Friday, October 13, 2006


It's Not A Matter Of Life And Death: A Polemic

On October 11th, somebody died far too young.

Not much is known about Charles Wayne Holland II, from Rocky Mount, Virginia. He was 23, had a job, and probably was thinking what he wanted to do with his life. You don't know what his job was or anything about him because he didn't get paid millions of dollars to play a boy's game.

You probably thought I was going to talk about Corey Lidle. I didn't know Charles or Corey, and as such, I can't speak to either of these two guys. But you know about Corey and you don't know about Charles. Why is that?

Sure, we're in the realm of sports. But the death of a baseball player, active or not, the stuff of a panegyric does not make. The touching tributes to Buck O'Neil? Where are they? Is he still in your prayers? Are you really praying for Corey Lidle and his family? Do you pray for everybody who dies by their name?

Look, I know this has the capacity to make me extremely unpopular, but it's my position that if it takes the death of an athlete to make you realize how fragile life is, you need to re-adjust your outlook on life. Does this mean I don't care that he and his flight instructor died? No. It's sad, though not a tragedy. He conscientiously undertook an activity that carries with it a risk, however small, of ending your life.

There's a great line in the Prairie Home Companion about death:

Lola: What if you die someday?
Garrison: I will die.
Lola: Don't you want people to remember me?
Garrison: I don't want them to be told to remember me.


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