London Month of the Dead

This festival will run throughout the haunted month of October and features a wide range of both live and virtual events, including: THE VAMPIROLOGY OF COVID-19 – The Folklore of Contagion THE MYSTERIES OF THE MAUSOLEA BEAUTIFUL DEATH – Art and the Mystery of Mortality “I HAVE SEEN INTO THE GRAVE” – String Quartets by Beethoven and Shostakovich For … Read moreLondon Month of the Dead

Sherlock Holmes Honors the Dead (“Mr. Holmes”, 2015)

In the climactic scene of Mr. Holmes, the titular detective – aged 93 and very near to the end of his own life – mimics a memorial ritual he had witnessed in Japan to honor the deceased. In the context of this story, the scene has a special poignancy in that it seems to contradict … Read moreSherlock Holmes Honors the Dead (“Mr. Holmes”, 2015)

“Mi’i waw wi’a Law”: How Nell Honors Her Dead

For about a month now I’ve been trying to recall where I’d seen a memorial rite involving placing flowers in a skull’s eye sockets, and today it suddenly came to mind. The 1994 film Nell was based on Mark Handley’s play Idioglossia and stars Jodie Foster as a young woman raised in complete isolation by her reclusive, deeply … Read more“Mi’i waw wi’a Law”: How Nell Honors Her Dead

“What Will Survive of Us”

Here’s author/photographer Geoff Dyer’s meditation on the ghost bike street memorial phenomenon: As well as being part of a web of activist organizations, the ghost bikes can be seen in the context of the ad hoc accumulation of street art generally, from loutish graffiti litter to Banksy’s ironic—now ironically iconic and commodified—stencils, to community-based murals. … Read more“What Will Survive of Us”

“Coronavirus Is Changing The Rituals Of Death For Many Religions”

NPR offers this survey of how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the funerary rites of a variety of religions: The World Health Organization in its March 24 guidance on burials of COVID-19 victims says dead bodies are generally not infectious. But its recommendations that relatives not touch or kiss the body and government rules on social distancing … Read more“Coronavirus Is Changing The Rituals Of Death For Many Religions”

Nothing’s Forgotten; Remembering the Dead in “Robin of Sherwood”

The innovative mid-’80s TV series Robin of Sherwood incorporated aspects of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon mysticism into the Robin Hood mythos. In this scene Robin, Marion, Little John, Much, Will Scarlet and Friar Tuck – and then, to the surprise of the rest of the group, Nasir the Saracen – commemorate their fallen comrades by firing … Read moreNothing’s Forgotten; Remembering the Dead in “Robin of Sherwood”

Black Lives Matter Community Memorial Altar in Rogers Park, Chicago

I first came across this memorial during one of my evening walks, shortly after it was first created. I’ve added a few little things – some pine cones, a sketch outline of an open hand with the initials “BLM” – and it’s nice to see how others are augmenting and re-arranging the memorial day-to-day. Here’s … Read moreBlack Lives Matter Community Memorial Altar in Rogers Park, Chicago

A Seraphite Shrine from “The Last of Us, Part 2”

The Last of Us, Part 2 is a brutal, epic video game experience, set in a post-apocalyptic America devastated by a fungal infection that transforms humans into monsters. Death runs rampant throughout the grueling game-play, both as inflicted by and upon many of the characters and in terms of motivating a seemingly endless cycle of … Read moreA Seraphite Shrine from “The Last of Us, Part 2”