Death Mettle

Death Mettle. That’s some Punderdome 3000 level shit right there! Amirite?!

Carcass are not amused
“Stop it. You’re killing us.” – Carcass

What I’m saying is, gird your loins, y’all.

Y’see, in the aftermath of last week’s laughfest about the movie Ghost and the experience of death, Paul pointed out that there’s a deep vein of pop culture death to be mined when it comes to the subject of death…

[This week’s Tiny Letter tuneage isn’t death metal, I promise. Probably.]

The first example he mentioned was the comedian Laurie Kilmartin and her 45 Jokes About my Dead Dad comedy special.

#1: “Knock knock…”

Paul begins

I’ve started listening to Bullseye, the Jesse Thorne interview show, in podcast form. Basically imagine if Terri Gross was someone you know instead of your mom’s hip friend.

And a few weeks ago, Jesse spoke with Laurie and it’s totally worth checking out. From the clip from the comedy special above, I enjoy

This show is called 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad. And you thought that would be a good way to spent a Saturday night. Bodes well for my upcoming musical about Ebola…

Of course, Paul and Stephanie and I have created short musicals about stroke, aphasia, and a debunked dinosaur with a messiah complex, so that sounds like a pretty awesome idea.

Result: irreparable brain stem damage!

Kilmartin talks a little about the experience of losing her dad and creating the special here. It’s a relatable  little interview, I think, about the modern experience of death. In much the same way I came to terms with my stroke, she began to come to terms with her father’s impending death with the help of Twitter:

It would only be right if it were true that she did miss her father’s last breath because she was on her iPhone. Mrs Stroke Bloke will tell you I’ll probably miss my own death because I’m on Twitter.

Hold on – there’s something good on the telly!
Also, it’s
*Scottish*!

Paul continues to write that on last week’s Bullseye, Jesse Thorne spoke movingly about the hip hop supergroup inspired by death, Gravediggaz. On their third and final studio album, late member Too Poetic rhymes about his two-year fight with colon cancer. Readers of the Apoplexy Tiny Letter will know that I’m listening to an increasing amount of hip hop, and rewinding to 2002 looks like it’s going to lead me along a whole bunch of new avenues.

A human pin-cushion needles begin pushin’

Speaking of being gangsta, blog favourite Eddie Mair has spent many recent Mondays on BBC Radio 4’s PM show talking with The Media Show‘s Steve Hewlett, as Hewlett battled against oesophageal cancer. The response of their listening public has been remarkable, and after Steve Hewlett died on 20 February, the outpouring of love for the work he and Eddie Mair had recorded together was remarkable. I can’t recommend this series of Eddie Mair Interviews strongly enough to anyone with an interest in what it is to be human, certainly as a straight white man in the first world. Because, y’know, there’s not enough of that., amirite? [Stop saying that – Ed.]

I’m tempted to pick out and share a couple of highlights, but here’s a potted version of Steve’s story in his own words.

Play "Stylo"!
Steve Hewlett: 1958-2017

Till next week, and as always, lots of love.

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2 thoughts on “Death Mettle

  1. You set an ugly precedent of “I make a little comment on week n’s blog, and you expand on it with content, observations, with, and well written insights at week n+1”. I wonder if it works twice. So:

    Have you ever considered themes of redemption in early victorian erotica? I was listening to a great podcast about it last week, I forget the name, and it turns out that while early victorian erotica was hard to come by for the poor, the rich really enjoyed tales where the young lass was turned into an upstanding citizen by the stiff … uhh … hand of the man of the house. Seems a lot of your writing about redemption through the power of love carries unintentional echoes of this admittedly slightly obscure and far more misogynistic cultural point.

    And so now you have to ask yourself three questions

    1: Is that bs or not? As you know it probably is. Unless it isn’t. And that will nag at you.

    2: Even if you are sure it is bs, although you have a nagging suspicion it isn’t, will you find something interesting by googling around to see if I’m making a super-deep-cut joke or telling you something interesting you didn’t know?

    3: And when you find out it is, unless it isn’t, which it may not be, would you dedicate an entire blog entry to an weird improvised joke about early victorian erotica, or perhaps an interesting and obscure fact about said topic, since it may be true, but it is probably bs, but you aren’t sure?

    Ha! Have a great week.

    1. So, it worked! (What, you didn’t see last week’s post?!)

      In all seriousness, there’s a Charlie Kaufman style novel in that, isn’t there? In the meantime, I’ll stick with Kaite Welsh’s lesbian, feminist, Edinburgh-set Victorian thriller, The Wages of Sin. (If it’s real. (Which it is – front page of the NYT books section!))

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