Author Topic: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead  (Read 796 times)

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Offline Harmony

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Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« on: May 06, 2018, 10:19:02 AM »
Not too long ago, Barbara Bush died.  And a college professor got into some hot water for saying some harsh things about her.  There were calls for her to be fired for what she said and a whole lot of people were outraged about it.

Now it would appear we are soon to lose John McCain.  And already I'm seeing on social media that anyone who dare criticize him are being taken to task.  I can only imagine what it will be like once he does die.

Political figures while alive are often controversial to one side or the other.  While people are alive, we seem to have the leeway to voice our opinions of them fairly freely.  Yet the minute they die, this becomes taboo.  Why is this exactly?  Are we consistent about it?

When Saddam Hussein died, were we respectful?  How about when Castro died?  Or Chavez?  All extremely controversial men and yet they all presumably had families who were grieving the loss.  Did that stop us from speaking our minds about them openly?

When Barbara Bush died I literally had to stop myself from saying anything.  I had friends gushing about what a great woman she was.  To be honest, I didn't pay attention to much about her until her unfortunate statements about the evacuees impacted by Katrina.  I understood she was by all accounts a supportive, faithful wife and doting mother. That's all well and good, but seemingly to me nothing extraordinary.  Yet, "Don't speak ill of the dead" was what I had been taught from a very young age.  And so even bringing up one thing I knew to be negative about this woman was suddenly forboden.  So I kept my mouth shut.  Was that out of respect?  Out of fear of being lambasted for daring to even mention it?

Imagine the political leader you detest most in the world suddenly dying.  Will you suddenly find yourself negotiating this fine line of propriety?  Or will you speak your truth?

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2018, 10:56:26 AM »
Dancing on someone's grave is almost never never a good look.

Hussein and Castro were vicious dictators.  Not saying that it makes it right to express delight in their deaths (which I did not do), but that is quite a bit different than Barbara Bush. 

I think Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton are awful human beings, but if either died today, would I express delight or talk about how awful they were?  Nope.  I was raised to be better than that.

Offline cramx3

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2018, 11:01:33 AM »
I think it's just a timely issue.  It's disrespectful to shit on someone who just died, but as time passes, I see no need to keep that mentality.  I don't think it's asking too much to just keep it respectful for a couple days.  Death doesn't erase the bad things one has done nor remove them from scrutiny, just let them have their moment to be laid to rest in a respectful manner.

Offline Harmony

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2018, 11:06:55 AM »
Dancing on someone's grave is almost never never a good look.

So having or voicing an opinion is dancing on a grave?

Not trying to put you on the spot.  I'm just trying to spark thinking and conversation.

Another question - if someone is a controversial figure in life - perhaps actively courted controversy - wouldn't it be normal for their death to continue spark that controversy?  Christopher Hitchens springs to mind.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2018, 12:47:16 PM »
A corollary to the whole thing is that when people are unwilling to speak ill of the dead, the dead's goodness becomes magnified. McCain is a mixed bag. He's done some good things, some heroic things, and some downright evil things. That's not the story that will be told after he checks out. Much like Nixon, the tendency will be to humanize him, which is reasonable, but some misdeeds deserve more than a cursory mention in passing. Making him out to be a better person than he was simply because he's dead doesn't really sit well with me.

We had a problem in a different forum a couple of months ago when Billy Graham croaked. There are some RIP type comments that seemed to me token gestures,  and one or two people pointing out what a scumbag he was. People actually quit the forum over that. What struck me is that the people who were so offended didn't really have much cause, other than the principle of the thing. That's kind of my threshold. If you have a personal interest in the guy's memory then I can appreciate that you might be offended. If he's just some guy on the news that you've heard about for one reason or another, you don't really have a reason to flip out when somebody criticizes him. Sometimes the criticism is warranted.



Hussein and Castro were vicious dictators.  Not saying that it makes it right to express delight in their deaths (which I did not do), but that is quite a bit different than Barbara Bush. 
One man's vulgarity is another's lyric. In this case I happen to agree with you about their relative standings (though I always though quite poorly of Bab's). But basing acceptability on the subjective merits of one person over another is just asking for trouble.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2018, 01:44:21 PM »
Dancing on someone's grave is almost never never a good look.

So having or voicing an opinion is dancing on a grave?

