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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old August 8th, 2003, 11:30 PM   #16
Obstreperous Rex
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
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This reminds me of a crucial phase in the history of photography in America... from the 1860's to the 1920's, it was very popular to have professional photographs taken of recently deceased family members. These photos would be prominently displayed in family albums and as framed prints in the front hall or parlor. Someone unfamiliar with that practice might think of it as morbid, but I imagine the intention was more along the lines of expressing grief, coping, nostalgia, fondness for loved ones recently departed. Things were different then and things will be different in the future... I think these cultural practices are very much signs of the times, regardless of what sort of value judgement one might be initially inclined to pass upon them.

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Old August 9th, 2003, 11:57 AM   #17
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The hardest video I ever had to take, and also one of the most rewarding was filming my dad's funeral. He was a poet so at his funeral we had his other poet friends reading poems and we even had a mariachi band there as well playing his favorite music. My nephew and nieces were too young to attend so one day I'll show them the funeral of their grandfather.

We also had a death mask made of him, his friend, John Houser who is a scuptor made it and I video taped that as well. Even within the hour after he died, I was filming all of us gathered at his bedside. Most people probably don't think to film a funeral but for those family members who can't make it, especially for the kids who are too young to remember, it's a good way to make a record to show family.

In my dad's case, one day I'll put that video all edited into his archives at Stanford University & UT, Austin, so people who study his work can learn not only about his life and poetry but also how he wanted to have his death remembered.

In two weeks exactly I'll be showing some video of a friend who was a drummer in friend's band, we found out recently he died of an overdose last year. The friends who knew him will gather at a friend's club and we'll show the video and have a wake for him. I'll also send a copy of that video to his mother and family, they don't have any video of him when we was in the band so I'm glad I video taped him playing.

Video taping a funeral might sound strange but like it was mentioned above, it's one of the few times families all get together, who knows when you'll get the chance to get some video of everyone.
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