A defense of celebratory obituaries

Every time I write a celebratory obituary of some monstrous war criminal or political scoundrel, someone of more refined sentimentality objects to the cruelty. They do that song & dance about not speaking ill of the dead, of not dancing or pissing on someone’s grave but finding something about the deceased that was redeeming & positive.

Sentimentality is not a quality I cherish nor certainly one I excel at. Hard-nosed is a regrettable family trait. But we’re not without mercy. Dante Alighieri was merciless. His epic poem “Inferno” puts my paltry sarcasms to shame altogether. He had nine circles of hell where he sent lowlifes & didn’t bother with obituaries. With unrivaled poetic flourish, he dispensed them all to suffer the unimaginable for all eternity. He’s my kind of guy. The sentimental should thank their lucky stars I haven’t the poetic skills of Dante even if I am not remiss in vengeance & stop complaining at my obits.

Now next time someone dies—say Kissinger or Netanyahu—if anyone can find something about them worth flattering, I will certainly take note in a postscript to my condemnation where I will ridicule the hell out of any flattery. After all, I did mention that Elie Wiesel was a snappy dresser. But otherwise, I look forward to celebrating their demise. The only one who won’t is Lucifer since his place already stinks too much of evil.