What a father's mind does not muse upon, is how this newborn son shall die.
As men aspiring to delight in the reception of a Classical Education, we as a matter of course (in remembrance of Pliny) recall and praise the deaths of Cato, Socrates, and Cicero. Indeed, Montaigne's essay from 1580 entitled "To Philosophize is to Learn How to Die" is something best committed to memory with a glass of Jack Daniels and a slow burning Royal Nicaraguan Colorado.
As noble obituaries go, perhaps Cicero's rings the more poetic:
The Lord could only imagine what the fathers of Sacco and Vanzetti thought upon their births. Best left to history, that.Wikipedia wrote:Cicero's last words are said to have been, "There is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me properly." He bowed to his captors, leaning his head out of the litter in a gladiatorial gesture to ease the task. By baring his neck and throat to the soldiers, he was indicating that he wouldn't resist. According to Plutarch, Herennius first slew him, then cut off his head. On Antony's instructions his hands, which had penned the Philippics against Antony, were cut off as well; these were nailed and displayed along with his head on the Rostra in the Forum Romanum according to the tradition of Marius and Sulla, both of whom had displayed the heads of their enemies in the Forum. Cicero was the only victim of the proscriptions to be displayed in that manner. According to Cassius Dio, Antony's wife Fulvia took Cicero's head, pulled out his tongue, and jabbed it repeatedly with her hairpin in final revenge against Cicero's power of speech.
Like many a boy of a certain age, I was raised on the American television series King Fu.
As ignoble obituaries go, what might have gone through the mind of John Carradine in 1936 on the birth of his son Keith...
That we should be the authors of our own epitaphs would frighten our proud fathers something silly.Wikipedia wrote:On June 4, 2009, Carradine was found dead in his room at the Swissôtel Nai Lert Park Hotel on Wireless Road, near Sukhumvit Road, in central Bangkok, Thailand. A police official said Carradine was found hanging by a rope in the room's closet, and the Bangkok Post reported that his body was found curled up in the wardrobe with one end of a shoelace tied around his penis and the other end around his neck. The same officer said: "Under these circumstances we cannot be sure that he committed suicide." It has also been reported that Carradine was found "with his hands tied behind his back." Carradine was in Bangkok to shoot his latest film, Stretch, and was expected to join the film crew for dinner on June 3. The crew noticed his absence when going out, but they assumed that he took a rest because of his age. Khunying Pornthip Rojanasunand, a Thai forensic pathologist and Director of Central Institute of Forensic Science, stated the incident met four of the criteria for accidental death involving autoerotic asphyxiation leading to an autoerotic fatality. Police Lieutenant General Worapong Chewprecha, Commander of the Metropolitan Police, remarked that the closed circuit television installed within the hotel supported the theory that no other persons were involved with the death. Carradine's representative and family members told the press that they believed the death to be accidental and not a suicide. Chuck Binder, Carradine's manager of six years, indicated neither suicide nor accident was the likely cause since "the family has been told Carradine's hands were immobilized (behind his back) by the rope." However, this is contradicted by photographic evidence from the scene published by Thai Rath newspaper, showing "hands apparently bound together above the head". In July 2009, it was reported that a private pathologist, after carrying out a second autopsy, also ruled out the possibility of suicide, but was still unable to "determine whether Carradine's death was accidental or a homicide" and was awaiting further toxicology test results. Two of Carradine's ex-wives (Gail Jensen and Marina Anderson) stated that his sexual interests included the practice of self-bondage. Carradine's funeral was held on June 13, 2009 in Los Angeles.
Good thing they muse not upon such things.
Welcome to the world, Cillian Sherry O'Reilly. I wish his father, my friend David, all the best.