There are limitations to blogging. If a post looks overlong people won’t read it. So you need to stick to a single line of argument; you haven’t space to expand or balance. Once you’ve written it you must strip it down, starting with the best bits. As you contemplate clicking Publish, vanity warns you that carefully crafted incompleteness looks idiotically simplistic — sometimes offensively so.
There’s an upside. That which limits the blogger liberates the audience. Finely judged incompleteness excites responses which correct, balance and enrich the original post in ways far beyond the intellectual capability of the blogger. It’s the resulting collaborative debate which really amounts to something. As with yesterday’s post. I’m writing this on the back of that.
Funeral ceremonies which address death as a universal event are in bad odour. We all know the diss-words. Cookie-cutter. One-size-fits-all. Same-old-same-old. Ceremonies like this don’t sufficiently address the individuality of the person who has died.
But funeral ceremonies which focus on the uniqueness of the dead person mostly overlook the universality of death and present it as an isolated individual misfortune. I’m not sure that celebration-of-lifers see a funeral as an opportunity to get their heads around their own and everyone else’s mortality, nor do they ever express a wish to spend time doing so. ‘The bell tolls for him, not me.’
The present day obsession with funeral tunes is interesting. Often, it’s the only thing secular folk know they want. The tunes they choose were not created to be played at funerals. They’re anything but unique to the individual. The emotions they arouse are arguably a distraction from the business in hand.
All people know is that they must dutifully fill a 20-minute void with noise. Not glum noise, nice noise. Words don’t come easy. Thank heaven, then, for the secular celebrant with her cabinet of emotional emollients and her smiley, kind delivery.
Tunes come off the peg, easily lifted. Ready-made blather.