I didn't say that.

I think it's just a timely issue.  It's disrespectful to shit on someone who just died, but as time passes, I see no need to keep that mentality.  I don't think it's asking too much to just keep it respectful for a couple days.  Death doesn't erase the bad things one has done nor remove them from scrutiny, just let them have their moment to be laid to rest in a respectful manner.

Agreed.

A corollary to the whole thing is that when people are unwilling to speak ill of the dead, the dead's goodness becomes magnified. McCain is a mixed bag. He's done some good things, some heroic things, and some downright evil things. That's not the story that will be told after he checks out. Much like Nixon, the tendency will be to humanize him, which is reasonable, but some misdeeds deserve more than a cursory mention in passing. Making him out to be a better person than he was simply because he's dead doesn't really sit well with me.

We had a problem in a different forum a couple of months ago when Billy Graham croaked. There are some RIP type comments that seemed to me token gestures,  and one or two people pointing out what a scumbag he was. People actually quit the forum over that. What struck me is that the people who were so offended didn't really have much cause, other than the principle of the thing. That's kind of my threshold. If you have a personal interest in the guy's memory then I can appreciate that you might be offended. If he's just some guy on the news that you've heard about for one reason or another, you don't really have a reason to flip out when somebody criticizes him. Sometimes the criticism is warranted.



Hussein and Castro were vicious dictators.  Not saying that it makes it right to express delight in their deaths (which I did not do), but that is quite a bit different than Barbara Bush. 
One man's vulgarity is another's lyric. In this case I happen to agree with you about their relative standings (though I always though quite poorly of Bab's). But basing acceptability on the subjective merits of one person over another is just asking for trouble.

A lot to chew on there, and I agree with much of what you said.  :tup :tup

Offline Stadler

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2018, 09:07:55 PM »
I think for me, the dead are just too easy a target.   Plus, they don't have the ability to respond to the criticisms, even if just theoretically. 

Offline PowerSlave

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2018, 01:38:31 AM »
I think for me, the dead are just too easy a target.   Plus, they don't have the ability to respond to the criticisms, even if just theoretically.

I mostly agree with this, but if we are to use history as a tool to learn from to avoid future mistakes then we have to be able to bring up people's faults, as well as the things that made them leaders etc...

I realize that you're not exactly speaking out against that, but I think that the point needed to be made.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2018, 06:09:15 AM »
I think it's 100% okay to speak ill of the dead. Why can we talk about how shitty someone is when they are alive or in their final years, but as soon as they've passed it's suddenly unacceptable to talk about those flaws? If people don't want to be verbally shit on once they're dead, maybe they should be a little less shitty while they're breathing. When Alex Jones finally keels over, why should anything positive be said about that man? Why shouldn't the family of the children murdered in Newtown continue to tarnish that man's legacy?


Offline Stadler

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2018, 07:09:23 AM »
I've been thinking about this for a while now... I'm with el Barto, in that I don't quite get the rush to make saints out of everyone who passes.   Yeah, it fits the narrative that, say, Kurt Cobain was a "beautiful, amazing, delicate, loving, open, inclusive, beautiful, wonderful, talented, genius, amazing, beautiful man", but, uh, not really.   He was difficult to work with, and he was only "beautiful and amazing and inclusive" to the things he liked; he was just as narrow-minded and intolerant of the stuff he didn't like as any of the rest of us.   Dio is another one.   Yeah, he  finished his career with grace and class, and every person that I know that's actually met the guy (there are a couple, which is itself a positive indicator) have literally not one bad thing to say about him, but I'm old enough to remember him calling Blackmore an asshole, saying he'll never work with him again (he didn't, though it was mooted) and wishing Campbell was dead (there's fan video of him out there saying exactly that, verbatim).   

I think it's fair to assess people with a modicum of honesty; I'm still not on board with posthumous character assassinations.  But  then again, I'm not really on board with  present-day character assassinations.  It seems more and more that we're very willing to assess people broadly for one or two specific issues, and I have a problem with that.   That you think, for example, that the ACA is a bad idea doesn't make you a bad, heartless or evil person.   

