Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Hold that elegy

I’m glad I’m not a celebrity. Yet, anyway.

          There’s the annoyance of all those people trailing along behind you, watching your every move, no privacy at all. I imagine. Like I would know.

          But on a darker side, there are the writers in a cubicle somewhere, chronicling your life, just to be ready for when they don’t need to, well, do it any more.

          Cokie Roberts has just died, a remarkable and engaging journalist. Maybe it was the familiarity of her voice or her folksy name, but she always seemed like someone you’d like to have in your book club, or handy next door for a chat.

          And then I pictured the scurrying probably going on right now as news organizations scrambled to put together a profile of her life. Then I realized the scurrying might be minimal since there may have already been a biography sitting in a file, or already on tape, waiting for her passing.

          Wouldn’t it be unsettling to know there was such a thing for you, ticking the days away.


  1. I love Cokie Roberts, always have. I am grieving her loss, too soon, from that insidious killer, breast cancer. :-(

  2. I would hate to be a celebrity. Which is fortunate because it won't be a happening thing.
    Without question elegies are tucked away 'waiting' for significant figures to die (and won't be the last invasion of their privacy either). In the following weeks/months there will be articles, books, documentaries and many of them will be sensation based.

  3. She wrote, and read several books. She had a great voice to back up all the rest of her abilities.
    I made a similar remark at our dinner table, long ago, about some dignitary who had passed. My dad told me about all the biographical statements on file and all the people who kept them updated, all the time, in the event that person died. It spoiled my magic.

  4. I don't think there's going to be any such scurrying on my behalf when I finally go.

  5. Having worked for many years at newspapers, let me just say it is routine to have obituaries pre-written and stored away in computers just waiting for the proper moment to use them. Hundreds of obituaries, in the case of the big newspapers. Every now and then the editors re-read and update them with any new information, then file them away again. In a way, it would be flattering to know you were important enough to warrant a prepared obituary!

    1. Orrr - you could be someone obsessed with your own death and/or importance, and spend your remaining years composing your own obit!


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