October 09, 2009

GTF: Dead-People-Don't-Have-Feelings/Eschew the Hoo Edition

Mom and me have this twisty little joke we tell - it's been going on for as long as I can remember.

When somebody dies, one of us asks "How did he die?"

And the other says "Like this" with an accompanying head tilt/eyes closed thing, feigning death.

It kills (yes, I said it) every time but I guess you really have to be there to appreciate it.

So earlier this week when I told Mom about The Turd offing himself, she said "So I have to ask - how did he die?"

And it cracked me up completely even though I didn't really feel like laughing.

Humor about death is healthy and absolutely necessary. I think it's why The Big Chill is one of my all-time favorite movies - friends are grieving over an unexpected loss and they deal with it in all kinds of delightfully screwball ways.

Anyhow - I've also been thinking about this whole concept of having respect for the dead. It's taboo to say negative things about dead people. You could probably tell I struggled with it a bit earlier this week.

After Nixon died you would've thought the man was a saint. No "I am not a crook" references, just all the reverence generally afforded an elder statesman. Michael Jackson, same thing. Not a word about the twisted relationships he had with young boys throughout his life. And then there's the recent MacKenzie Phillips thing. I was at the Oprah Winfrey show where she announced her ten-year long incestuous relationship with her father. And of course the confession sparked outrage over the fact that Papa John couldn't defend himself.

I sat there in the audience thinking, in the words of Stan from South Park, "Dude, this is pretty fucked up right here."
Hedy, do you and Mom do the jokey death 'like this' thing when EVERYONE dies?

No. This joke is reserved for people who were mere acquaintances and/or relatives we didn't know or like all that well.

Never for close friends/family.

I think I did it when my Aunt Ethel died and it didn't go over too well. Although I laughed like hell.
If someone is an asshole while they're alive (like The Turd) it oughtta be okay to call him an asshole after he's six feet under.

But HEDY, the asshole isn't around to defend himself. It's not respectful.

BULLSHIT. First of all, what difference does it make if I call someone an asshole, whether they're in the next room or dead? Either way, they're not around to defend themselves. In fact, it's probably worse insulting someone from the next room. At least in that case I'm insulting a real live person who may or may not care about being called an asshole. Dead people don't have feelings.

Second of all, who's bright idea was it that dead people ought to be afforded more respect than the living? If someone wasn't worthy of respect while they were living and breathing, why the fuck should they garner any respect once they're gone? Makes no sense.

But HEDY. You were all Mrs. Compassion earlier this week.

I know, fuck you and shaddap. Seriously. I have the ability to recognize when I'm on the squishy edge of bleeding heart liberal and thankfully I've managed to step out of the goo as this week has progressed.

Okay, I do understand the part about having respect for the people who have lost a loved one - absolutely I understand that. But here's the scoop:

Fact: My former boss was a selfish, insufferable prick. He made life miserable for a lot of people. He knew he was a prick. And he didn't care.

Fact: He was on medication periodically throughout his adult life and chose not to take it. The meds helped him be a 'normal' person but he wanted no part of it.

Fact: He killed himself in a way that he knew family members would find him.

Fact: I am judging the hell out of him right now and don't really give a fuck.
One of the single greatest things I've learned at charm school is that we are obligated to be the best version of ourselves - we owe it to the people around us.

We also owe it to the people we love to expect more out of them. I'm obligated to tell you if you're not making good decisions and I sure as hell hope you'd tell me the same. That's one of the finest definitions of genuine love I can imagine.

The Turd gave up trying to be a worthwhile human being a long time ago and decided if he was going to be miserable, then he might as well make everyone else around him miserable as well.

Bottom line, he needed to die. The world is a much better place without him in it.

There are three kinds of people: Those who make a difference and work hard to be good people. Those who don't really make a difference but don't hurt anyone else and just do their own thing. And then there are those who make it their mission to create havoc and pain wherever they go.

That last group - if they are conscious of their actions like my boss was - should die as quickly and as painfully as possible.
Okay, enough of that shit. Let's wrap up with Good Things Friday:

Waking up to multiple hoot-owls hooting Monday morning
And yes, they're hoot owls dammit; I'm quite certain there are some owls who eschew the hoo
Spelling owl 'wol' like in Winnie the Pooh
Monday morning - looking out at the misty trees in the backyard just starting to turn
Lunch with Ms. Moo on Monday
Text from Mrs. You Know Who: "Look at the moon!"
Aunt Joy is here for the weekend
Text from Jim, who was in Rome all week: "Exhausted. Six hours in the Vatican."
My response: "Six hours? Were you in confession?"
Shopping with Mrs. YKW on Sunday
Watching Benny & Joon Tuesday night - "You're out of your tree." "It's not my tree."
Email from my friend Wesley from the train: "What else would you do if that [magic] wand really worked?"
My response: "Laundry. Seriously. Just laundry."
Scarf weather
Breakfast for lunch at Yolk on Wells
Unexpectedly seeing someone I hadn't seen in a very long time and smiling about it all day long
I am listening to: Drops of Jupiter - Train
I am reading: I'm on hiatus from Twilight 4
And I am: Damn glad I'm not dead, like this


Susan's Snippets said...

Hedy -

One of my dad's favorite sayings was "call a spade a spade!"...which knowing him could have covered several things, but most commonly it was in reference to "perfuming up" a shit pile.

At his funeral I gave his eulogy, 15 pages long, where I told it like it was, he was a good man and the positive legacies that he left I shared, but I also talked about his demons and struggles, alcohol was one of them.

When I finished I knew that he was happily looking down from above because I didn't perfume up any of his shit piles.

he was probably all smiles

Posol'stvo the Medved said...

I think that you should probably try to focus on the positive when speaking of and referring to the dead. Not because they can't defend themselves or any of that but because they're done... POOF. Over. Criticizing them is not giving them an opportunity to improve themselves. They are now their own final product.

But pretending that the flawed were the second coming of Mr. Rogers isn't appropriate either.

My mother died in 2001. She had it coming. She was depressed, an alcoholic, and had been a heavy smoker. She was 60 years old. Much too young for a person to go, but my guess is that she always wanted to go, and was just waiting till her kids were on their own before giving up.

That said, she had her good points too. A lot of them. Raised four kids as a single mom. Sacrificed nearly everything for us. Generous almost to a fault. Etc.

In the case of your former boss, I'd be willing to bet that somewhere behind all that damage, there was a decent himan being who just couldn't get out. The trouble is, the damage is all you ever got to see.

Either that, or he really was a turd through and through. If the latter's the case, then I guess there's no positive to focus on at all.

And to conclude an excessively long comment -- some thoughts I had on the matter a few years back:

Anonymous said...

Turds are turds. And a select few actually taste good.
It's like I always say...
Ya can't polish a turd but you can dig a hole... bury it... and let it rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

I ask again, how did he die???
Love you Hedy,



is what happens when someone evolves from an embryo into an adult damaged from childhood, unable to manage the personality that was broken for him time and time again by someones fault and eventually he ends up in a rut. "deh rut" that he climbed into, is what eventually turned him into a turd.

Still, at one point, before all of this, he was a little baby with a clean slate, the world ahead of him. He had, at one point, "tomorrows" to look forward to. Now his family is left to look at his yesterdays and if they weren't so good, that's sad.

That's what you could mourn, if you feel like it. Mourn a person that was given life, and that didn't take advantage of it.

When are we gonna see a pic of that whorrific scarf, hedy? :)