Pumped full of Plastic

Death is treated strangely in modern society. After seeing this sign it made me think how bizarre it would be to be placed in a large plot of land surrounded by hundreds of other dead people only to have plastic flowers placed beside some piece of carved granite. What would the carving say?
Regardless, I remember being in the old city of Fes, Morocco, and all of a sudden a chanting group of men marched passed me holding a stretcher over their heads with a moving object covered in thin cloth. The object was a man who had recently died. They were soon going to the cemetery to bury him. Seeing the man’s body move as he was carried away was both frightening and enlightening. It seemed so much more natural to see the body this way before burial than to see it perfectly still, arranged and pumped full of the preserving chemical formaldehyde.

Posted January 16th, 2008 in Uncategorized.


  1. Lau:

    Thoughts about having a natural farewell after I passed away werent the first that came to my mind after seeing this image. In a way I can understand people wanting to preserve a corpse for a few days to be able to say goodbye. But personally I dont like the fakeness of chemically threaten bodies; dont like putting poison in people, but most of all it makes it much harder to remember the natural vivid alive person that I loved and that I want to stay with me. So burn me or bury me right away and remember my face the way nature created it.

    What hit me most, apart from the order to just use plastic flowers (how detached of our planet have we become? why were they ever invented? they are not half as beautiful and human as real ones, even when they deteriorate (Van Gogh made great paintings of sunflowers on their return, before we can eat them) they remind me of the glory of what nature can give to us), is the statement of the dates. Why only have flowers in summer and early fall? Flowers are most beautiful when opening up in early spring.

    Do I not get it and do they in fact mean that you cannot use plastic flowers after March 15 and real flowers can be used all year long? Or is this just another sign of how governments, bosses, people feeling to have some kind of power come up with rules that actually nobody understands and should be done away with asap?

  2. Jim Korpi:

    I think the sign means you’re only allowed to use plastic flower from November 15th-March 15th. I’m assuming this is because it’s harder to get flowers during the winter, but also because it’s harder to collect and compost real flowers during this time. Just a thought. Maybe I’ll check with them. I’m curious.

  3. Lau:

    Mmmm, so if you are right, than it as bad as i thought it was. Plenty plants flower in autumn and even winter, but collecting colourful ones might be hard in some climates. Maybe from an environmental point of view, certainly not from the esthetic standpoint, its better to use plastic ones in winter rather than green house grown tulips or flowers grown in and imported from Tanzania or Kenia where a lot of our flower-growers have opened up branches (roses most often originate from there).

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