The Corner

Making a Good Death

Mark Steyn’s Bigley piece was dead on, though of course a kick in the solar

plexus to the sappy, Oprah-ified sentimentality in which Western culture is

now very thoroughly marinated. A lot of people felt, as Mark did, and I

did, that there was something ignoble about all the to-ing and fro-ing of

trying to get some negotiations going with the terrorists; and also, though

it’s a hard thing to say, something ignoble and unmanly about Bigley’s


We need to restore the old Roman ideal of making a good death.

Nobody knows if he himself will be able to make a good death if put to the

test. I sure don’t have any certainty about myself on this score. Unless

we hold it up as an ideal, though, not many people are even going to carry

the concept of a good death around in their heads. That’s why what we

teach, and what we preach, and what we promote and applaud, are important.

Fabrizio Quattrocchi was, in my opinion, a hero of Western civilization.

His name ought to be a household word. That it isn’t, say a great deal

about us.

We are all going to die, and there are some things worse than dying. These

are old and unfashionable truths; but perhaps it’s time we restored them to

widespread public understanding and approval.


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