Jan 2, 2010

The Archivist of Death

Is there a better job description than that? I heard about the Archivist of Death on NPR. I can't remember his name or where he's from because my aging brain is mush, and though, according to the New York Times, the aging brain is better than younger ones at grasping the big picture and seeing significance and even solutions, that ability hinges on that brain being kept "in good shape" and mine is clearly full of holes. I would say "literally" but then I'd have to prove it, and that would open up a can of worms best left closed. Especially because I hate worms. They make me thing of death, and how we're all inching ever closer and how I really want to live forever, even if I'm just a holey brain in a jar because I really want to see how it all ends. Which brings me back to the nameless Archivist of Death. (See how I did that? I bet you thought I forgot.) He collects interesting obituaries - over 400 a month - and pastes them in albums. He mentioned that they used to be much more intimate and nice than they are now. Having read very few obituaries, being that I mulishly ignore death and dying and anything that smacks of either, I wouldn't know. But the interview made me think I want to do something cool enough to be called the Archivist of Death, so I decided to start a "Write Your Own Obituary" website, and then found out there already is such a thing. Or twenty such things. So now I want to start an "O-bitch-uary" site where people can write obits for anything that really pisses them off. Like McSweeney's Open Letters, but for people who want to pretend someone or something is dead. (By the way, if you Google "obitchuary" you find out that an unacceptable number of people think that's how you spell obituary. My first o-bitch-uary will be about the death of people who can't spell.)

The upshot of all this death talk? It reminded me that we at SU have a student colleague who blogs about graveyards. She is totally someone who should be on Gonnabe Librarians, but maybe she's shy. Or she's all like, "Why the hell should I write for Gonnabe Librarians when I have my own blog that's so much fucking cooler?!" I've gotta give her that. It is cooler. So wander the hallowed digital grounds of The Living Come With Grassy Tread.

I guess the iSchool has it's own Archivist of Death already, doesn't it? I'll have to settle for being the o-bitch writer.

6 comments:

Bill Shander said...

That's o-bitchin'!!

Harriet said...

Anything that has to do with death is right up my alley. I'll be the first to post something! Carry on!

Amanda Acquard said...

It has two, I have a genealogy blog and post obituaries and tombstones (somewhat) regularly:-)

Katy said...

We should all laugh at death! Well done.

Shander said...

Wait...we have TWO Archivists of Death?! That's just creepy. But I'm going to look Death straight in the eye and dare him to stop me as I laugh from deep in my belly and put links to your blogs on GL.

sustainablesuburbsdiva said...

This is brilliant!