Offline Stadler

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2018, 07:12:52 AM »
I think it's 100% okay to speak ill of the dead. Why can we talk about how shitty someone is when they are alive or in their final years, but as soon as they've passed it's suddenly unacceptable to talk about those flaws? If people don't want to be verbally shit on once they're dead, maybe they should be a little less shitty while they're breathing. When Alex Jones finally keels over, why should anything positive be said about that man? Why shouldn't the family of the children murdered in Newtown continue to tarnish that man's legacy?

Not really interested in arguing over Alex Jones, specifically, but "shitty" is in the eye of the beholder, no?   Is it necessarily true that holding opposing views to the one that is most sympathetic to the victims makes you "shitty"?    I don't have any doubt that Newtown was real - I've spoken before of this, but suffice to say, I know one family well enough to have considered going to the services and opted not to because of the spectacle - but is Alex Jones "shitty" for positing an alternate explanation?  Does the rationale - ratings?  sensationalism?  - matter there? 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2018, 08:06:12 AM »
I think it's 100% okay to speak ill of the dead. Why can we talk about how shitty someone is when they are alive or in their final years, but as soon as they've passed it's suddenly unacceptable to talk about those flaws? If people don't want to be verbally shit on once they're dead, maybe they should be a little less shitty while they're breathing. When Alex Jones finally keels over, why should anything positive be said about that man? Why shouldn't the family of the children murdered in Newtown continue to tarnish that man's legacy?

Not really interested in arguing over Alex Jones, specifically, but "shitty" is in the eye of the beholder, no?   Is it necessarily true that holding opposing views to the one that is most sympathetic to the victims makes you "shitty"?    I don't have any doubt that Newtown was real - I've spoken before of this, but suffice to say, I know one family well enough to have considered going to the services and opted not to because of the spectacle - but is Alex Jones "shitty" for positing an alternate explanation?  Does the rationale - ratings?  sensationalism?  - matter there?
To be fair, you've railed against Chris Murphy for exploiting Newtown for all of the rationale you mentioned there. And calling it an "alternative explanation" is quite a stretch.  When he croaks and everybody is beatifying they guy you're not going to have a problem with it?
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2018, 08:57:33 AM »
I think it's 100% okay to speak ill of the dead. Why can we talk about how shitty someone is when they are alive or in their final years, but as soon as they've passed it's suddenly unacceptable to talk about those flaws? If people don't want to be verbally shit on once they're dead, maybe they should be a little less shitty while they're breathing. When Alex Jones finally keels over, why should anything positive be said about that man? Why shouldn't the family of the children murdered in Newtown continue to tarnish that man's legacy?

Not really interested in arguing over Alex Jones, specifically, but "shitty" is in the eye of the beholder, no?   Is it necessarily true that holding opposing views to the one that is most sympathetic to the victims makes you "shitty"?    I don't have any doubt that Newtown was real - I've spoken before of this, but suffice to say, I know one family well enough to have considered going to the services and opted not to because of the spectacle - but is Alex Jones "shitty" for positing an alternate explanation?  Does the rationale - ratings?  sensationalism?  - matter there?
To be fair, you've railed against Chris Murphy for exploiting Newtown for all of the rationale you mentioned there. And calling it an "alternative explanation" is quite a stretch.  When he croaks and everybody is beatifying they guy you're not going to have a problem with it?

No, but for the reasons you and I have already said.  "Dying" doesn't make you a saint.   You're right and fair to call out Murphy, and to be honest, I kind of view them (Jones and Murphy) the same way.  But that's sort of my point; I'm not sure I draw a distinction, so if Jones is shitty, so is Murphy and vice versa.   Either way, I don't see how waiting until they're dead to call them out is the right move. 

Offline Chino

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2018, 09:17:41 AM »
I think it's 100% okay to speak ill of the dead. Why can we talk about how shitty someone is when they are alive or in their final years, but as soon as they've passed it's suddenly unacceptable to talk about those flaws? If people don't want to be verbally shit on once they're dead, maybe they should be a little less shitty while they're breathing. When Alex Jones finally keels over, why should anything positive be said about that man? Why shouldn't the family of the children murdered in Newtown continue to tarnish that man's legacy?

