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About ODD

OurDailyDead.com recognizes an unassailable human truth. We all eventually die. We gradually nudge ourselves into accepting this recognition, and go from the seeming immortality of youth to that point, usually sometimes around a life-milestone-say age 40-when we start checking the obituaries. A late-rising Benjamin Franklin said, “I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If name is not on it, I get up.”

There comes a time in life when a newspaper reader turns to the obituaries after a scan of the ghastly events on the front page. This habit usually develops when muscles begin to defy gravity and telephone books require magnification.

Among those brief notices of mortality, a reader often finds affecting accounts of lives lived with purpose, fidelity and dignity — biographies that seldom publicly are noted elsewhere. These summings-up can be antidote to the cynicism that seems, mysteriously, to have become ubiquitous in this favored land.

Henry David Thoreau was wrong, as in quite a number of things, when he portentously wrote, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” As obituaries sometimes make evident, the mass of men and women lead lives of quiet commitment and determination.

–Woody West, ‘Borrowing Inspiration From Life Lived Well’

Seeing the name of a noteworthy person, and reading an obituary reinforces that even the mighty still die. Sometimes it moves us to action. We may want to read more about them or listen to their music (Warren Zevon’s ‘The Wind’, released when word had spread that he was dying of lung cancer, sold 50,000 copies in the first week – his first Top Forty album in twenty-five years.) We may also decide to try to take care of ourselves better or maybe even take the trip or buy something we had been putting off until later.

OurDailyDead.com is a place people can go to learn who of note has moved off the planet in the last few days. If so moved, they can purchase memorabilia, buy a book, a video, or something for themselves. We’re a bit odd, in that we also think doing some edgy things around a dead-serious subject might help lift our daily lives, so we offer a few injections of humor, irony, and maybe the bizarre. We do believe in good taste, and we Oddones reserve the right to make the call.