So, if you’ve been taking a break from Twitter, you may have missed the backlash of #myozobituary.
Colleen McCullough, a celebrated doctor in addition to being one of Australia’s most respected authors, passed away recently. Her book, The Thorn Birds was turned into a TV mini-series that was popular in the early 1980’s.
I’ve always felt that obituaries should be held sacred, and since they are, for obvious reasons, a person’s last hurrah, newspapers should be careful to get them right, and make an effort to be as respectful as possible.
Alas, here’s what Australia’s major newspaper, The Australian had to say:
““Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless a woman of wit and warmth. In one interview, she said: ‘I’ve never been into clothes or figure and the interesting thing is I never had any trouble attracting men.’”
– The Australian
Hmmm. Well, I mean, had the woman never even written a word, she still would have had a lot to be congratulated on when it came to her contributions to the Australian medical community. But on top of that, she was a writer, and her work was enjoyed by many.
So, it is pretty sad that a newspaper would start an obituary with a line that, if you break it down, basically reads, “It’s amazing that this fat ugly woman found a way to be happy. Because, you know, she was fat and ugly, and fat ugly people shouldn’t be happy.”
I can’t remember who it was, but one twitter user it put it best, by saying something like, “At least it was better than the paper’s rough draft, “Fattyfatfat book lady dies.”
Sigh. The world is becoming a sad, looks-obsessed world, isn’t it? To paraphrase another twitterer, “Thank God Abraham Lincoln was born before television.”