Thursday, January 12, 2006

Gagging the dead

Over a glawsheen the other day, myself and one other chewed over a story I read at Normblog about a man whose family were stopped from describing him as a 'Socialist' on his headstone.

Now, there may be statements that could prove problematic - even on a personal monument - but telling people what they can and can't say on their own headstone, appears to me to be quite the ... er ... gravest ... sort of censorship.

Another example of the great conspiracy in this country to suppress argument perhaps?

But this gave us a business idea that I'd like to share with you:

The Soapbox Cemetery. I know. Perhaps the name needs a bit of thought. But the basic idea is that you can buy a plot in our super-cemetery and choose your own epitaph without any busybodies getting involved.

Perhaps in can even have those startling features that they apparently allow in some American graveyards - the ones where there is a TV screen built into the headstone showing a videotaped message on a loop? And you can use it to rail against your erstwhile enemies?

So far, we don't have a plot of land, or planning permission, but the business is already, conceptually, flying. The propsectuses are, conceptually, printed ("we wouldn't be seen dead in most graveyards"), and so forth.

I don't know if Spike Milligan was allowed to put his "I told you I was ill" epitaph on his memorial. But if not, he could be relocated to Britain's swankiest graveyard as our first customer?


Changing the subject, (not worth a post of it's own), during the same visit to Norm's, I noticed this: Happiness. I should log it here as I try and collect examples of the way that different countries are compared on this blog - do a quick search on 'best societies in the world' if you don't beleive me...


Deaglan said...

"I don't know if Spike Milligan was allowed to put his "I told you I was ill" epitaph on his memorial"

I don't think he was - which is why it's on his gravestone in Irish instead: "Duirt me leat go raibh me bheoite". Seriously.

Paulie said...

The Irish language has always been used to annoy or confound the English. It's the real reason it was revived.

Remember, on your blog Deaglan, you had a line about Catholics thinking that Prods all had odd-numbers on their cars and it's a conspiracy?

Well, here's another. Some Prods I know think that Catholics keep coming up with a new spelling for Fionnula (sometimes even a 'g' is brought into the picture).

brockway said...

Does make you wonder whether famous Socialists have had one last lapidary dig or capitulated to something more conventional and Christian.

Not sure if Marx's famous epitaph is the same on his actual gravestone as it is on his memorial.

I'd quite like to learn my native tongue (Welsh) just so that I could go silent and then start whispering in it whenever an Englishman walked into my pub.

Deaglan said...


No conspiracy - just different ways of spelling it. Other Irish names have this too e'g'. Padraig / Pairic.

Doens't stop unionists deliberatley and pointedly calling people by the English versions of their names.