Saturday, August 13, 2005
Feuding advocates for 'politically correct corpses.'
In April I pointed to a Boston Globe story highlighting the new practice of environmentally-friendly burials, in which one's body actually does return to dust rather than lay there, chemically-preserved for all time, in a sealed casket. The New York Times discovers a new angle to the story — and some great soundbites — and puts it on the front page today:
In the green scheme of things, death becomes a vehicle for land conservation and saving the planet. "It is not enough to be a corpse anymore," said Thomas Lynch, an author, poet and Michigan funeral director. "Now, you have to be a politically correct corpse."
But just what is a politically correct corpse is an increasingly thorny issue. In recent months, there has been a struggle for the soul of the emerging industry between [35-year-old Tyler] Cassity, an enfant terrible of the funeral business, who has made a fortune producing A&E-style digitized biographies of the dead, and Dr. Billy Campbell, who pioneered the movement in the United States and who has the studious intensity of a somewhat nerdy birder.
Good reading! And despite Patricia Leigh Brown's entertaining and dismissive tone — "the generation of composters who wrote their own wedding vows and opted for natural childbirth," ha ha! — I'm still hoping that by the time I shuffle off this mortal coil, green burials will have gone mainstream.
("Eco-Friendly Burial Sites Give a Chance to Be Green Forever," Patricia Leigh Brown, New York Times 8.13.05, reg req'd)
Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 13 August 2005 at 10:37 AM