holiday

A Holiday Tradition that Just Won’t Die

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One sign of success is leaving your mark on society, making an impact; being famous brings you out of the anonymous masses and bestows celebrity, a status that affords you to an afterlife that most will never achieve; individual biographies of lives lived are more compelling than questions of postmortem judgment or the possibility of reincarnation—these lists of the dead convey profound lessons about what counts in life to the living in twenty-first century America. And nothing teaches a profound moral lesson like a corpse.

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Sacred&Profane: The Living Dead

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This Halloween, apart from your garden-variety ghouls, skeletons, monsters, witches, vampires and zombies, Americans will be visited by the ghosts of past presidents, the spirits of dead soldiers, and by the souls of those who endured slavery. It is a season of reckoning, both social and political. The election, on the other hand, is about life, today, now. Or is it?

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