Americans - We're a Hearty Breed

Even though death and pestilence rains down on us daily, we Americans somehow manage to slog through. There's no surer way to know that things are returning to "normal" than to gage what's up in the world of pop culture. We may be a war-mongering, clueless frat boy-electing, religious nut-loving, destroyers-of-the-environment bunch, but we know how to focus on what's really important. Except for a few hob-nobbers of the ruling elite, there'll be no opera for we common folk. Nope, we turn to fast food, Desperate Housewives, and now, video headstones to divert us from the chaos that has become our "normal" world.

That's right, video headstones. The Serenity Panel - another in a long and distinguished list of crap we don't need, but that fascinates us - contains a solar-powered video panel that plays a clip highlighting your loved one's life. The maker, Vidstone LLC, doesn't produce the video. They leave that important bit up to you. No word on what is to keep some jokester from loading up a porn video on a continuous loop just to piss off the neighbors. Come on! I'm surely not the only one who had that idea!

The 32-year old owner of Vidstone, Sergio "Fistfull of Dollars" Aguirre, quit his "telecommunications" (read "telemarketer") day job to run the company. These days they call people like him an entrepreneur. In my day we called them raving loons, but perhaps that's just a matter of semantics.

Despite not having sold any, Sergio claims to have orders from several families eager to be the first in their cemetery with this "must-have" gadget. However, despite low sales, he claims that it has generated plenty of buzz in the funeral industry - yet more proof that dangerous chuckleheads run funeral parlors these days. It must be the formaldehyde fumes or maybe they're just tired of posing dead people in humorous positions all day.

Sergio got the idea for the $1500 "multimedia mourning center" at a wake for his father-in-law - no doubt making the old boy proud of the catch his daughter made. According to Serge, the crying and glum wake suddenly turned into a real party when someone showed a video tribute of dear old Dad holding a martini and wearing a pink boa and top hat. We know we've been to many a funeral where we wished someone would put on a gag reel of a drunken cross-dresser. It just makes the occasion so much more, oh we don't know, festive.

So here's to us Americans. Here's to our spunk and drive, our entrepreneurial spirit. We may have managed to elect the Anti-Christ himself, but by damn, we know how to have fun.

Thanks Sergio. We needed that.

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Monday, September 12, 2005

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