May 29, 2010

P.J. O'Rourke wants newspapers to publish pre-obituaries for the not-yet-dead.

So they can have their feelings hurt.
The main advantage of the Pre-Obit over the traditional obituary is the knowledge of reader and writer alike that the as-good-as-dead people are still around to have their feelings hurt. It was a travesty of literary justice that we waited until J. D. Salinger finally hit the delete key at 91 before admitting that Catcher in the Rye stinks.....

Bea Arthur (1922-2009) performed a grievous disservice to popular culture by uniting two equally dreadful but previously discrete American types. In her portrayal of loud, Bolshie Maude, Arthur taught every angry feminist to be a common scold and every termagant housewife to be Emma Goldman. Once Arthur had become respectable by dying no one had the nerve to title her funeral notice “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Paul Newman (1925-2008) was not, in and of himself, a bad person. But he deserved to be damned to his face for lending charm to the smirk of liberalism. And after he’d become an immortal only a heartless writer would have pointed out that for an entire generation of young people, Paul Newman is, mainly, a salad dressing.

9 comments:

Nan said...

PJ is one of my favorite writers. This tongue somewhat in cheek piece made me laugh out loud. Just the line: "Teddy left us with 50 years of unperformed dances upon his future grave" is enough to make me smile for the rest of the day. Of course, that won't save the ossified newspaper business, but we can always read PJ (and Ann) online.

meep said...

Something from Dick Cavett... somewhat related:
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/28/art-did-the-darndest-things-to-your-jokes/

The Crack Emcee said...

"The best we can hope for is the simple, enduring pleasure of baiting morons."

rhhardin said...

One of PJ's prehumous works.

Skipper50 said...

Where's P.J.'s pre-obit?

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geoff Matthews said...

Worked for Alfred Nobel.

traditionalguy said...

The simple solution would be to add an anonymous Comments feature to the on-line obituaries.

Ken Pidcock said...

Seeing it there in the Weekly Standard, I was reminded of Tony Hendra's 1975 Guide to Effective Salesmanship."