Death + Popular Culture Death + the Law

Day 12: Posthumous US Citizenship Granted to Dead People

The Art of Getting American Citizenship After You’re Dead
Only seven people ever have.
Jim Festante, Slate (July 12, 2014)

Chalk this one up to Only in America:

Florida Republicans want to show they’re serious about immigration reform by giving honorary citizenship to a Spanish-speaking patriot … who’s been dead for some 200 years.

I’m not exactly sure how the logic works here but it is interesting to learn that Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa, and the Marquis de Lafayette are some of the other dead people awarded posthumous US citizenship.


The whole situation reminded me of a 2009 Death Ref post on posthumous marriages in France.

Roll video.

Death + Art / Architecture Grief + Mourning

Death Bear,

Need to Get Over Your Ex? Call Death Bear
Laura T. Coffey, (February 12, 2010)

Ah, Valentine’s Day — the most prodigious of the Hallmark Holidays, buttering up lovers (and by buttering I mean fattening) and sending single people into quiet rages, whether feeling left out of others’ romantic schlock or when needing to justify or prove indifference, which invariably comes off like denial.

It may be especially bad for those recently devastated by love’s crueler arrows – specifically, the snapping off of that arrow, having it jammed the rest of the way through one’s heart, and watching love run like hell. Sigh.

The end of a relationship can feel like death — or at least to the precocious living, scrambling for extreme metaphors to give meaning to these darkest of times. AND that bastard left a pile of his crap in your apartment that you’re too furious/wimpy/apathetic to demand that he pick up, and/or haul out to the trash yourself.

Enter Death Bear — that is, if you’re lovelorn in Brooklyn. Upon summoning via text, performance artist Nate Hill will don his gloomy alter-ego, a seven-foot tall, weirdly narrow bear with an over-sized hard plastic head. This phantom is all black except for the ghastly humanoid hands that collect the memories you want to forget — at least the physical manifestations that call them forth. Your ex’s clothes. Lame CDs. All those heart-sharing soul-binding letters that were obviously LIES.

From Nate Hill’s website:

We all have someone or something we would rather just forget. Things fall apart. Love hurts. Dreams die. But when you summon Death Bear to your door, you can rest assured that help has come. … Death Bear will take things from you that trigger painful memories and stow them away in his cave where they will remain forever allowing you to move on with your life. … Let Death Bear help you, and absorb your pain into his cave.

Awesome. And remember, this isn’t just a Valentine’s affair. Getting dumped, like death, can happen anytime of the year — and Death Bear will be there.