Monday, June 20, 2011


In Errol Morris's roundabout inquiry into whether his deceased brother was the co-inventor of email, this paragraph caught my eye:
The funeral was in Brookline, Mass., at the Levine Chapel. I knew that my brother had friends, but he worked unendingly, and I was worried that nobody would be there for the funeral. There was my mother, my step-father, and my two step-brothers and step-sister. And, literally, hundreds of people. It was absolutely filled. People were standing in the back. I had the picture of my brother as isolated. Julia asked me, “How did they all find out?” And I said, “They communicate with each other using computers.”


  1. All such funerals are at Levine's. I don't even know if I've ever heard of a funeral that wasn't at Levine's. It's kind of like the Riverside Chapel of greater Boston. And the great majority of funerals at Levine's are overflowing. (Did you go to the doctor?)

  2. yes, the idea that communicating by computer is not some ersatz form, but its own real thing, is somehow an extraordinary thought; and the fact that these people still felt the need to get their coats on and go somewhere to pay their respects only goes to corroborate the force of it.