Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Taboo

I don't think it's death that's the taboo subject in our society- because, God only knows, our media are as full of images of mortality as an 18th century graveyard. No, it's not death we don't want to discuss, it's what comes after, that undiscovered country etc etc. The not very good movie I watched yesterday afternoon is predicated on society's reluctance to deal with it. Our heroine- played by Cecile de France- is told (because she's a well-known public face) that her publishers will take any book she cares to throw at them. She pitches a biography of Francois Mitterand. They say, "Great, here's a huge advance." So she goes away and thinks about it and decides she's not that interested in Mitterand after all and instead turns in the first couple of chapters of a book about her Near Death Experience. Her publishers squirm.

I was thinking, that's a bit exaggerated, but then I thought, no, actually, it's not. We don't talk about the afterlife. We're embarrassed by it.. The odd newspaper article- more likely to be published in the Mail than the Guardian- draws comments about "sky fairies" and all that fundamentalist rot from semi-literate Dawkinsians- and one realises why people who have something to say on the subject are reluctant to put themselves in the spotlight. Mention angels or spirit guides in any public arena and expect the cabbage stalks to fly.  My readers on LJ are too polite to shout at me but I notice that I never get any comments if I post about- say- the spiritualist books I've been reading. I used to have conversations here about God and the afterlife with dear jackiejj but since she went off to explore the undiscovered country for herself there's been next to nothing.

I refuse to believe people are simply not interested, because, really, what subject could be more relevant or urgent? We're all going to die and we're all either going to wink out like a candle flame or find out that, hey, actually...
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