Not really interested in arguing over Alex Jones, specifically, but "shitty" is in the eye of the beholder, no?   Is it necessarily true that holding opposing views to the one that is most sympathetic to the victims makes you "shitty"?    I don't have any doubt that Newtown was real - I've spoken before of this, but suffice to say, I know one family well enough to have considered going to the services and opted not to because of the spectacle - but is Alex Jones "shitty" for positing an alternate explanation?  Does the rationale - ratings?  sensationalism?  - matter there?
To be fair, you've railed against Chris Murphy for exploiting Newtown for all of the rationale you mentioned there. And calling it an "alternative explanation" is quite a stretch.  When he croaks and everybody is beatifying they guy you're not going to have a problem with it?

No, but for the reasons you and I have already said.  "Dying" doesn't make you a saint.   You're right and fair to call out Murphy, and to be honest, I kind of view them (Jones and Murphy) the same way.  But that's sort of my point; I'm not sure I draw a distinction, so if Jones is shitty, so is Murphy and vice versa.   Either way, I don't see how waiting until they're dead to call them out is the right move.

I'm not saying we should wait till they're dead to call them out. I'm saying call them out as much as possible while they're alive and don't stop just because they've died.

Offline Implode

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2018, 09:23:40 AM »
Outside of the most extreme cases, most people views people as just that: people. And we usually like to respect those who have just passed, even if they were our enemy. As for what's acceptable, it's completely dependent on context. In my option, you're totally allowed to speak your opinion, but I also think there's a time and place for everything.

For example, if someone were to post a status on Facebook, talking about how sad it is that Barbara passed and how much she meant to that person, the comment section is absolutely not the place to start talking negatively about her. If people want to feel sad and grieve and believe someone was good on their own terms in that context, just let them be.

However, if you want to post your own status, talking about how you think the world is better off now that this person has left it, that's totally your prerogative. Personally I feel like posting a status worded like that isn't very constructive, so I wouldn't recommend it. In that situation I'd just remain silent and keep my opinions to myself (which I actually end up doing a lot, which is why I don't post a ton), but at the end of the day, people can simply ignore what you say if they don't like it. Similarly, you can ignore what others say if they want to worship someone that you find despicable.

Of course this is all specifically in the context of this subject, social media, people that are dead and no longer have much power, and discourse that would otherwise have little to no impact other than making people angry. Closing outside voices out isn't always the answer, but I think this is one of the few cases in which it makes sense.

As far as speaking in the case of that college professor, it's all a matter of tact and relevance to the context of whatever they were talking about. I'm not saying the professor deserved backlash, but I bet there was a way to voice what she wanted without provoking such a response, whether it was rewording or simply waiting for a better time.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2018, 10:32:31 AM »
Chino, I got you; I think I slightly misunderstood your original point.

As for the second point, that brings up another issue:  I think criticism of the dead might be more tolerated if it wasn't like most other criticism, that is, crass, overly personal and generally inarticulate.    It's a fair criticism to compare the public persona of Barbara Bush with some of the decisions that her and her husband may have made over the years.  It's entirely another thing to reduce  one's criticism to "crusty old white haired snobby c***!"  Even when our language is better, we do sometimes tend to be "one issue" debators.  Does one comment post-Katrina negate 60 years of public service?  I don't know that I think so, but it's something to consider. 

Offline Nekov

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2018, 12:01:42 PM »
I for one am with Cram on this one. There should be a period of respect, but after that there's no reason for not criticizing dead people for bad things they have done. I think all this making them saints as Stads put it is related to the Christian religion and their view that any sin can be forgiven after someone dies.
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Offline kaos2900

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2018, 12:33:34 PM »
I'm 100% for people having the freedom to believe whatever they want. That being said, I wish people would just keep their opinions to themselves more than they used to. Society now runs on social media which has just ingrained bullying into our culture. It's no wonder that bullying continues to be such a problem in schools when the parents are such assholes. NO one is perfect so why talk shit? I know very little about Barbra Bush but she seemed like a pretty decent human being. I just don't see the point of talking shit. What value did that bring to anyone other than the liberal "professor" getting her face on the news?

Offline Stadler

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2018, 12:37:14 PM »
That may or may not be true, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone.   I don't think there's too many people making Saddam a martyr.    But I think some of it has to do with us as the living and our view of the dead.  Almost like "survivor's guilt".  I did mention Cobain before; I feel like had he lived his charm would have worn off.   Over time people would have seen him for the bitter opportunistic I certainly thought he was at heart.   And someone like Cornell - who I love, I mean LOVE - wouldn't ever have gotten the time of day from a place like the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame - they should have been in well before the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and Pearl Jam - but he dies and he gets a song tribute from Ann Wilson and Jerry Cantrell? 

