Monday, September 19, 2011

Quote of the Day

"I still use a manual typewriter (a 1953 Underwood portable, in a robin’s-egg blue) because the soft pip-pip-pip of the typing of keys on a computer keyboard doesn’t quite fit with my sense of what writing sounds like. I need the hard metal clack, and I need those keys to sometimes catch so I can reach in and untangle them, turning my fingertips inky. Without slapping the return or turning the cylinder to release the paper with a sharp whip, without all that minor havoc, I feel I’ve paid no respect to the dead. What good is an obituary if it can be written so peaceably, so undisturbingly, in the dark of night?" --From "The Coffins of Little Hope" by Timothy Schaffert

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Geography of Loss

Patti Digh, author of "Life Is a Verb" and "What I Wish For You," is writing a book called "The Geography of Loss." She's also launched a Tumblr blog to highlight the answers of people around the world to one simple question:

For what or for whom do you grieve?

Personally, I grieve for my best friend, my grandmother, my cats (Princess, Sox, Eastman and Mystery), my high school sweetheart and some of the many people I've covered on the death beat. What about you?

Friday, September 02, 2011

PJ O'Rourke proposes vindictive pre-obits

I can remember when PJ O'Rourke was maybe the funniest writer in the country, when he edited National Lampoon, when he wrote stuff like High Speed Performance Characteristics of Pickup Trucks.

Sadly his work has declined to things like this predictable litany in which he wishes his political enemies dead. It's the usual suspects and there's nothing creative about it and it would be just as bad if his enemies happened to be conservatives. PJ became so partisan that he ate his brain, as well as his bilious good humor.