I begin with a walk down memory lane and my love of fairs and carnivals. I hit inter alia New York street fairs, Hell’s Kitchen, early fairs in my life, the Florida State Fair in Tampa, downtown Tampa of the 60’s. Being served food by ex-convicts and mental institution escapees. I provide an ode, a paean to my beloved street festivals and fairs. The smell of charcoal and dirty reused grease. The chance of encountering hepatitis on a stick. How tasty.
And that naturally leads to a discussion of death and dying and our funereal fixation, the macabre and ghoulish dance of the funeral. There’s in fact a reason for the subject matter, but you must listen.
This developmental psychologist (supra) might have inadvertently explained our whackiness anent death. Jean Piaget gave us the theory of object permanence, understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be perceived via senses. First we’re taught as children via peekaboo that someone’s still there even though he’s hiding. We learn it so well that when some die we swear they’re still there despite the fact that we can’t see them. Despite the fact that they’re dead. The concept of death, the complete and total cessation of human existence, is more than many can take. So we make stuff up.
No greater indicia of our imagination and collective insanity exist than our inability to handle the ultimate grand finale. The cosmic sayonara. When we awaken from the dream of life.