Offline Stadler

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2018, 12:39:47 PM »
I'm 100% for people having the freedom to believe whatever they want. That being said, I wish people would just keep their opinions to themselves more than they used to. Society now runs on social media which has just ingrained bullying into our culture. It's no wonder that bullying continues to be such a problem in schools when the parents are such assholes. NO one is perfect so why talk shit? I know very little about Barbra Bush but she seemed like a pretty decent human being. I just don't see the point of talking shit. What value did that bring to anyone other than the liberal "professor" getting her face on the news?

I love this post.   "Opinions" have taken on almost exalted status these days. 

Offline Harmony

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2018, 12:53:22 PM »
I'm 100% for people having the freedom to believe whatever they want. That being said, I wish people would just keep their opinions to themselves more than they used to. Society now runs on social media which has just ingrained bullying into our culture. It's no wonder that bullying continues to be such a problem in schools when the parents are such assholes. NO one is perfect so why talk shit? I know very little about Barbra Bush but she seemed like a pretty decent human being. I just don't see the point of talking shit. What value did that bring to anyone other than the liberal "professor" getting her face on the news?

I love this post.   "Opinions" have taken on almost exalted status these days.

So wouldn't this also apply to the person(s) being outraged that someone dared express a negative opinion of someone who died?

Take Jane Fonda.  I have a difficult time thinking of a more polarizing celebrity.  She made some huge mistakes in her 20s and she's apologized.  But make no mistake, the milisecond she dies there will be plenty of people "dancing on her grave."  Who am I to argue them out of their opinions of her - alive or dead?

And TBH, the reason I brought this up is that I was actually quite amazed at myself for keeping a sock in it when my friends were gushing about Barbara Bush.  I started to wonder why.  I have a distinct memory of my grandfather telling me not to speak ill of the dead and I obviously took that to heart.  But there are TONS of things that were - for lack of a better phrase - common sense to his generation that do not apply today.  So my question remains, does it apply today?  Should it?

I'm not saying stand outside of the funeral procession with signs about god hating f@gs or tweeting to the granddaughters about what a horrible woman their grandmother was.  That would be unduly rude and cruel.  Obviously.  But when John McCain dies, are we going to pretend that he was some sort of saint who never did ANYTHING wrong?  Really?

It's what EB said earlier.  It isn't just that we can't speak ill of the dead but we have to pretend the dead suddenly became unreproachable in anything they ever did in their entire lives.  I think that's utter bullshit and bordering on magical thinking.





Offline El Barto

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2018, 01:26:31 PM »
It'll be fascinating to see what happens when Kirk Douglas finally kicks the fucking bucket. The typical Hollywood "he was an inspiration to us all" narrative will be front and center. Lights will dim on Broadway and he'll get a huge tribute during the next Academy Awards. Yet there are a ton of people in Hollywood genuinely despise the man for something he allegedly did back in the sixties. Behavior that would make Winestein want to kick his centenarian ass. I wonder how many people will have the cojones to express their honest opinion. And I wonder how their opinions will be received.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2018, 01:27:16 PM »
Well, to answer your question directly, I think you've really hit the conundrum, at least for me, and that is, we have the right to say what we want, within the bounds of slander and libel laws.   I think what is said, though, speaks highly of us as a person.   I think - for what it's worth - you probably did the "right" thing, however you define "right", in at least contemplating the appropriateness of anything you might say.  Was the time appropriate to laundry list her failings as a person, which all of us, as fallible human beings, have, or to celebrate their life as best we can?  That's for you to decide, but you at least took the time to have the internal dialogue.

I think that we have a personal responsibility to make that commentary as objective as we can, and as a general rule, we have as a society failed that obligation miserably, and have been now for the better part of 20 years.   I think "Barbara Bush fucking ROCKS, man!" is as useless as "She's a snobby t***!"; both bring nothing to the table in terms of understanding the woman or her place in our fabric.   To have a reasonable debate on her performance as First Lady, First Mother, and public figure ought to be acceptable.   


