Some time ago I read a book called "Lost in America: A Journey with my Father" by Yale doctor and National Book Award-winner Sherwin Nuland.
I loved it.
And I promptly went out and got more books by Nuland, including "How We Die," for which he won his National Book Award.
We have an odd notion in the 21st Century that there's such a thing as dying with dignity. We've gotten this impression through the years in war movies and the like. Heads aren't blown off. A simple trickle of blood suffices.
We also have this idea that if we're spared long entubement before our entombment we are somehow spared the specter of death as something like waiting in line at Motor Vehicles.
No, there's nothing pleasant about death. It involves pain, suffering, incoherence, anger, gushing vesicles and putrescence.
Sorry, Dylan Thomas, there is no going gentle with a tender kiss closing your be-dewed eyelashes. Death is a complete breakdown of the functions of life and like a car collapsing into junk or a microwave sparking irrationally, there is no beauty in it.
Death comes in our industry, too. Without beauty.
I am feeling it this week. Prior to a week of shooting.
The vicissitudes of corporate pusillanimity and small-minded-ness, those things which I have sloughed off so many times before, have entered my marrow. They are forming tumors of hatred and tumors of despair.
My breathing is pained. My heart infarcts.
My wrists pulsate uncontrollably. They writhe with the urge to strangle.
These are the death rattles of advertising.
The mandatory measured-ness of moderate comportment doesn't come.
The anger doesn't subside.
That is death.