Charles Cowling

A touching and moving little film here which will appeal to home funeralists and those who want to reduce funeral costs. NOTE: It carries a four-star Squeam Warning. Don’t watch if you think it may upset you.

4 thoughts on “DIY embalming

  1. Charles Cowling
    andrew plume

    Hi Charles

    An interesting little piece – but I see that the purported ‘body’ shares the same name as the Graphic Designer for the shoot…………..

    Best regards


    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling
    Charles Cowling

    I am never quite sure which illusion embalming is intended to procure: half dead, or half alive?

    Which is merely another cheap way of tweaking the embalmers’ tails, for they do take themselves terrifically seriously. The awareness of this makes this naughty film even more delicious.

    I like your definition of funeral expenses as ‘unavoidable costs’. Very nicely put. It’s the same over here: the only good’un is a cheap one. Because people have no expectations of a funeral: they don’t think it will do them any good (and I guess it most often doesn’t).

    As to funerary practices the world over, yes, like sex, they are either sacred or silly. Both together, or one or the other.

    Thank you for dropping by, Thomas! You always put a spring in our steps!

    Charles Cowling
  3. Charles Cowling
    Perpetua's Garden

    Charles, you have no shame! And yet I approve!

    On the one hand hand, I agree with making fun of this materialistic American obsession with preserving the physical aspect of the dead – which is in fact preserving the illusion of life and refusing the fact of death.

    On the other hand, I suppose that everyone’s funeral rituals deserve respect, however ridiculous they appear to us.

    What tips the scale in my case is also the satire this makes on the American obsession on spending as little as possible on funerals. This is not to deny the existence of all sorts of rip-off artists in the funeral industry, but rather to focus on the appalling lack of respect for death and the dead in that continent, and how that transforms funeral procedures into mere “unavoidable costs”.


    Charles Cowling
  4. Charles Cowling

    I can’t watch this with the sound up because Ashley is listening to Wild Birds and Peace Drums at the moment; but if you want a charicature of an embalmer, could you do better than Father Formaldehyde here? Gorgeous!

    Charles Cowling

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