Totally unrelated, I can listen to Melania Trump say "TWEETER" for "Twitter" all day long.   

Offline El Barto

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2018, 01:34:07 PM »
Well, to answer your question directly, I think you've really hit the conundrum, at least for me, and that is, we have the right to say what we want, within the bounds of slander and libel laws.   I think what is said, though, speaks highly of us as a person.   I think - for what it's worth - you probably did the "right" thing, however you define "right", in at least contemplating the appropriateness of anything you might say.  Was the time appropriate to laundry list her failings as a person, which all of us, as fallible human beings, have, or to celebrate their life as best we can?  That's for you to decide, but you at least took the time to have the internal dialogue.

I think that we have a personal responsibility to make that commentary as objective as we can, and as a general rule, we have as a society failed that obligation miserably, and have been now for the better part of 20 years.   I think "Barbara Bush fucking ROCKS, man!" is as useless as "She's a snobby t***!"; both bring nothing to the table in terms of understanding the woman or her place in our fabric.   To have a reasonable debate on her performance as First Lady, First Mother, and public figure ought to be acceptable.   


Totally unrelated, I can listen to Melania Trump say "TWEETER" for "Twitter" all day long.
I agree. But the person who says the former will be celebrated and fire and brimstone await the speaker of the latter. This reflects even more poorly on us, I think.
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Offline XeRocks81

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2018, 01:44:57 PM »
It'll be fascinating to see what happens when Kirk Douglas finally kicks the fucking bucket. The typical Hollywood "he was an inspiration to us all" narrative will be front and center. Lights will dim on Broadway and he'll get a huge tribute during the next Academy Awards. Yet there are a ton of people in Hollywood genuinely despise the man for something he allegedly did back in the sixties. Behavior that would make Winestein want to kick his centenarian ass. I wonder how many people will have the cojones to express their honest opinion. And I wonder how their opinions will be received.

Other than the fact that he's still around today I'm not sure what specific thing makes Kirk Douglas different.  Does he have Bill Cosby like stories yet to be told?  The only thing of note I can think of is that he took a lot of credit for breaking the blacklist and kind of built a whole myth around himself regarding that period  https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/07/how-kirk-douglas-overstated-his-role-in-breaking-the-hollywood-blacklist/259111/

edit:  nevermind, my first google search was fruitless but further snooping revealed the Natalie Wood rape accusation, I wasn't aware of that one.   Carry on.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2018, 01:49:33 PM »
It'll be fascinating to see what happens when Kirk Douglas finally kicks the fucking bucket. The typical Hollywood "he was an inspiration to us all" narrative will be front and center. Lights will dim on Broadway and he'll get a huge tribute during the next Academy Awards. Yet there are a ton of people in Hollywood genuinely despise the man for something he allegedly did back in the sixties. Behavior that would make Winestein want to kick his centenarian ass. I wonder how many people will have the cojones to express their honest opinion. And I wonder how their opinions will be received.

But you know the real problem here, right? 

"Allegedly".    She's passed - under a separate and also not resolved controversy - and then he will.   The truth of those events - the REAL truth - will be lost to history.   I think the reaction will go to what we're talking about here:  will it be along the lines of the common Twitter responses to his being saluted at the Golden Globes:  "Please get Kirk Douglas's rapist ass away from every woman in that entire room." and "friendly reminder that kirk douglas raped --------- ----. good job hfpa".  No "allegedly".  No "the story goes".  Just BOOM, rumors are good, you're all hypocrites and I can go back to binge watching "Orange Is The New Black" blithely ignorant that my faux rage and judgmentalism has done nothing to raise the level of the debate.


Offline The King in Crimson

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2018, 06:58:58 PM »
I think it's 100% okay to speak ill of the dead. Why can we talk about how shitty someone is when they are alive or in their final years, but as soon as they've passed it's suddenly unacceptable to talk about those flaws? If people don't want to be verbally shit on once they're dead, maybe they should be a little less shitty while they're breathing. When Alex Jones finally keels over, why should anything positive be said about that man? Why shouldn't the family of the children murdered in Newtown continue to tarnish that man's legacy?

