Tuesday, May 15, 2007

FALWELL DEAD. And my first reaction to that was pretty much like this.

But I feel bad about that now. I make it a rule to try and muster a little respect for any man at the point of dying, even if I despised him in life. In the Church in which I was raised, we were taught that no man living knows the disposition of departed souls. I have abandoned most of the paternostrums the Catholic faith bestowed upon me, but I have retained this one because I think it has a nice tinge of existentialism about it.

For one thing, I believe in doubt, and death is the certainty that concentrates doubt most powerfully. The undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveler returns -- the Bible may be more certain than Shakespeare, but it is nowhere near as convincing. I can tally up costs and make judgment upon lives, and have; but at the very moment the portal opens and sucks out a soul, the chill wind it leaves behind dispels all judgment. I can't say then which of us was right -- only that we were both born to die:
It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor they are all equal now.
For the time being, Horseman, pass by.

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