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Wednesday, February 03, 2010
bury me 'neath the willow tree
Listening to:Standing in the Shadows of Love, Temptations
Reading:Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial
Weather:32, snowing slush
None of my friends died, that I know of, this week. Can I get a Booyah! But my research about human body composting has led me to a fascinating potential trip to Sweden. This chick there has been working for over 15 years on a technology to freeze-dry, shatter into a million bits, then compost humans. Oh yeah, picture your freeze-dried friend like a pinata at the wake. No, that's not what she has in mind at all, that's strictly from the mixed-up mind of yours truly. Ponder.

Wait, you're not familiar with my current human composting obsession? Quick synopsis, I want to buy a farm in Preston County WV, make it into a natural burial ground, offer to bury (shallowly) humans there for cheap, no embalming, no caskets, no headstones, big pavilion, house band, all night wakes: Cool Cat's Dead Hippie Hole. That's just a working name, but that's the idea for real. Why? 1. I think the funeral industry is largely a scam from start to finish, exploiting mourning loved ones ("here's our cheapest casket package, but if you REALLY loved Nana . . .") and selling bullshit (embalming and steel caskets don't preserve, they anaerobically liquify the contents), 2. it's prohibitively expensive for poor families to bury their dead (ie. it costs $1000 just to "open the grave," I can rent a backhoe and dig 8 holes in a day for $150), 3. we're pushing living humans out of good space to make room for liquifying dead humans in perpetuity at an alarming rate, 5. jesus and his posse have totally cornered the funeral market, and if I hear one more irrelevant bible verse from a robed dude who never even met my dead friend, I'm going to start scaring the children, 4. I came in naturally, I want to go out that way, leaving hardly a trace but just a little good fertilizer for something cool to grow that future generations can enjoy like a flowering shrub or perhaps an apple tree (I know, you're already writing the "eat me" jokes in your head). And a bunch more reasons, those are just the biggies.

So shall I reserve you a nice leafy corner of the Hippie Hole? Seriously, I want to be part of creating a meaningful way for folks to celebrate the lives of their dead loved ones and naturally affordably dispose of their bodies.

Hence my current fascination with human decay. One cool aspect of the freeze-dry and shatter method is it's easy to remove toxic heavy metals like mercury from your fillings and surgical screws and whatnot. This is a particular problem in cremation, mercury vaporizing and going up the stack into the neighborhood air. And cremation, my formerly preferred way to go, also requires a hefty chunk of energy usage and creates substantial air pollution in addition to the mercury. And it's expensive, though less so than casket burial. There are lots of charlatans in that industry, too, btw.

When I die, please let the wild rumpus begin. A few years later come back and enjoy a nice shady woodland walk where I was naturally buried. Have an apple.

permalink posted by cat 8:17 AM

read 3 comments

i am not waiting for wild rumpus time. every day is my wild rumpus time. and just like "one more tune" before we call it a night -- "one more rumpus" is my mantra. I am a true degenerate rumpuser.

tom rodd
Shades of "Please Don't Bury Me" by John Prine!!!

What a most wonderful idea. I hope you take it to fruition.
Cat, I am 100% on board with your idea and do volunteer to be a test body. BTW, my minister friends hate to be in the position of trying to offer comfort to people they've never met about someone they've never met. They are called upon by families, churches, and funeral homes to perform this idiotic chore. And though some may "take up the cross," as it were, either for a few bucks to feed the kids or buy a prescription or because they truly believe their God can work in mysterious ways, most of them would "just as leave" be left off the party list. Jill Mc
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bury me 'neath the willow tree