Not really interested in arguing over Alex Jones, specifically, but "shitty" is in the eye of the beholder, no?   Is it necessarily true that holding opposing views to the one that is most sympathetic to the victims makes you "shitty"?    I don't have any doubt that Newtown was real - I've spoken before of this, but suffice to say, I know one family well enough to have considered going to the services and opted not to because of the spectacle - but is Alex Jones "shitty" for positing an alternate explanation?  Does the rationale - ratings?  sensationalism?  - matter there?
To be fair, you've railed against Chris Murphy for exploiting Newtown for all of the rationale you mentioned there. And calling it an "alternative explanation" is quite a stretch.  When he croaks and everybody is beatifying they guy you're not going to have a problem with it?

No, but for the reasons you and I have already said.  "Dying" doesn't make you a saint.   You're right and fair to call out Murphy, and to be honest, I kind of view them (Jones and Murphy) the same way.  But that's sort of my point; I'm not sure I draw a distinction, so if Jones is shitty, so is Murphy and vice versa.   Either way, I don't see how waiting until they're dead to call them out is the right move.

I'm not saying we should wait till they're dead to call them out. I'm saying call them out as much as possible while they're alive and don't stop just because they've died.
I 100% agree with this. Shitty people don't suddenly stop being shitty when they're dead and I don't get how being dead, a thing that happens to every person, shitty or not, suddenly denotes a level of respect that being alive did not.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2018, 08:05:02 PM »
And to be clear, I'm mostly in agreement as well.  My beef is with the initial premise of the "obligation" to call out "shitty people", alive or dead.  It just seems to me that after you get past the really obvious, egregious stuff (like Kirk if that shit is true) things get grey in a really big hurry and it devolves into a moralistic bullying session where both sides feel like they're in the right, with the added bonus that one side feels "they're on the right side of history".     No thanks. 

Offline Harmony

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2018, 08:40:39 PM »
Honestly, I don't want to be shamed into squelching an opinion because of some unwritten rule of etiquette around someone's death.  I don't need to bully anyone on social media.  I just want to be honest with my friends without fear of being seen as some horrible person daring to mention the unmentionables.

As an aside, the way our culture handles death and dying in general is egregious.  Famous or not.  It almost feels like the reality of end-of-life issues get pushed aside because we just can't handle any kind of open, honest discussion about it.  I'm certain some families do it well, but I've yet to run across many of those.  I'm in the midst of it now in mine and all I'm left thinking is that there is NO WAY I'm leaving the heavy lifting up to my kids when it is my turn to go.  It fucking sucks. 

Online kingshmegland

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2018, 08:41:39 PM »
This is an easy answer.  You speak well of those who lived life well.  People blur their political beliefs over the type of person someone was.

If they were a good person and their beliefs do not line up with mine, I will say nothing but sympathy for the loss.

If you are a bad person, it's free game...
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Offline The King in Crimson

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2018, 09:56:42 PM »
And to be clear, I'm mostly in agreement as well.  My beef is with the initial premise of the "obligation" to call out "shitty people", alive or dead.  It just seems to me that after you get past the really obvious, egregious stuff (like Kirk if that shit is true) things get grey in a really big hurry and it devolves into a moralistic bullying session where both sides feel like they're in the right, with the added bonus that one side feels "they're on the right side of history".     No thanks.
So basically just like every internet argument discussion then?

Offline Stadler

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2018, 08:00:30 AM »
Honestly, I don't want to be shamed into squelching an opinion because of some unwritten rule of etiquette around someone's death.  I don't need to bully anyone on social media.  I just want to be honest with my friends without fear of being seen as some horrible person daring to mention the unmentionables.

Not at all an unreasonable request.

Quote
As an aside, the way our culture handles death and dying in general is egregious.  Famous or not.  It almost feels like the reality of end-of-life issues get pushed aside because we just can't handle any kind of open, honest discussion about it.  I'm certain some families do it well, but I've yet to run across many of those.  I'm in the midst of it now in mine and all I'm left thinking is that there is NO WAY I'm leaving the heavy lifting up to my kids when it is my turn to go.  It fucking sucks.

You have NO idea.  Well, maybe you do, but I'm saying... my wife works in this field (she was Chief Clerk of a Probate Court for 10 years and now does probate/estate consulting) and it's almost bewildering the extent people will go to AVOID obvious, basic issues surrounding their demise.  You'd think there was a better chance of not dying than there really is.   

