The Camp Vamp: Katrina Fox

Commentary on GLBTIQ issues, social justice and some of life's quirks.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

We're not perfect - even when we're dead

I’m dying. I don’t know when or how I’ll finally kick it, but it’s one of the only guarantees in life; one of the few certainties that you can rely on. Each day, each hour, each second, our bodies decay and we edge another step closer to death. For some it has nothing to do with the ageing process; in fact a natural death from simple old age is rare now. So polluted is our environment, so messed up are our food systems, so excessive are our working hours and 24/7 high-stress society that we are often struck down with illnesses that can prove fatal, at quite young ages. Then there’s sudden death. Accident. Murder.

Where the latter two are concerned, chances are reports of your death may appear in state or national media - like the learner-driver who ploughs into a group of people at a bus-stop and kills them. It’s times like these that can turn your thoughts to how you might be remembered once you slip off the physical plane of existence. “She was the kindest, nicest little girl - the sweetest thing”, said the coach of the 14-year-old skating champion from Queensland who was killed in a ferry crash. “Beautiful”, "positive" and "talented" was how the fashion student victim of a bus crash in Kogarah was described. Without meaning any disrespect to these young people who lost their lives in such horrible ways, it does beg the question: Why do the sudden deaths of ugly, grumpy, miserable, bitchy people never get reported? How come it’s only the pretty, good-natured, happy and kind ones?

Why is it that when we die, we suddenly achieve a kind of saintliness? Admittedly I’d like to think if I was extinguished via some kind of public catastrophe that my girlfriend would tell journalists what a loving, flamboyant, intelligent and caring person I was. It’s not far off the truth, but in all honesty, it would be equally fair of her to tell them that I’m also a moody, emotionally volatile harridan who bears a striking resemblance to Mad Bertha in the attic in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. In grief and shock we want to remember the best qualities of a loved one wrenched unexpectedly from our lives. But I don’t want to be a hypocrite, or not practise what I preach. So for the record, should I end my days in a way deemed worthy of reporting and a newspaper rings any of you up and asks what you thought of me, you have my permission to say that I was a crazy-arse lesbian with militant vegan ideologies that I never failed to impose on others at any given opportunity.

Just remember to add that I was also very pretty and had lovely hair.

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