Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. All we are is dust in the wind.
Now we can be reduced to even less than that.
Bradshawâ€™s are one of just 14 funeral homes in the world to offer this â€œgreenâ€ option. Alkaline hydrolysis is said to be much more environmentally friendly than conventional cremation. They offer both services at the same price and say the new kind of cremation has proved an unexpected hit. Of their customers who choose not to be buried – about half of the total – 80% opt for alkaline hydrolysis.
A culture will accomplish what it wants. Its art, math, philosophy, and science will all aim in that direction. Downstream from that egg-headed nerd-wrasslin’, the politics and technology will work out the details by dotting all the “t’s” and crossing all the “i’s” to achieve said overarching cultural goal. Our culture seeks to first die and then remove all reminders of anything we did in the past. The political equivalent of dissolving the dead is the ongoing dissolution of the nation. David Goldman describes the process by which a nation dissolves itself in quicklime.
For today’s Europeans, there is no consolation, neither the old pagan continuity of national culture, nor the Christian continuity into the hereafter. The French know that Victor Hugo, Gauloise cigarettes, Chateau Lafitte and Impressionist painters one day will become a matter of antiquarian curiosity. The Germans know that no one but bored schoolboys will read Goethe two centuries hence, like Pindar. They have no ambition but to die quietly, no concerns except for those amusements which might reduce boredom and anxiety en route to the grave. They have no passions except hatred born of envy. They hate America, a new kind of universality that succeeded where the old Christian empire failed. They hate Israel, which makes the Jewish people appear all the more eternal in stark contrast to Europe’s morbid temporality. They will pass out of history unmourned even by themselves.
Horror author Dan Simmons didn’t really like dealing with politics. Then he noticed a trend that scared the crap out of him. He noticed what Goldman noticed and extrapolated out how that sort of a society would deal with terrorism. It would hide, ignore it and then capitulate. His novel Flashback triggers the WaPo below….
Dan Simmonsâ€™s â€œFlashbackâ€ is an abundantly entertaining, often outrageous right-wing fantasy about a weak, broken United States 20-odd years from now. The country is ruled over by the Japanese, lives in fear of the Islamic Global Caliphate, and its citizens mostly spend their time stoned on a drug called flashback that lets them escape to a better past. Some of the events that have occurred between now and the early 2030s can be summed up thusly: U.S. Goes Bankrupt, Israel Destroyed by Nuclear Attack, Mexican Army Invades California,Sharia Law Rules Europe and Canada, Giant Mosque Built at Ground Zero, and U.S. Down to 44Â½ States.
What so scared Mr. Simmons about 2010s Amerika? Perhaps he felt that they “have no ambition but to die quietly, no concerns except for those amusements which might reduce boredom and anxiety en route to the grave. They have no passions except hatred born of envy.” If it sounds familiar, ponder the fact that we keep saying our prayers about the victims of terrorists and then we keep having more terror attacks. How would God answer the prayers of people who have no ambition but to die quietly? The Book of Lamentations (1:7-9) offers us a possible look at how God responds to the dissolute.
7 Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths.
8 Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.
9 Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O Lord, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself.
So what does all the high-falutin’ God talk look like in the Modern World? Sadly, it looks too much like this.
This will stop if we ever decide to love ourselves again. It will stop if we ever actually care whether our nations and our kind survive. It will stop when we rise up and make it stop. Otherwise, as the occupation mayor of London tells us, terrorism is what you can expect in the city.