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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A grave subject

I’ve done my share of investigating the beginnings of religion, not first hand, using primary evidence like a proper researcher but reading this and that. Fodder for the mind and also the very long epic I am writing about the times when there were many Gods and the current one – Jehovah – won the lottery to become the one and only God, at least for the Jews of the time. As I gathered it from such reading, He had an advantage over all the competition in that He was responsible for everything. This omnipotence meant that suddenly when things went wrong, He was displeased and when they went right, he was over the moon. (That’s where heaven is). Thus it was far more economical in time and effort to pray to the one and only God, even if he punished you for untold crimes by dispersing you all over the world.

A branch line of conjecture for me then and now, is the disposal of our bodies on death. Though it is not an inclusive list, for there must be tribes and races who turn up some more exotic ways of dealing with the fleshy and bony remnants of a person, the more common procedures offer a choice between interment, burning (fires and cremations), a Davy Jones or Ganges-type submarine experience and being left on a mountain top for the buzzards to strip you clean. Being shot into space will be the next.

Of all these I prefer the buzzard on the mountain top ritual. It fits with the vaguely Buddhist notions I have about being dissipated into billions of atoms and reforming as something else. An organic death.

So, as usual, I can now reveal what brought on this bit of flimflam. The plot next to Marilyn Monroe was sold for 2.4 million dollars recently. So far, the successful buyer has not let himself or herself be known. It must be a he, I’d think. Lying next to Marilyn! An ex-Kennedy (ie one who is dead) or her assassin (conspiracy theory) or someone she rejected and is still determined to be her eternal companion, or someone who wants his or her own grave looked at and feels s/he will find fame by association or someone for whom I cannot construct a motive, has won the Ebay auction.

At some point in the last century, an entrepreneur realised that car number plates could be sold on if they had magical acronyms or initials. In the same way, this Marilyn story might be the beginning of a lucrative new trend whereby we can bid to lie beside a lifetime’s obsession. Someone we could not get near yet exalted from afar. Out with family tombs and in with celebrity squares of sacred soil where the famous one is surrounded by the less-desirable coffins of his or her fans and followers.

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