I get along with my brother pretty well; it's not that we're so close we never fight, we just decided long ago that it wasn't worth the fight in general, plus it would deeply hurt my mom.   BUT, having said that, I've told my dad now 15 times if I've said it once:  DECIDE EVERYTHING.   At one point he was going to have a provision to sell the cars and his boat, and he said "you and [Brother] can go through the house and take what you want".  I said "very generous, but NO.   Divy it up.   Clearly tell where you want the guns to go (I don't want/can't have them in my house, so they go to my bro who is an active duty police officer).    Tell where the TVs go.   Get two boxes, one with my name, and one with his name, and put all the dumb shit in them. Oh, I want Mom's keyboard."

My wife's dad hasn't spoken to one of his sisters since his other sister died, over estate issues, and my mom and her sister haven't spoken since my grandmother died, back in '91 or so.  That last one?  Over a car.  A shitty Buick Monte Carlo.  My dad was executor, and so he sold the cars and divided the proceeds according to the probate court, and yet my aunt wanted the car.   Thought it was understood that it was hers (note:  NOT that she wanted her share of the estate to be paid out in "car", but that she would get the car right off the top as oldest sister or some such shit).    My dad LEGALLY couldn't do that, yet, she's carried a grudge for 27 years and counting. 

Offline Chino

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2018, 08:12:19 AM »
Seeing family break apart due to a death is awful. My girlfriend's father is one of four sons. Last year, his mother (Victoria's grandma) finally fell victim to her illness. Her brain slowly rotted away. She was unable to speak or make any conscious decision. She'd either shit her pants, or they'd have to leave her on a toilet and check in on her every 15 minutes. Her grandmother as we knew her died years ago, but the reptilian portion of her brain kept her basic organ functions running like clockwork for years to come.

Anyway, the family refused to put her in a home. Part of me thinks that was in part to protect her assets from getting liquidated to pay for care, but that's neither here nor there. She lived at one of V's uncle's houses full time, and then her father and one of the other brothers would alternate having her spend the weekend at their houses. They spent a fortune remodeling rooms, finishing garages, and building additions to accommodate her handicaps and needs. The fourth brother did absolutely nothing for the last 10 years, despite the fact that he lived the closest to the brother that had a permanent residence for her. He wouldn't even stop in to see her, let alone take care of her for a few nights a week.

When she died, there was a massive rift between the brothers because the three that took care of her emotionally and financially didn't think the fourth deserved the same portion of her estate. Her will specified even distribution between her sons, but a judge ended up ruling in favor (to a degree) of the three other brothers. Collectively they spent over $200K taking care of their mom while the fourth on just watched, and the judge thought they deserved some level of reimbursement for what they spent.


Offline bosk1

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2018, 08:15:35 AM »
This is an easy answer.  You speak well of those who lived life well. 

Or just:  Speak well of people, or don't speak at all.

If you feel the need to call out a "bad person," that probably says more about you than them.
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Offline Harmony

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Re: Don't Speak Ill of the Dead
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2018, 09:54:51 AM »
To Chino and Stadler - isn't there an old saying that goes something along the lines of "Nothing brings out the worst in families more than weddings and funerals"?  Your stories are tragically not uncommon.  In my case, it isn't the aftermath yet - great something to look forward to! - but dealing with an aging parent who is rapidly declining mentally and who isn't willing to understand that dying at home may not be an option if round the clock care is necessary.  Which it undoubtedly will be.  Hospice is involved but cannot advocate against their wishes unless/until they are no longer conscious.  The ability to make available programs that are necessary to provide care that doesn't cost $4K a week means filing for Medicaid and VA benefits and this person isn't willing to start the application process - a process that in the VA's case can take upwards of 6 months to determine eligibility.  We don't have 6 months.  I cannot apply on their behalf so my hands are tied.  I can't see how any of this is going to work out well.  I have zero answers.

If you feel the need to call out a "bad person," that probably says more about you than them.

So when Charles Manson died and people were calling out the bad things he did while he was alive and murdering innocent people makes the person calling those things out is horrible for bringing it up?  Really?

I guess I'm horrible for my little private jig I did at the news he'd finally croaked.  Frankly, I don't care if people think poorly of me for doing that.  I'm sure it won't be the last time.  FWIW, I'm 99% against the death penalty.  1% for it is saved up for people like him.