You’re going to want me to die for saying this.
Really. There will be readers who say, “I can’t wait until this asshole bites the dust, tucks in for a cement nap, and nobody can find the church or funeral home.”
I know I’m building straw men just to burn them, but I don’t give a darn what people do with my corpse. I’d prefer no house of worship to be involved, but it isn’t up to me. To quote comedian David Cross, I won’t care because I can’t care. I’ll be dead. Throw me off a bridge, dawg. Put me in a bong and recycle my resin. To quote R.A. the Rugged Man, “Remix this shit, put it back out when I die.”
But to my point—now that GPS is more or less ubiquitous, to hell with funeral processions. Yours. Mine. Your aunt’s, your uncle’s, and the ones that have delivered all my friends and fam who passed into the holes in which they’re buried. Am I an asshole for saying this? Perhaps. But someone has to. This tradition must be stopped. I know you’ve thought it too. So just hear me out.
I came across a case to prove my point in Dorchester a few weeks ago. The way police were blocking off the streets, you would have thought the Queen of England was marching in a parade from South Boston to Ashmont. It was about three o’clock in the afternoon, and while I know that didn’t used to be a time at which there was insufferable gridlock in every direction, it is now, and the cavalcade of mourners hogging up various corners around Adams Village added several minutes to the trips of anybody passing through. And yes, that is too much for me to spare for some passed soul I didn’t even know. Plus, what if they were a bigot? And/or a Trump supporter? My day has to be impeded so their loved ones can tailgate each other? Nah, fuck that.
Furthermore, who are these death convoys for, anyway? Generally speaking, at least from what I have encountered personally, it’s folks from certain religions, plus people with means. And why should privileged or specific groups get to inconvenience the rest of us? After they’re dead, no less. I looked up the Mass state law on this, and it’s utterly ridiculous—vehicles in a procession get to break the law, while everybody else has to yield to the hearse.
Last week, a motorcyclist was killed in Brooklyn after a driver trying to avoid a procession stopped short in front of her. There are other similar examples to draw from that may add some shallow credibility to my case, but I won’t rely on anecdotes in an attempt to scare heads into agreeing with me. That’s the kind of nonsense we heard from the dolts who criticized the activists who blocked I-93 in solidarity with Black Lives Matter a few years ago, their whole argument an odd concern for hypothetical sick folks in imaginary ambulances. Frankly, those are the kind of stubborn prostates who I bet would disagree with me on the procession issue. Which I suppose would make them hypocrites for thinking it’s okay to block all kinds of traffic for their friends and family members, but not for a cause that is speaking up for people in communities where deaths often go unnoticed.
Straw man, you have met your match. Perhaps cremation is in order.
CHRIS FARAONE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.