Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ashes to Ashes...

Cremation dates back at least to the ancient Romans, though after Rome fell cremation also fell on hard times. It only made a comeback in the late Victorian age, with many cremation societies springing up, all dedicated to making it legal again. They finally succeeded, and it is a booming industry today. I think it's a fine way to dispose of bodies if one is so inclined, so I mean no disrespect to all the cremationalists out there when I offer the following little smattering of news stories that just popped up on the web-

Keith Richards says he snorted father's ashes
MSNBC News Services
April 3rd, 2007

LONDON - Keith Richards has acknowledged consuming a raft of illegal substances in his time, but this may top them all. In comments published Tuesday, the 63-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist said he had snorted his father’s ashes mixed with cocaine. "The strangest thing I’ve tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father," Richards was quoted as saying by British music magazine NME. "He was cremated, and I couldn’t resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn’t have cared," he said, adding that "it went down pretty well, and I’m still alive."

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Ashes of Star Trek's 'Scotty' Primed for Space Launch
2 April 2007

The ashes of Star Trek’s Scotty and one of NASA’s first astronauts are once more bound for the final frontier, this time aboard a privately-built rocket to launch from New Mexico this month. Portions of the cremated remains of actor James Doohan, the plucky engineer of television's Starship Enterprise, and Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper are set for an April 28 launch aboard a SpaceLoft XL rocket built by the private firm UP Aerospace.

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Grandmother thwarts 'dead dad into diamond' plan

Reuters. April 04, 2007

A German woman's plan to turn her dead father's ashes into a diamond was thwarted yesterday by her grandmother. A district court in Wiesbaden ruled the 19-year-old could not take the cremated remains to Switzerland where a company creates synthetic diamonds from ashes.

“The daughter of the deceased could not provide sufficient proof that it was his final wish to be pressed into a diamond,” the court in western Germany said, ruling in favour of his 86-year-old mother.

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Joey Polanski said...

I wondr if some court DID ruld that it WAS Keif Richards dads wish t go up his sons coke-hole.

Phoebe Fay said...

Maybe there needs to be a new section to those do-it-yourself wills. It could be a check box thing. After cremation, I wish to have my ashes: a) scattered on a lake b) shot into outer space c) made into a shiny bauble or d) snorted by Keith Richards.

I'd go for option b, but since I can't afford a real rocket, I expect they'll have to be sent up in one of my nephew's homemade rockets, which means they'll probably just wind up in a ditch behind the fair grounds.

Colonel Colonel said...

Joey- I just wish somebody would compress Keith into a diamond. The Stones were great back in The Day, but that guy is just strange. And not strange in a good way anymore either. Strange in a "keep children and small animals away from him near mealtimes" sort of way.

Phoebe- well, if you wind up in the dirty ditch behind the fairgrounds, Keith Richards will find you for sure.

Joey Polanski said...

Syd Barrett was compressd into a diamond.

But evn IT turnd out t be crazy.

Mike said...

1.)I only hope one of my kids thinks enough of me to snort me after I have been cremated. Chances are, they'll just flush me and I will spend eternity in a septic system somewhere.

2.) There is just a whole lot that can go wrong when turning someones ashes into a diamond. In fact, due to the highly volatile nature of the process used to convert carbon into diamond, I would go so far as to say that I seriously doubt that the diamond you get is actually made from the actual ashes of your loved one.

Of course I guess it is the thought that counts.

Colonel Colonel said...

Joey- Syd Barret probably chewed diamonds.

Mike- flushing "cremains" into the septic system gives me a whole new marketing idea. "Don't get mad at that annoying neighbor -with our new 'Frag, Fire & Flush' system you can get rid of him once and for all!"

jgodsey said...

i would have been disappointed if he HADN'T snorted his father.

Colonel Colonel said...

Gods- I hadn't thought of it quite like that, but you're right. It fits my expectations of him.

That thought led me to another thought- say you had somebody whose daily antics make things like Keith snorting his dad's ashes looks normal. Oh, say, you had Michael Jackson. What would he do to meet our expectations in similar circumstances?

I realize I don't wanna know.

Cissy Strutt said...

A play I directed ended with a very moving moment when cremains were sprinkled around the stage. Mixed in with the fake ashes were bits of a friend of the playwright. We swept up very carefully each night. It didn't seem strange (or illegal) at the time, but now ...

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

... dust to dust / If Lillee don't get you, Thommo must.

Which makes at least as much sense as Keith.


Colonel Colonel said...

Cissy- that's a great story. It would never occur to me it might be illegal. I mean, whose business is it, anyway?

J.A.P.- Apparently Keith has now recanted and says he was just joking, but I don't believe him- if a liar tells you he lied, is that a lie?

Thomas said...

I like Keith. If you don't believe in the living dead, watch him on TV.

As for the cremation thing, the rise of the Christian (Catholic) church killed cremation in Rome because it was considered "pagan."

Did you know that until about 1963 or so, Cremation was a no-no for Catholics. You supposedly still need special permission to bring cremated remains into a church for the funeral Mass. It was a huge No-no till about 1997.

Never let the history teacher rant for too long

Colonel Colonel said...

A lad named Keith liked his fire-
He put his relatives all on the pyre.
Put the ash in a cup,
And said, with a thumbs-up,
"I'll snort all of them 'fore I expire!"

Cissy Strutt said...

I guess it won't have been the most illegal thing I ever did. That I can remember.

Colonel Colonel said...

Cissy- Story! story! story!!

Hey- nobody here listening but us book elves...