Saturday, September 18, 2010

Editorial: Reading the Obituaries

"Like everyone else who makes the mistake of getting older, I begin each day with coffee and obituaries." -Bill Cosby

Continuing the conversation on whether coffee makes humans severe or not, I stumbled over this Bill Cosby quote. I read a paper roughly every other day. Sometimes it may be the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, or the NYT. I omit reading the obituaries because: A. I am not quite sure what I would get out of it. B. I simply do not know many people nearing the end of their lives.

Considering Cosby's quote, how is it a mistake drinking coffee and reading the obituaries?

A few possible answers (I realize this may not be answering the question I posed). First, one may become morose as they realize their mortal, terminal existence. Second, realize how important their existence on Earth is, spurring action here and now. Third, no effect. Perhaps one has put their faith in religious salvation, or has realized that life's end is just that; an end. Fourth, aren't obituaries a celebration of the person's life? Did Cosby fail to realize that obituaries trend towards praising life rather than death?

A simple layout of possible outcomes, certainly not exhaustive, but how does coffee factor into this process? Connecting obituary reading and drinking coffee invokes the bitter, oily, staining coffee image; not the foamy, sweet, nog-dusted latte a la Starbucks.

Tomorrow morning, I will read the obituaries as a lay experiment. Alas, my younger age may prevent me from understanding what he intends, but it is worth doing to understand oneself and how others frame one's life accomplishments.


  1. Ach! I apoligize for the odd font. Blogger doesn't like me for some apparent reason.

  2. nice quote of Bill Cosby . Thanks for sharing this with us.